of international trade is generally upheld in Bulgaria, which implements the
common EU trade policy, which is mostly liberal, with overall low tariffs.
Average applied tariff rate stands at 5.3%. However, agricultural products are
on average more protected than the industrial ones. Although trade tariffs have
been generally liberalized, complicated and expensive standardization
requirements for imported goods often create regulatory non-tariff barriers to
trade. On the other hand, customs office documentation compliance procedures
are quick and inexpensive. Low quality of transportation infrastructure - both
railways and roads - increases freight costs, thus burdening international
trade. Bulgaria’s main export markets are fellow EU member countries, such as:
Italy, Romania, France and Belgium, followed by Turkey, with similar
patterns in imports. Bulgaria, alongside Romania, Croatia, Ireland, Cyprus and
United Kingdom, is still not a part of the Schengen area. Not being a euro-zone
country is mitigated by the fact that Bulgaria has for almost two decades been
using a currency board, previously to the German mark, and now to euro.
Controls on capital inflows and outflows, implemented by the Bulgarian National
Bank, are still prevalent.