Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I need a visa to enter Bulgaria?
- For residents of the EU and the USA, no visa is required for up to a 90-day stay in Bulgaria. For information about other countries, see the following site: www.mfa.bg/en/pages/view/85
2. Is the use of credit cards wide spread?
- In large stores, hotels, and catering and entertainment establishments, the following credit cards are generally accepted: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club. In smaller stores, hotels, and catering and entertainment establishments, it is necessary to pay in cash.
3. What currency is used for daily transactions in the country?
- At present, only BGN (lev) is accepted. The official currency of the country is the lev, which is equal to 100 stotinki).
4. What is the best way to exchange currency?
- All banks and licensed exchange offices are suitable for exchanging currency.
5. Where are the international airports in the country?
- There are international airports in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas. Direct charter flights are available to the Black Sea airports in Varna and Burgas during the summer season.
6. Which are the mobile operators in the country?
- Vivacom, Globul and Mtel. They cover the entire territory of the country. They maintain 2G and 3G networks and GSM 900/1800.
7. What are the speed limits for motor vehicles in Bulgaria?
- 50 km/h in populated areas; 90 km/h outside populated areas; 130 km/h on limited access highways.
8. What is the country’s emergency telephone number?
9. Bulgaria is located in which time zone?
- Bulgaria is located in the Eastern European Time Zone, which is GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) +2 hours.
10. What is the electric voltage in the country?
- 220 V, 50 Hz.
11. Can I rent a car in Bulgaria?
- Visitors can hire motor vehicles from one of the international rent-a-car companies such as Hertz, Budget, Eurocar, and others. Also, many hotels now offer this service through licensed Bulgarian car rental companies.
12. What is the climate in Bulgaria?
- The climate in the country is temperate continental, with Mediterranean influence in the southern parts. The Black Sea influences the climate in the eastern part of the country. There are about 2,000 sunny hours from May to October. During the winter, the mountains are particularly suitable for winter sports.
13. Which season is best for visiting the country?
- The most appropriate time for a visit depends on the reason for your trip. The most suitable months for skiing are December, January, February and March. If you are interested in visiting the Black Sea beaches – June, July, August and September. If you are a hiker or camper, the most appropriate times are the late spring, the beginning of summer and early autumn. Any time of year is a good time to visit one of Bulgaria’s many spa resorts.
14. Which are the largest sea resorts?
- Sunny Beach, Golden Sands, Albena, Dyuni, Elenite, MMC Primorsko, St. Konstantin and St. Helena and the cities of Varna and Burgas.
15. Which are the country’s best-known mountain resorts?
- Borovets, Pamporovo, Bansko and Vitosha.
Visas and Border Control
Since 1 January 2007, the Republic of Bulgaria has been a member of the EU and so enforces the General Visa Policy of the European Union, in keeping with the conditions of the Accession Treaty.
At present, Bulgaria issues only national visas, which do not give visitors the right to enter the Schengen area.
Visas are issued by the diplomatic and consular representatives of the Republic of Bulgaria, or by representatives of another member state of the European Union with which Bulgaria has an agreement for the presentation and acceptance of applications for visas and the issuance of visas.
Available visa types are as follows:
- Airport transit (visa type “A”);
- Short-term stay (visa type “C”);
- Long-term stay (visa type “D”).
- A fee is charged for the issuance of visas, according to the Fee Tariff No 3.
Visitors can find further information on the application procedures and required documents for the issuance of visas, as well as the address of consular offices, on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – www.mfa.bg.
