Vignettes in Bulgaria
Nature of the vignette toll
The vignette toll is essentially a type of tax levied for the use of the road infrastructure within the country. Payment of the toll entitles the transport vehicle to use, i.e. to operate for a certain period on the national roads. The vignette toll fee is regulated by the Local Taxes and Fees Act (LTFA), Roads Act (RA), the Road Traffic Act (RTA), as well as some additional provisions.
Under Art. 10а (5) RA, when the vignette toll is paid, a security document, called "vignette", is issued certifying right to use the national roads, and consists of two parts:
- the first part is the so-called ‘vignette sticker’, which is glued onto the internal surface at the bottom right corner of the road vehicle's windshield. Expired vignette stickers must immediately be removed by the driver of the respective road vehicle;
- the second part in the form of a card is kept by the driver of the road vehicle and serves as proof of payment for the vignette toll before the competent control authorities.
The vignette toll is determined separately depending on the type of each vehicle. The vignette which has been issued upon payment of the vignette toll remains attached to the vehicle even if ownership of that vehicle changes and retains its original validity (Art. 10a para. 8 RA).
The use of national roads or sections thereof by a motor vehicle not equipped with a valid vignette is an administrative offense. The penalty rate varies between BGN 300 and BGN 3000, depending on the type and category of the vehicle.
Objects of taxation
The vignette toll is taxable for all vehicles with Bulgarian or foreign registration for using the road network of Bulgaria and are payable by the owner or user of the vehicle.
Types of vignettes
The annual vignette is valid from 1 January of the year for which it is issued until 31 January of the following year.
The monthly vignette is valid for one calendar month from the date of issuance.
The weekly vignette is valid for 7 days from the date of issuance.
The daily vignette is valid for the day perforated thereon.
If upon leaving the country a foreign user is found to have exceeded the period of use of national roads for which the vignette was paid, they are obliged to pay the value of the vignette for that period, which however, may not be less than the value of a weekly vignette.
If upon leaving the country a local user is found to have not paid the vignette toll, they must pay the value of a weekly vignette unless the user’s permanent residence is within the territory of the respective frontier post.
Vignette tolls in 2014
I. The value of each vignette is determined depending on the type of vehicle and the term of validity required by the user. The current vignette tolls for automobiles - Category 1 - for 2014 are:
- Weekly vignette - BGN 10
- Monthly vignette - BGN 25
- Annual vignette - BGN 67
Daily vignette tolls are not provided for automobiles of this category.
II. Buses and road vehicles intended for the transportation of cargo with 2 (two) aces and/or less than 12 (twelve) tonnes of maximum permissible weight fall within Category 2 and are subject to the following vignette tolls:
- Daily vignette - BGN 20
- Weekly vignette - BGN 34 for Euro 0,1 and 2/ BGN 26 for Euro 4,5,6,, ЕEV
- Monthly vignette - BGN 68 for Euro 0, 1 and 2/ BGN 53 for Euro 4, 5, 6, ЕEV
- Annual vignette - BGN 684 for Euro 0, 1 and 2/ BGN 526 for Euro 4, 5, 6, ЕEV
Some persons and transport vehicles are exempt from payment of the vignette toll subject to certain conditions. Individuals with working capacity reduced by 50 or more than 50% or with a certain type and degree of disability are exempt from payment of the vignette toll for one automobile, which is the property or joint matrimonial property of that person, with engine capacity up to 2000 cubic centimetres and engine power of up to 117.64 kW (160 h.p.) - Art. 10c (1) RA.
The vignette toll is not payable for foreign-registered transport vehicles, if this is provided for under an international agreement or a convention to which the Republic of Bulgaria is a party - Art. 10d RA.
Free annual vignette sticker due to breakage or theft of the windshield or manufacturing defect of the vignette
If the glued part of the annual vignette sticker has been destroyed due to a manufacturing defect of the vignette or breakage or theft windshield, upon presenting the second part of the annual vignette, a free annual vignette sticker is issued with term of validity equal to the term of validity of the initially issued vignette sticker (Art . 10a (5), items 3-5 RTA).
The breaking or the theft of the windshield must be certified respectively by an administrative letter or a statement of findings by Guarding Police Directorate General, and the manufacturing defect of the vignette must be certified by inspection carried out by officials from the respective district road agency of the Road Infrastructure Agency.