Because Bulgaria is part of the European Community, the country has to comply with certain rules and regulations for performing economic activities. The EORI number is used to improve the security of commercial transactions within the European Union and, at the same time, it offers the possibility to identify other commercial operators.
Economic operators established in Bulgaria must register for an EORI number
. The application is available online on the National Customs Agency
website and it must be accompanied by specific documents that prove the individual’s or company’s identity, such as the company registration documentss issued by the Bulgarian Trade Register
(for companies) and ID cards for individuals.
The EORI registration form must be submitted in Bulgarian, at the customs office within the residence area of the economic operator. Non-EU nationals can also apply for an EORI number, however, they have to submit additional documentation.
The Bulgarian EORI number in 2021
Bulgarian economic operators use their EORI numbers when they are performing commercial activities. The structure of the EORI number for a Bulgarian legal entity is as follows: BG+X+Trade Register number+control digit or BG+X+ID number+control digit. Carriers from other countries can be assigned in Bulgaria and vive-versa and this will be reflected in the EORI number.
The EORI central system comprises certain data about registered legal entities. Some of the information can be provided optionally, while other information is mandatory for registration. General details about economic operators that can be accesses through the EORI system include:
the assigned EORI number;
the complete identification details of the economic operator;
the registered address or addresses.
In some cases, a number can be assigned by the customs administration for a concerned declaration. This number will serve exceptional situations, for example when the number is required but the company/individual is not required to normally perform the registration. This is not the same as acquiring an EORI number and will not be introduced or used in the EORI system. It simply serves the purpose of allowing a natural or legal person to be able to submit a customs declaration that expressly requires such a number. Therefore, it can be used wither when the person is not obliged to use the EORI number but needs to fill in the declaration or when the person has yet to receive its assigned EORI number. One of our lawyers in Bulgaria can give you more details about this ad hoc number.
After a Bulgarian company has applied for an EORI number, it must use this unique number whenever it makes a customs transaction within the European Community and whenever it needs to identify itself for various commercial purposes.
The EORI system in EU
The European Commission, the Member States, the economic operators, and the users are the parties involved in the use of the EORI system.
The tasks of the European Commission are the following: central EORI numbers storage, collecting the national EORI numbers provided by the Member States and storing them in the central repository, providing EORI data to the systems used by the Member States and consulting the EORI data against the one available in the central repository.
The Member States are the ones tasked with composing new numbers and providing updates to the European Commission about their national EORI data. Each state is responsible for operating its own national system and ensure that the database is an updated and accurate one.
Economic operators that are required to obtain this number need to be the ones to initiate the registration procedure and provide all of the data required for registration (as described below by our experts). The natural or legal persons are liable for the authenticity and validity of the documents they submit for EORI registration in Bulgaria.
External individual users may access the EORI database that is publicly available through the online portals. They may check if a certain number is an active one and may receive details about the natural or legal person it is assigned to (if the EORI number holder has consented for the publication of certain data).
Our lawyers in Bulgaria inform interested individuals that the EORI system is in compliance with the current regulations, decisions, and directives in force for the purpose of security and data protection.
Who needs to register for an EORI number?
According to the Customs Code, economic operators established in the customs territory of the Community are required to register for an EORI number. These can be natural or legal persons as well as an association of persons who engage in legal acts but lack the status of a legal person (special situations apply). The local Bulgarian laws are used to define the meaning of natural or legal person. A clear example includes the private and the public limited liability company in Bulgaria but also other business forms like the partnership. For an individual, he is considered established in the Community/in Bulgaria if he is a resident in the country and for legal companies or associations of individuals, they are residents if they have the registered office, central headquarters or a permanent business establishment in Bulgaria.
Investors in the country should know that they are required to apply for the EORI number before they commence any activities that are covered by the customs laws, for example before they start import/export activities.
What is the general EORI registration process in 2021?
When registering for the EORI number, companies in Bulgaria are required to:
complete the form: the EORI registration form is duly filled in before the application commences.
prepare the documents: submit the company registration certificate issued by the Bulgarian Trade Register.
apply: the application is submitted with the Bulgarian Customs Agency and it is processed.
start trading: once the registration is complete, the company can engage in export/import and other activities.
