Customs officers seize 280,660 cigarettes in passengers’ luggage during inspections at four airports

Customs officers seized 280,660 cigarettes (14,033 boxes) while checking passengers’ luggage at four airports in the country.

Within a week in November, customs inspectors carried out intensified customs controls on travelers to the United Kingdom from the airports of Sofia, Bourgas, Varna and Plovdiv. A total of 280,660 cigarettes were seized during inspections of more than 29 fields. Most of them are found in passengers through Sofia Airport, where most of the flights are – 172,600 ticket offices. 33,180 cigarettes were found during inspections at the airport in Bourgas, 39,400 were seized during inspections in Varna, 35,480 – during inspections in Plovdiv.

All tobacco products have a Bulgarian excise label. A total of 30 acts for violations of customs legislation have been drawn up. In September 2021, nearly 190,000 cigarettes were seized at the country’s airports, and as a result of intensified inspections in October, nearly 420,000 cigarettes were found and more than 430,000 in November.

Since the beginning of the year, fines amounting to over BGN 130,000 have been imposed on violators carrying tobacco products at the Sofia airport. Most passengers traveled to London and were sanctioned under the Customs Act, but there are also those who have tried to transport large quantities of tobacco products on flights to other Member States – France, Denmark and the Netherlands, and are therefore sanctioned under the Customs Act. excises and tax warehouses.

The largest amount of tobacco products detained since the beginning of the year in the luggage of a passenger is 40,400 cigarettes (2020 boxes). The passenger flew in October from Sofia to Liverpool. Administrative criminal proceedings have been instituted in the case, and a criminal decree is to be issued.

In second place in terms of seized quantities for 2021 is a passenger who tried to carry 19,100 pieces (955 boxes). They were found in February in a passenger flying to London. He was fined over BGN 10,600 for the violation.

The Customs Agency reminds that passengers traveling by air can export up to 40 boxes of cigarettes with Bulgarian excise if they travel to another EU member state, and up to 10 boxes of cigarettes if traveling to a third country. Travelers should also be familiar with the rules in the host country, where the limits may be more restrictive.

Passengers carrying more than the limit are subject to a fine in cases when traveling to an EU country – from 1000 to 4000 BGN for the first violation (from 3000 to 6000 BGN for the second) and from 200 to 250 per one hundred percent of the selling price of cigarettes when traveling to a country outside the EU. The infringing goods are detained.

Source: Customs Agency

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