Banking in Bulgaria
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Banking in Bulgaria
With the introduction of a Currency Board Arrangement in 1997, all restrictions on trade in hard currency in the country were removed. Domestic banks may sell hard currency to natural persons or legal entities without any restrictions. The Credit Institutions Act, which came into force upon the accession of the Republic of Bulgaria to the European Union and superseded the existing Banking Act, regulates the terms and procedure for the licensing, operation, supervision and dissolution of credit institutions so as to ensure a stable, reliable and secure banking system and protection of the interests of depositors. Credit institutions are the banks and the electronic money institutions.
The national currency is the Bulgarian lev, and it is designated as BGN.
Each foreigner or Bulgarian may open and hold an unlimited number of bank accounts, in any kind of currency, with any bank in Bulgaria. No restrictions whatsoever apply to the repatriation of profits, capital, royalties and interest.
Exchange control regulations are based on the principle of freedom to act, transact and pay. Transfers are effected in accordance with the Foreign Exchange Act (effective 1 January 2000) and Ordinance No. 10 dated 16 December 2003 on the Export and Import of Bulgarian Lev and Foreign-Currency Cash in Hand, Precious Metals, Precious Stones and Articles Thereof and on Keeping of the Customs Registers under Article 10a of the Foreign Exchange Act.
Resident and non-resident natural persons may export and import sums of up to BGN 8,000 inclusive or their equivalent in a foreign currency freely, without declaring such sums in writing to the customs authorities. Any sums in excess of BGN 8,000 or their equivalent in a foreign currency must be declared to the customs authorities regarding their type and amount. Upon export of sums in excess of BGN 25,000 or their equivalent in a foreign currency, the origin of the financial resources which are being exported must be declared in addition to the type and amount of the currency exported. Foreigners have the right to export as much currency in excess of the limit set by the Bulgarian law as they have declared upon entry into the country.
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