When the application is not submitted by the company’s authorized person, then a power of attorney is also submitted together with the other documents. When a foreign company in Bulgaria applies for an EORI number, it has to present the company registration certificate issued by the business register in that country. Alternatively, individuals registering for this identification number will need to present a valid passport.
Below, we present the required documents for EORI registration in two cases
- When the natural or legal person is established in the EU: the filled in registration form, the Trade Register proof of registration (only for companies) and the ID card (for natural persons).
- When the natural or legal person is a non-EU entity: the filled in registration form in Bulgarian, the proof of registration with the country of origin’s trade register and a certificate of good standing no older than 6 months prior to submitting the EORI application and a valid passport (for natural persons).
The process lasts for approximately three days following the submission of the documents, however, it may last longer when the application is not complete or when certain needed documents are lacking.
Two general processes are available for entrepreneurs that are Bulgarian residents interested in EORI registration in Bulgaria in 2021 and they include a traditional submission. The application can be filed with one of the many customs bureaus in Bulgaria. There are more than fifteen such locations throughout the country and entrepreneurs can choose to make the submission with the one closest to where their company is based. Alternatively, when the application is filed electronically, it is signed using an e-signature. When using the online web service, it is mandatory for the applicant to have a valid and qualified electronic signature as per the eIDAS Regulation, and as per other the EU Regulations in force for this matter and the Bulgarian Act for Electronic Document and Electronic Signature. Moreover, the applicant also needs to have a valid account in the Customs Agency e-Portal. This will be used in order to complete the process.
Economic operators not established in the EU can follow the procedure for paper forms, as the online web service does not apply in this case.
Foreign entrepreneurs should keep in mind that documents that are not in Bulgarian need to be accompanied by a certified translation in Bulgarian. This will involve additional procedures and costs for the certified translation with a sworn translator and a Bulgarian notary.
Our lawyers in Bulgaria can keep you updated on the latest requirements associated with obtaining EORI numbers in 2021. If you have any questions about the procedure, our specialists are at your dipsosal.
Additional information about the EORI number
The EORI number is used for all of the customs transactions and activities performed throughout the Community. The use of the number becomes optional only in some cases, for example for the purpose of filling in a summary or the exit/entry customs declaration. However, in order to make use of the authorized economic operator certificate, stating the EORI number is a requirement.
Individuals willing to check an EORI number can have access to part of the available EORI data provided that they check the number on the online portals maintained by the European Commission. One of our attorneys in Bulgaria can help interested individuals and company representatives with information about companies registered in the EORI system.
Economic operators in Bulgaria are advised to apply for the EORI number in advance since the registration process can last several days. By handling this step in advance, they can make sure that the commencement of their operations is not hindered or stalled by the fact that they have yet to obtain the number and cannot enter into activities that involve a customs declaration.
The authorities responsible for the EORI registration are those belonging to the member states. In case of Bulgaria, this is the Customs Agency
. The authorities are responsible for checking that the person or company has not been previously assigned this number. The check is performed with the EORI system. For international companies registering in Bulgaria as well as for branches of foreign companies, working with the experts at our law firm in Bulgaria can be useful for those who have never performed the EORI registration. One of our agents will help the company representatives follow through with all of the needed steps for registration.
Doing business in Bulgaria
Our team of attorneys in Bulgaria can provide complete information on the requirements for opening a locally registered company, be it in the form of a private limited liability company or a joint-stock company. Alternatively, we can provide information on how to register a branch and register for VAT purposes, when the company provides certain types of goods and services.
The statistics presented below highlight the number of companies in various business sectors in Bulgaria in 2018:
- - 31.486: number of companies in the manufacturing sector;
- - 20.539: construction companies;
- - 2. 182: companies in the accommodation and food service sectors;
- - 142.028: companies in wholesale and retail trade and companies in the vehicle repair sectors.
At the level of 2021, Bulgarian EORI registration is just one of the steps that need to be observed by investors who are interested in starting a business here or engaging in economic activities on the Bulgarian market.