Border control is implemented upon entering or exiting Bulgaria. The following border control checkpoints (BCCP) operate at the borders of the country. Along the Bulgaria-Serbia border are checkpoints BCCP Bregovo, BCCP Vrashka Chuka, BCCP Kalotina, BCCP Strezimirovtsi, BCCP Oltomantsi; along the Bulgaria-Macedonia border are the checkpoints BCCP Gyueshevo, BCCP Stanke Lisichkovo, BCCP Zlatarevo; along the Bulgaria-Turkey border are the checkpoints BCCP Malko Tarnovo, BCCP Lesovo, BCCP Kapitan Andreevo; along the Bulgaria-Greek border are the checkpoints BCCP Kulata, BCCP Ilinden, BCCP Kapitan Petko Voyvoda, BCCP Ivaylovgrad, BCCP Zlatograd; along the Bulgaria-Romania border are the checkpoints BCCP Vidin – ferryboat, BCCP Oryahovo – ferryboat, BCCP Ruse – Danube bridge, BCCP Silistra, BCCP Kardam, BCCP Durankulak; at the river ports are BCCP Vidin, BCCP Lom, BCCP Somovit – Nikopol, BCCP Svishtov, BCCP Ruse, BCCP Tutrakan, BCCP Silistra; at the sea ports there are BCCP Balchik, BCCP Varna, BCCP Burgas, BCCP Tsarevo; and at the airports are BCCP Sofia Airport, BCCP Plovdiv Airport, BCCP Gorna Oryahovitsa Airport, BCCP Varna Airport, and BCCP Burgas Airport. Verification of documents and inspection of motor vehicles, freight, and personal effects is performed at these checkpoints, and complete documentation is conducted for persons who enter or exit the country, including verification of names, passport data, final destination of the trip, and the purpose of the visit. Depending on the location of the checkpoint, people and luggage may be examined with an X-ray scanner or metal detector, and video recording equipment may be employed.
Three mobile service operators provide Bulgaria with almost 100% 2G and 3G network coverage both on its territory and on territorial waters.
There is also internet coverage almost everywhere in the country. In the larger towns and cities, there are wi-fi spots with free internet access. These are located mainly in the trade centers, railway stations and bus stations.
Communication operators in Bulgaria are the following:
- Vivacom – stationary and mobile telephone services (www.vivacom.bg)
- Mtel – stationary and mobile telephone services (www.mtel.bg)
- Globul – stationary and mobile telephone services (www.globul.bg)
National and international calls can also be placed at many Bulgarian post offices (www.bgpost.bg).
Air, rail, road, and water transport are all well developed in Bulgaria. The country has four international airports – at Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv and Burgas. The airports also serve charter flights, and helicopters. Gliders piloted by amateur pilots need special permission, since air corridors are provided solely for them by Bulgarian aviation dispatchers.
- Sofia – www.sofia-airport.bg
- Varna – www.varna-airport.bg
- Burgas – www.bourgas-airport.com
- Plovdiv – www.plovdivairport.com
Rail transport in Bulgaria is readily accessible and generally comfortable, and the rail network serves all the larger populated places in Bulgaria. The railway lines cross all land borders of Bulgaria. The European Orient Express service also crosses the country. Narrow-gauge railways have been constructed to reach the less accessible places in the country and to serve destinations with a smaller number of passengers. Tickets can be purchased at railway stations, at transport offices in towns and cities, and at the tourist agencies. International tickets are issued at the offices, agencies and international desks at the station of embarkation.
Further information concerning the Bulgarian State Railway is available at the following internet address: www.bdz.bg
Bulgaria’s water borders are along the Danube river and along the Black Sea coast. The primary sea ports offering marine transport in Bulgaria are the Varna and Burgas ports. Travelers can enter Romania through the local ports near Durankulak, and can enter Turkey through Rezovo. These points are used for small seagoing vessels in transit rather than those embarking from Bulgaria’s territorial waters. Along the Danube River, there is a border checkpoint near the village of Vrav, as well as at other cities and towns along the river: Vidin, Lom, Oryahovo, Ruse, Tutrakan, and Silistra. Both passenger and freight water transport is available all along the Danube River and the Black Sea coast. Prices and travel schedules depend on the season, the type of vessel, and its category. There are also many private seagoing carriers, both yachts and motorboats, traveling to local landmarks and offering river or sea tours to both individuals and groups.
Bulgaria’s ports are the following:
- Varna – www.port-varna.bg
- Burgas – www.port-burgas.com
- Ruse: www.port-ruse-bg.com
- Lom www.portlom.bg
- Vidin: www.cmamyc.com/port
The road network in the country consists of limited access highways, first-class roads, second-class roads, and third-class roads. Bus transport is well developed. There are express buses serving most of the large towns and cities in the country.
For further information, contact the Sofia Central Bus Station: www.centralnaavtogara.bg
There are international bus lines to most of the European capitals and to other European cities. Through Turkey there is a bus connection to the Middle East and Egypt. Bus tickets can be purchased from designated offices, bus stations, the carriers themselves, and tourist agencies in larger towns and cities. Foreign carriers also operate in Bulgaria.
