After the country's EU accession cars from EU countries don't have to be reported at customs offices, their new owners just have to register them with local traffic authorities.
With the EU accession, new vehicles must also respond to some ecological requirements in order to receive registration.
As of July 2007, vehicles must have the E-4 certificate. Cars can be registered for a temporary 6-month period with certificate E-3, but they must obtain the E-4 in order to receive full registration.
This is why, people must ask for the E-4 paper when they purchase new cars. The certificate guarantees the car has low emission of harful gases.
Nearly a third of the vehicles imported from the EU are registered by Sofia'a traffic authorities. This is one of the reasons for the enormous lines of cars waiting in front of these offices. Traffic officers register between 700 – 800 cars each day.
Automobile importers say the number of both new automobiles and second-hand imported vehicles is iscreasing. New automobile imorts grew 30% this year, and old vehicles coming to the country are 50% more than last year.
The peak period for imports of old cars was in the first four months of this year. Nearly 80% of cars that came to Bulgaria this year were brought by natural persons.
The scheme for importing cars using the names of handicapped persons is already in history, police says.
The new scheme that companies use to pay less taxes is not to list the vehicle as imported by the company, but by an individual, who declares it as its own and presents a false contract with a considerably lower price than the actual.
According to Bulgarian legislation, companies pay much higher taxes to import a vehicle, than natural persons.