Is it safe to travel to Bulgaria?
Welcome to the website of the Federal Foreign Office
Travel to Bulgaria
The embassy regularly prepares information on the security situation for trips to Bulgaria on current occasions. We always try to provide up-to-date and comprehensive information. However, we cannot relieve you of the decision about the trip and your own responsibility for it.
The latest information can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office under the link Travel and Security Information.
Please think in particular of valid travel documents (Already expired passports and ID cards can lead to rejection by the Bulgarian border police when entering Bulgaria) and, if you are traveling by car, to the required one vignette. A vignette is required for all motorways and country roads in Bulgaria.
There are vignettes for a weekend, a week, a month, three months or an entire year. The vignettes (you can find more information - also in German - here) can only be purchased online or at the Bulgarian border crossings and, for example, at petrol stations in Bulgaria from vending machines. Checks can already be expected in the border area. If you drive without a vignette, you risk a fine of at least BGN 300 (depending on the vehicle class) and the fact that your vehicle may be out of service for several days.
General country information, e.g. on bilateral relations or politics, economy and much more, about Bulgaria and almost all countries in the world can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office under the link Country Information.
Bulgaria presents itself here as a travel destination: http://bulgariatravel.org/
general precautions before departure and after arrival at the destination
As a precaution, make copies of your travel documents (passport, identity card) and carry them with you separately from the originals. If your original documents are stolen, you can use these documents to identify yourself to the embassies and consulates general in an emergency.
Use the available information options: You can find the travel advice from the Federal Foreign Office on the website www.auswaertiges-amt.de under the respective country and travel information.
Review of entry regulations as well as the necessity and validity of travel documents
Find out at the embassy of your holiday country in Berlin (or at a consulate general in your holiday country near you) whether you need a visa and which identification documents you need (identity card or passport, international driver's license, green insurance card, etc.) that the submitted travel documents are valid for at least 6 months after entry. You can also find the entry regulations for the individual countries on the website of the Federal Foreign Office under the respective country and travel information.
Do not forget about health care. Preventive medication or vaccinations may be required when traveling to areas of infection. We strongly recommend that you take out health insurance for the duration of your vacation. A rescue flight to Germany can be very expensive. A repatriation insurance covers these costs. You should clarify with your health insurance company whether and to what extent you have health insurance during your trip abroad. Information on the health situation in individual countries can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office under the respective country and travel information. We also offer general information from the Federal Foreign Office's health service on this website.
Foreign exchange regulations
In most countries, taking self-defense weapons in the broadest sense (in addition to firearms, fixed knives, CS gas spray cans or alarm pistols) is a criminal offense. Before starting the journey, travelers should inquire about the permitted importation in the host country. It is better to generally refrain from taking such things with you, you will save yourself a lot of trouble and loss of time during controls.
As a precaution, find out about the foreign exchange regulations in your holiday country. Few countries allow unlimited amounts of foreign currency to be imported.
Criminal law and customs regulations
It is also advisable to take a closer look at the website of the Federal Foreign Office with regard to the criminal law and customs regulations of your country of travel - click on the country and travel information there.
What to do after arriving at your destination
Legislation and Laws
Pay attention to the rules and laws of your holiday country. Remember that as a guest you are in a foreign country. Here only the legal provisions of the country concerned apply, which can differ significantly from German laws. German diplomatic missions abroad also have to respect the laws of the host country in their activities.
What to Avoid
Avoid dark streets at night. When going out, take only as much cash with you as is strictly necessary. In the event of an armed robbery, it is usually safer not to resist.
When in doubt, it is better not to take photos or use your binoculars near military installations.
Do not use drugs: Many countries have severe penalties for drug offenses. In the worst case, the death penalty threatens. Be extremely suspicious if asked to take locked baggage or small packages that you do not know exactly what is inside. Please note that in many countries there are much stricter rules for buying and consuming alcohol than in Germany.
Watch the traffic and avoid traffic violations
In many countries traffic violations are punished with high fines, which often have to be paid on the spot. Foreign tourists do not receive preferential treatment. You should therefore strictly adhere to the applicable traffic regulations. If you are accused of a wrongdoing, arrest is often the direct result. Insist on informing the responsible German representation of your arrest immediately. You have a right, guaranteed by the so-called Vienna Convention, to be able to contact the responsible German diplomatic mission abroad in the event of arrest. The consular officer will contact you immediately, inform you about the legal situation, name lawyers if necessary and insist on proper treatment from the local authorities. However, he may not pay lawyers' fees and deposits or intervene in the ongoing proceedings in the host country.
Behavior in the event of theft
If your passports, papers, cash or other valuables are stolen, contact the nearest police station immediately, report the theft and have a copy of the theft report handed over to you. Insurance companies basically insist on submitting the loss report to the police if the damage is to be compensated. If you lose your passport, you will need the police report and passport photos to apply for a passport replacement.
Be careful when buying holiday souvenirs. Millions of tourists still contribute to the overexploitation of endangered animal and plant species with their souvenir purchases every year, although the trade in these natural products is prohibited in most countries. The export of antiques, archaeological finds and the like is also prohibited in many countries, subject to severe penalties. Do not rely on information to the contrary from the souvenir dealers.
It is better to forego souvenirs such as: predator skins, ivory, live / stuffed animals, products made from tortoise shell, crocodile or snake skin, corals or shells, impaled butterflies, cacti and orchids.
German customs also confiscate all souvenirs made from animal and plant products without official accompanying documents. There is a risk of fines of up to 50,000 euros, and in serious cases even imprisonment.