Contact and of the following bus stations for further information:
- Sofia Central Bus Station: www.centralnaavtogara.bg
- Varna Bus Station: www.autogaravn.com
- Burgas Bus Station Бургас: www.burgasbus.info
- Plovdiv Bus Station: www.avtogara-plovdiv.info
- Ruse Bus Station: www.avtogararuse.org
Bulgaria has compulsory common healthcare insurance. All insured persons in Bulgaria select their family doctor (general practitioner), whom they visit when necessary. If the general practitioner is not competent to treat the illness, he or she provides written permission for the patient to visit a specialist also working with the National Health Insurance Fund. When visiting the general practitioner or the specialist recommended by the general practitioner, a small fee is paid. As of 1 August 2011, the fee was 1% of the minimum salary in the country, or 2.70 BGN (1.40 Euro). For each day of a hospital stay, the patient pays a fee amounting to 2% of the minimum monthly salary in Bulgaria, roughly two Euro. Children up to 18-years old, pregnant women, minors and unemployed members of the family, military personnel, and a few other groups are treated free of charge. Uninsured persons pay the full cost for provided medical care in addition to these fees.
There are a large number of specialized private offices and medical facilities in Bulgaria. On receiving consultation and/or treatment at these facilities, patients pay the entire amount for the examination and/or treatment, regardless of whether they have health insurance.
Interested parties may obtain more information about healthcare and the conditions for using healthcare services paid by public funds in Bulgaria by visiting the site of the Ministry of Health (www.mh.government.bg) and the site of the National Health Insurance Fund (http://www.nhif.bg/).
Medical care for foreigners who are residents of the EU, EEA and Switzerland (Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Switzerland).
Citizens of any of the above member states who are visiting or residing in Bulgaria have the right to avail themselves of their health insurance. When obtaining medical care, they need only visit a medical facility or diagnostic laboratories that has concluded a contract with the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), or any of the state or municipal medical institutions (see the file entitled Healthcare Establishments Register) that are supported by the Ministry of Health. Tourists in Bulgaria can inquire with staff at hotels to gain information about medical care and treatment, and it is the obligation of hotels to provide a list of the addresses of medical facilities and doctors who contracts with the NHIF. (Please note that he healthcare specialists working at hotels often do NOT work with the NHIF, and their services are generally expensive.)
By relying on their own insurance plans, European Union visitors and residents do not have to pay insurance installments to the Bulgarian National Health Insurance Fund. Instead, they need only present their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Under exceptional circumstances, this right can also be proven by providing a Certificate for Temporary Replacement of the EHIC issued by the same institution that issued the individual’s health insurance card, along with valid identification. It is also necessary to provide the medical practitioner with copies of these two documents. Likewise, by presenting the required documents non-Bulgarians only pay the consumer fee required of Bulgarian insured citizens for the following medical and dental care:
Examination and diagnosis;
- Issuance of a recommendation for consultation or for medical tests after the examination;
- Determination of medical treatment, including prescriptions, after the examination;
- Rehabilitation procedures;
- Medical tests;
- Non-Bulgarian patients are also required to sign a declaration (Annex 2), by which they certify that they are not in Bulgaria solely for medical treatment.
In the event of a medical emergency, call the toll-free telephone number 112. This is also the number to call for any other emergency. The number can also be reached outside the range of your mobile network. The 112 operators also speak languages other than Bulgarian.
If during your stay in Bulgaria, you have an urgent medical need, your doctor can prescribe you drugs. Ask if any part of them or the entire sum for these drugs is covered by the NHIF. If so, you can receive your medicine at a lower cost, since a portion of the cost will be subsidized, as it is for Bulgarian citizens, but you can only do that in a pharmacy that has an agreement with the NHIF. If the drugs are not covered by the NHIF, they may be purchased at any pharmacy, though at the full cost.
Medical and diagnostic examinations and hospital treatment
When additional examinations or hospitalization is required, the general practitioner is the one to provide the recommendation. The healthcare facilities are required to prominently post information regarding the price of medical services; the cases in which patients have to pay for the medical care; and the manner and terms of payment for the medical care.
If the condition is urgent (for instance, in case of a stroke, car accident, heart attack, and the like), patients will be admitted to a hospital without a recommendation from the general practitioner.
Certificate for temporary disability during a temporary stay in Bulgaria
If visitors to Bulgaria would like to be compensated for a disability that occurs during their stay in the country, they must immediately contact a doctor who has an agreement with the National Health Insurance Fund. The doctor will then decide if the case is related to temporary disability or is a work-related accident. It is advisable to notify your employer as soon as possible, either by phone or by fax, about the immediate circumstances and the approximate duration of the disability, and to advise your employer as to your location in Bulgaria during the medical treatment.
