Intrastat declarations in Bulgaria

This article will introduce you to the „Intrastat” system, liable persons to submit declarations thereunder, as well as what the thresholds and time limits of submission are.
The Intrastat system is designed to collect statistical information about the movement of goods (not services) between the Member States of the European Union. It is directly linked to the operation of the so-called "Common market" between Member States. The declaration is done directly by the companies involved in such activities. Each of the Member States of the European Union is obliged to provide monthly data on intra-Community trade in goods to the General Directorate "Eurostat" of the European Commission and its statistics database COMEXT, the International Monetary Fund, as well as to the COMTRADE database of the UN.

Liable persons to submit an Intrastat declaration, also called Intrastat operators, are those persons registered under the Value Added Tax Act (VATA) who carry out intra-European Union trade with goods in annual volumes of  a value above the declaration thresholds in the Statistics of Intra-Community Trade in Goods Act (Art. 3 (1), item 1 SITGA). Art. 7 (1) of Regulation (EC) № 638/2004 lists precisely which persons are obliged to submit Intrastat declarations, namely:

  • the taxable person who

a) has concluded the contract giving rise to the dispatch of goods, with the exception of transport contracts or,

b) failing that, dispatches or provides for the dispatch of the goods or,

c) failing that, is in possession of the goods which are the subject of the dispatch; or their tax representative in accordance with Art. 204 of Directive 2006/112/EC; and

  • the taxable person in the Member State of arrival who:

a) has concluded the contract giving rise to the delivery of goods, with the exception of transport contracts or, failing that,

b) takes delivery or provides for delivery of the goods or, failing that,

c) is in possession of the goods which are the subject of delivery; or their tax representative in accordance with Art. 204 of Directive 2006/112/EC.

The requirement for registration under VATA leads to a smaller range of liable persons in practice.
Declaration thresholds and the types of data subject to declaration under Art. 3 (1), item 1 SITGA are determined by an ordinance issued by the chair of the National Statistical Institute, promulgated in the State Gazette by 31 October of the current year. The declaration thresholds determined thereby and the types of additional data are valid throughout the following year.
For 2014, the declaration thresholds are determined by Ordinance № RD-07-326 of 18.10.2013.

The Intrastat operator may have an annual or a current obligation to submit a declaration. The annual obligation arises when the annual volume of intra-European Union trade in goods for the respective stream in the previous year is higher than the declaration threshold set for that year according to Art. 4 SITGA. In this case the Intrastat operator needs to submit declarations for all months between January to December inclusive, such that the first declaration is submitted from 1 to 14 February containing the data for January. The current obligation arises when the monthly volumes accumulated from the beginning of the calendar year until a given month of the current year are higher than the declaration threshold set for that year. In this case declarations need to be submitted from the month in which the threshold was exceeded until the end of the calendar year.

If for a given month the Intrastat operator has concluded no commercial transactions, they need to submit a declaration of zero value for the period in question. Data concerning dispatches and arrivals in the months from the beginning of the year until the month prior to reaching the threshold need not be presented.
The declarations themselves are for separate months and consist of a general part and commercial data. Separate declarations are to be submitted for each of the streams, "dispatches" and "arrivals". If the set annual thresholds for the two streams are exceeded, declarations shall be submitted for both.
Intrastat declarations are filed electronically, signed with an electronic signature on the website of the NRA ( Before filing the declarations, Intrastat operators need to submit a Request for submitting documents electronically and use of electronic services, provided by the NRA, again signed with an electronic signature.

The Intrastat information system has two regimes of operation - real-time and offline regime. The offline regime can be used to draw up the declarations, and the online module - for their submission, as well as for the submission of corrective declarations for previous periods.
Exceptionally, in the case of technical failure on the part of the Intrastat operator or the National Revenue Agency, Intrastat declarations, documents or data may be submitted to the National Revenue Agency. In these cases, filing a Letter of technical impossibility in standard form is also required - obtainable from the NRA website. Art. 17 (2) of Ordinance H-4 outlines the identification data that the Letter should contain.

The time limit to submit an Intrastat-declaration is regulated in Art. 11 (1) SITGA and is the 14th day of the month following the reference period (for some specific goods and movement of goods it is possible to apply other reference periods, thoroughly covered in the Ordinance of the Council of Ministers on specific goods and movement of goods). Persons who do not comply with their obligations within the set time limit are subject to sanctions. They are punishable by a fine or property sanction of BGN 500 to 5,000 (Art. 17 (1) SITGA).
Subject to penalties are also persons who failed to supply the information required by the National Revenue Agency within the set time limit - fine or property sanction of BGN 200 to 2,000. (Art. 17 (2) SITGA).