Traveling to Bulgaria with minors / minors traveling alone in Bulgaria
Bulgarian law applies in Bulgaria. This does not differ fundamentally from German law with regard to the regulations regarding minors. Nevertheless, the following information can only be given without obligation and without guarantee of correctness and completeness.
As in Germany, a minor is someone who has not yet reached the age of 18. Minors have no or only limited legal capacity in Bulgaria. The parents (or the custodians) represent their underage children in all matters, just like in Germany. In principle, minors cannot make an effective declaration of intent and accordingly cannot conclude any contracts or otherwise legally binding themselves. This means that a minor can only undertake legal transactions in Bulgaria if the custodians agree.
Minors who have Bulgarian citizenship in addition to German are considered Bulgarian citizens by the Bulgarian authorities and must therefore meet the travel regulations applicable to Bulgarian minors. If such a minor leaves Bulgaria alone or accompanied by a person who has no custody, a power of attorney from the custodian is generally required. The power of attorney from the other parent is required if a minor is traveling with only one custodian.
Minors with dual nationality (e.g. German + Bulgarian) do not need a notarized declaration of consent from the non-traveling parent if both valid passports / ID cards are presented to the Bulgarian border authorities when crossing the border (https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/entry- exit / eu-citizen / bulgaria / index_en.htm).
Further details can be obtained from the Bulgarian embassy in Berlin.
The entry of minors traveling alone to Bulgaria does not pose any further difficulties by law. However, as minors are not legally competent and are subject to the supervision of their custodians, you should always give your minor child a signed declaration of consent in which you declare that you are agree to the trip, where your child is allowed to stay, who is responsible for your child on site and how you can be reached in an emergency. You should also write the declaration in Bulgarian and have your signature authenticated if possible. Because on site it can happen at any time that your child comes into a situation in which a corresponding declaration can make a decisive contribution to clarifying the situation. In order to make the explanation understandable for everyone, it is also very important to write it in Bulgarian. A translation agency in your area can help you with the translation. Because of the very different individual cases, the embassy is unfortunately unable to provide a standard translation here.
Apart from the legal provisions, you should keep in mind that each airline can set its own conditions in its general terms and conditions under which it transports minors. You agree to these terms and conditions by purchasing the flight ticket, so it is important to know the respective rules and to follow them accordingly. For example, some airlines only carry children between the ages of five and eleven if you entrust your child to the (paid) care service or if your child is flying with someone who must have reached a certain age. A declaration of consent that your underage child can travel alone is required in any case. Please consult the airline's travel regulations for this.
Supervision - Liability
As in Germany, in Bulgaria parents (or guardians) have the right, but also the duty, to take care of the personal and property of a minor child. Specifically, this means in particular that the parents have to look after their underage child and supervise them, even if they allow them to travel abroad on their own. It should therefore always be ensured that the child is supervised by an adult. Under German law, those subject to supervision are liable for damage caused by minors if the duty to supervise has been violated and the damage would not have occurred if they had been properly supervised. In Bulgaria, too, those responsible for supervision are equally liable for damage caused by minors, unless they can prove that they have not violated their duty of supervision.
As in Germany, minors between the ages of fourteen and eighteen can be prosecuted under Bulgarian law.
Staying in restaurants and discos, consuming alcohol and tobacco
The Bulgarian Child Protection Act prohibits the serving, sale and consumption of alcohol and tobacco products by / to minors.
Minors are only allowed to visit public places and events such as discos and restaurants after 10 p.m. when accompanied by an authorized adult.
Regulations for traveling with pets within the EU
Information from the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Travel safely - with the Federal Foreign Office app
The Federal Foreign Office app. The name is program. The Federal Foreign Office has compiled the information you need for a safe and smooth trip abroad in one application.
Obligation to register for cash of 10,000 euros or more when traveling to or from the European Union
Anyone who enters Germany with cash with a total value of 10,000 euros or more from a country that is not a member of the European Union or who leaves Germany for such a country must enter or leave the country unsolicited at the responsible German customs office written Sign in. The customs control units check compliance with the notification requirement at the borders and inland. Failure to declare or incorrectly declare the cash you have brought with you is subject to a severe fine.
You can find more information on this subject here.
Customs and VAT issues
The information offices of the German customs administration answer questions relating to customs law relating to imports into Germany. The respective contact addresses can be found on the website of the German customs under the following link:
Central customs information
Import to Bulgaria
The Bulgarian main customs office, which is part of the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance, is responsible for customs issues relating to imports into Bulgaria. Inquiries should be sent in English or Bulgarian to the Main Customs Office, International Cooperation and Euro-Integration Department, Uliza Aksakov 1, 1000 Sofia, Tel .: 00359/2/98591010 or -98594331, Fax: 00359/2 / -9806897 or -9879420 judge
The German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry provides advice on questions of commercial imports. Address: Uliza F. Joliot Curie 25 A, 1113 Sofia, Tel.:00359/2/816 3010, Fax: 00359/2/816 3019
Further information on commercial imports to Bulgaria can also be obtained from Germany Trade and Invest GmbH (formerly BfAI). Address: Villemombler Str. 76, 53123 Bonn, phone: 0049/228 / 24993-0, fax: 0049/228 / 24993-212
Washington Convention on Endangered Species
In addition to the destruction of habitat, the economic use of animals and plants represents one of the greatest dangers for the flora and fauna. An international law binding regulation specifically for the protection of threatened animal and plant species has existed since 1973 with the "Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild animals and plants ”, Washington Convention on Endangered Species for short; also known internationally under the acronym CITES.
Disclaimer of liability
All information is based on the knowledge and assessments of the embassy at the time the text was written. However, no guarantee can be given for the completeness and correctness, in particular due to changes that have occurred in the meantime.
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