Obtaining medical care without the required documents or an identification document
If upon obtaining medical care during a temporary stay in Bulgaria an individual does not present an EHIC and/or identity card, he or she will be treated as a private patient. In these cases treatment shall be paid entirely by the patient or by the insurer, if the individual has health insurance. The same also applies for cases where it is clear that an individual ahs traveled to Bulgaria for medical treatment without the official permission (Е112) of the responsible institution in the individual’s native country.
If visitors are unable to present any of the required documents, however, this does not deprive them of the right to medical care under the provisions of the EU Regulations on Social Insurance. In such cases, the visitor’s personal medical practitioner needs to inform the Regional/National Health Insurance Fund about the case. If you have the right to obtain medical care in your country, the responsible healthcare institution shall confirm that fact by sending a fax to substitute for the temporary insurance form. If it is an emergency, so that confirmation by the responsible institution cannot be provided in time, it is necessary to pay for the medical service in full, at the fees established by the National Health Insurance Fund and the Ministry of Health. In this case, an invoice will be issued containing a detailed description of the medical services provided, including the respective contractual prices. After your return to your home country where you are insured, you can file a claim so as to be reimbursed for the amount.
Medical assistance for citizens of other countries
Citizens of a country other than member states of the EU, EEA, and Switzerland who require medical care in Bulgaria must pay for those services in full. If a patient possesses health insurance, the insurer is responsible to reimburse the costs, whether in their entirety or in part, according to the terms of the insurance agreement. In the case of an emergency, regardless of citizenship, place of residence, or health insurance status, every Bulgarian medical facility is required to offer the necessary diagnosis and treatment. If you are in an emergency situation, medical or otherwise, call the free telephone number 112. The operators also speak languages other than Bulgarian. There are different conditions stipulated for the residents of the states with which the Republic of Bulgaria has agreements and contracts for medical insurance. The right to free access to medical assistance for diplomatic representatives is established by some of those agreements, while others have the right to emergency medical care, and still others provide a wide range of social security and health insurance issues based on the existing bilateral agreements. Such agreements are now in force between Bulgaria and Armenia, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Cambodia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, the Russian Federation, Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Slovenia.
The monetary unit in the Republic of Bulgaria is the lev (BGN), which is equal to 100 stotinki (st.). Since 1997, the country has been governed by a currency board and the value of the lev has been pegged to the Euro, at a fixed rate of 1 EUR – 1.95583 BGN.
You can find current currency information on the site of the Bulgarian National Bank: www.bnb.bg.
Currency can be exchanged in banks or in any of the country’s many currency exchange offices. Some of these exchange offices also work on holidays. Euro-cheques can be exchanged in banks.
Credit cards: Most Bulgarian hotels and stores now accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Diners Club credit cards.
User Rights and Security
INFORMATION ABOUT HOTLINES AND CONNECTIONS TO THE CONTROL BODIES FOR PROVIDING OF THE NORMAL CONDUCTION OF TOURIST SEASON – SUMMER 2012
|No||Institution||Options for feedback from consumers|
|1||Customs Agency||It administrates the incomes from excise fees, duties and VAT at export; it protects the internal market and citizens; it counteracts to customs, excise and currency violations and crimes. |
At the main page of the agency website www.customs.bg there is a section named “Information for Travelers” where citizens can find diverse information about goods, monetary means and valuables, which they can carry in their personal luggage. The veterinary and sanitary requirements for non-commercial travelling with pets in the US and from third-party states are published, as well as the order for carrying of medications and admittance of personal property, imported by physical persons upon moving of their normal location from a third-party state in the community.
At the main page of the website there is also a section named “Reports on violations” where citizens can file a report on violations of the customs and excise legislation, as well as the rights upon intellectual property. These reports can be filed through an online form or on the hotlines: 00359 2 9859 4119 and 00359 2 9859 4140 – every day from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm.
Report on unauthorized actions of customs officials can be filed around the clock on an automatic telephone receiver 00359 2 9859 4499, fax 00359 2 9859 4069 and online on: http://anticorruption.government.bg/content.aspx?p=12(Bulgarian version), http://customs.bg/en/page/26 (English version).
|2||National Revenue Agency||Since the beginning of 2008, the first contact center in the state administration has been functioning at the National Revenue Agency. |
The information center of the National Revenue Agency provides an option for the agency customers to receive replies to all their enquiries related to the National Revenue Agency, and also to file a report on established tax or insurance violation on the phone or through email.
Reports on violations can be filed on the information telephone number of the National Revenue Agency – 0700 18 700, for the price of a local call or through email on the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Customers can also file a report on site, in each of the offices of the National Revenue Agency.
|3||National Construction Supervision Directorate||The National Construction Supervision Directorate /NCSD/ exercises control upon the observation of the Law on the Structure of Territory /LST/ and the normative enactments as per its application upon design and construction works, including the use of high-quality construction materials and products with view to the provision of security, safety, accessibility and other normative requirements towards construction sites, and examines and documents constructions failures. |
The NCSD exercises control of the legal capacity of the permission, execution, implementation and use of all construction sites on the territory of Republic of Bulgaria, excluding the special sites related to defense and security of the country, as well as the activities of the municipal administrations and the participants in the investment process.
The NCSD is structured in common and specialized administration and it has 6 regional directorates for national construction supervision /RDNCS/ with 28 regional divisions for National Construction Supervision /RD NCS/ at them.
The regional directorates for national construction supervision /RDNCS/ have territorial scope of activity on the territory of the respective regions of level 2 as per the Regional Development Act /RDA/.
Each of the regional directorates for national construction supervision has one regional department for national construction supervision in each administrative area, falling within the respective region of level 2 as per the RDA.
The head of the NCSD:
For provision of permanent feedback of customers:
|4||Automobile Administration |
|The Automobile Administration Executive Agency exercises control on the observing of the requirements of the normative enactments in public transportation of travelers, performed by motor vehicles with Bulgarian and foreign registration in the country, the transportation of passengers using passenger taximeter vehicles, as well as any documents related to such transportation. |
The options which we provide for provision of a permanent feedback from customers, are through telephones with the regional departments of “Control Activity – State Automobile Inspectorate”, a direct telephone number for reports and violations in transport: 02/940 9400, as well as on the following email address: email@example.com.
Information which would be useful for Bulgarian and foreign tourists:
|5||Criminal Police General Directorate||The Criminal Police General Directorate has the following basic tasks and activities as per the Ministry of Interior Act: |
According to Art. 52 (1) The Criminal Police General Directorate is a national specialized structure for operative investigation, preventive and informational analytic activity as per prevention, counteracting, investigation and detection of crimes, excluding organized criminal activity.
(2) For performance of the tasks as per par. 1 the Criminal Police General Directorate performs activities in relation to:
1. prevention, averting and warding of crimes;
2. investigation of crimes;
3. detection of crimes;
4. searching for search defendants and culprits who had escaped from penal prosecution; sentenced persons who had evaded from serving their term of punishment; missing persons, as well as other persons, in the cases as provided by law;
5. searching for personal items:
A) subject or means of performance of a crime;
B) which can serve as proof in a penal procedure;
C) acquired by criminal activity;
D) for which there is a report for searching in the Schengen information system;
6. identifying of persons;
7. direction, assistance and supervision of the respective offices in the regional directorates upon performance of activities as per clauses 1, 3-6;
8. methodical guidance of the activity as per investigation of crimes in the general and regional directorates.
For performance of their tasks and activities, as per the law, the Criminal Police General Directorate has the following rights, specified in the Statutes book on the application of the Ministry of Interior Act:
|6||Security Police General Directorate and Border Police General Directorate||According to the Bulgarian legislation all employees of the Ministry of Interior have control functions in terms of the implementation of the regulations of municipalities on observance of public order in all populated places, including resort complexes. Besides, they also take part upon performance of local checks of other institutions (the National Revenue Agency, the State Veterinary and Sanitary Control Commission, the General Labor Inspectorate Executive Agency, etc.). |
The Security Police General Directorate has control and methodical functions over the departments/sections of Traffic Police in the Metropolitan Internal Affairs Directorate and the Regional Directorates of the Ministry of Interior in the country. In relation to the tourist season, officials of those territorial structures perform supervision on traffic rules on the roads and have direct contact with citizens.
Telephone number 112 is for emergencies, where officials of the Ministry of Interior answer. You can find detailed information about its activity on the website www.112.mvr.bg.
|7||Ministry of Internal Affairs, Consular Relations Directorate||The directorate provides the following telephone numbers for provision of information within the business hours from 09:00 am to 5:30 pm, as follows: |
– on visa enquiries: +359 2 948 3016
– on general consultation enquiries not related to visas: +359 2 948 2005
– in terms of legalizations and certifications: +359 2 807 64 23; +359 2 807 64 26
Fax: +359 2 971 36 20 on consular enquiries not related to visas
Fax: +359 2 971 28 42 on correspondence not related to visas
|8||Road Infrastructure Agency||For providing of maximum information to citizens on the condition of the road network in the country, the Road Infrastructure Agency daily publishes on its website: http://www.api.government.bg/, in the section “Information on the condition of republican roads” topical information in Bulgarian language, which includes: |
I. Meteorological condition
II. Condition of highways
III. Applied limitations on the basic road directions
IV. Condition of the republican road network
V. Accidents occurred
The agency website also presents maps of the road network of Republic of Bulgaria and maps of the planned repair works (only in Bulgarian language).
The telephone number for enquiries on the road conditions is 0700 1 30 20. The telephone numbers for public information are: 02 9173 487, 9173 407, fax: 02 9888 132.
Fees for use of the road infrastructure
The vignette stickers can be bought on entering the country at a Border Control Point, as well as on the inside of the county – at gas stations, in post stations and other distribution places.
|9||Bulgarian Food Safety Agency||The Ministry of Agriculture and Foods through the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency performs control on safety and quality of foods. The Bulgarian Foods Safety Agency is the competent state body that performs official supervision in terms of the requirements for food quality and safety along the entire food chain, excluding the bottled natural mineral, spring and table waters. |
For provision of contact with consumers in the tourist sites during the Summer season 2012 – in cases of incidents or potential violations concerning food safety and quality, traded and prepared at the sites on the territory of the resort complexes, recreation stations, etc., the Agency provides the following data and contact persons:
· Consumer hotline – +359-0700-122-99. The officials that answer it accept reports from 08:00 am to 9:00 pm, seven days a week.
· The service “File a report online” is also maintained on the website of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency. The Agency website address is: www.babh.government.bg.
· Contacts with the heads of the regional directorates of food safety in Burgas, Varna and Dobrich:
· Daniela Kepekova, MD – Head of the Regional Food Safety Directorate – Burgas, tel. +359-56-813-277 and +359-884-331-725, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Zhivka Maneva, MD – Head of the Regional Food Safety Directorate – Varna, tel. +359-52-655-801 and +359-889-392-222, email: email@example.com.
· Rozalina Braykova, MD – Head of the Regional Food Safety Directorate – Dobrich, tel. +359-58-602-053 and +359-888-203-510, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|10||Marine Administration Executive Agency||The Marine Administration Executive Agency performs functions related to the control upon the boat navigation regime, including boats used for sports, tourism and entertainment, in the Bulgarian marine areas and along the Danube river. The control is also applied in relation to the navigation areas and regions, regulations on prevention of crashes, boats safety from technical and exploitation point of view. It controls the teams on navigable boats in terms of their competence and their ability to perform their obligations. |
Besides, the Agency performs supervision in the areas where water entertainment services using navigable boats are provided along the beaches, the observance of the borders specified for these purposes, as well as supervision in relation to pollution of sea and river area by boats. It also performs supervision in the ports and the installation for quayage of boats in terms of their safety. The supervision is performed by officials of the Marine Administration Executive Agency who identify themselves by identification cards.
The Marine Administration Executive Agency accepts information on irregularities and violations related to the navigation regime, safety of boats and ports, and answers enquiries on the topic on telephone number 112 of the National System 112, on which Marine Administration is an operator; on telephone number 02 9409400 in the Ministry of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications (hotline) – for reports on irregularities and obtaining of an answer by the person who files the report /notification works 24/7; on telephone numbers 052 603264/, 052 603268/, 052 633067 and 0888952113 in the Marine Rescue Coordination Center – for obtaining reports for endangered navigable boats and people, searching and saving of people and boats, for pollution of the sea environment /the telephone numbers work 24/7/; on the following email – email@example.com – for sending of reports and claims related to the activity and the control functions of the Agency.
Tourists who use beaches where providing of water entertainment services using navigable boats is available are notified not to enter the designated and specified corridors for use by navigable boats. Tourists who use water entertainment services with navigable boats need to require the persons providing these services to conduct and document safety instructions, to provide them with a rescue vest, and during the entire time of using the service they shall be dressed in rescue vests. Information on the areas for providing water entertainment services with navigable boats along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast can be found on the following website: www.marad.bg. Tourists need to know that when using navigable crafts for a trip of transportation from a harbor to another the team of the navigable craft shall be obliged to conduct passenger instruction at start-up on the safety rules, as in case of emergency the directions given by the team shall be observed. In order to ensure the navigation safety of Bulgarian and foreign navigable crafts for sports, tourism and entertainment, they need to know the places of placement of nets and shell farms. Information about the location of nets and shell farms can be obtained on the following website: www.marad.bg (in the sections Topical, To the attention of Bulgarian boat owners, Schemes of placement of shell plantations and nets along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast). It is a human obligation, and a request to all people who notice people or boats wrecked in the sea, to immediately inform the Marine Rescue Coordination Center on any of the telephone numbers: 052 603264/ 052 603268/ 052 633067 and 0888952113. Citizens are requested, in case they notice pollution of the sea with petrol or wastes of navigable boat to file information on any of the telephone numbers working around the clock with details about the navigable craft, if this is possible. It is desirable, upon using of navigable crafts for a trip or transportation from one port to another that passengers shall follow on the observance of the allowable number of people who get on board of the navigable craft, which is declared at the boarding line, and in case of overloading – to provide information on any of the abovementioned telephone numbers.
|11||Consumer Protection Commission||The Consumer Protection Commission /CPC/ is the specialized state body on the problems of consumer protection, and it is one of the main bodies supervising the internal market. Some of the basic directions of its activity are: the supervision of the general safety of goods and services on Bulgarian market, the protection of the fundamental consumer’s rights, commercial practices and means of sale, etc. The commission has control rights on series of normative enactments regulating consumer protection. These normative enactments provide regulation on the consumer rights, the obligations of dealers, the contents of administrative violations and the sanctions stipulated for them. The normative enactment which provides the general regulation of consumer protection is the Consumer Protection Act /CPA, promulgated in the State Gazette, issue 99 of 9.12.2005, effective as of 10.06.2006/, according to which the CPC is stipulated as the basic control body. |
The Consumer Protection Commission is one of the control bodies on observance of the requirements of the Tourism Act. The Consumer Protection Commission performs following supervision on the observance of the requirements:
1. towards tour operators and tourist agents;
2. on categorization of tourist sites – means of shelter, accommodation places, catering and entertainment establishments, beaches, ski tracks and tourist chalets;
3. of Art. 3 а of the Tourism Act /Denying of providing of tourist services and tourist sites is not allowed, as well as their provision with lower quality and under more unfavorable conditions, based on the indications as per Art. 4, par. 1 of the Law on Protection Against Discrimination. The persons providing tourist services in tourist sites are obliged to declare their prices in uniform amount for all tourists, as no different treatment of tourists is allowed or placement of part of them under different treatment compared to another part of them, based on indications as per Art. 4, par. 1 of the Law on Protection Against Discrimination. The requirements are also applied in the cases when the declared prices for tourist services are specified on the internet, in advertisements and commercial brochures and issues, as well as in radio and television broadcasts/.
As a result of the performed control, the Customer Protection Commission imposes fines and property sanctions, notifies the categorizing bodies on non-fulfillment of specific legal regulations, imposes forceful administrative measure “temporary closing of a tourist site”, and notifies the registration body in the cases of systematic violations of the Tourism Act.
Since the establishment of a Consumer Protection Commission, the institution has been having an open telephone line for acceptance of reports and providing of consultation to consumers.
The national hotline also provides consultations to citizens on their consumer rights, as well as on the legal regulations and the competent body according to the subject of each call – public services, obligation and legal civil relations, public transportation, public services, etc.
In 2012 the Customer Protection Commission will continue the tradition to open in the summer season temporary reception halls on the Black Sea coast territory.
§ resort complex Albena – Dobrudzha hotel, office 4 /PERGOLA/, tel. 0579 6 20 07, business hours: from Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm
The Consumer Protection Commission actively works on informing users on their rights, on information that they shall receive and in relation to which they can make an informed choice when buying goods and services. For this purpose the Commission has drawn up various brochures, information and a website of the institution, and various campaigns and initiatives, etc. are conducted. In this respect, the basic pieces of advice for tourists depending on the type of sites, are as follows:
Means of shelter and accommodation places:
Catering and entertainment establishments:
Tour operators and tourist agents:
At registration and payment of organized group and individual tourist trips with a common price, consumers shall pay attention to the following:
It is also important: