Bulgarian authorities will step up checks at ports and border checkpoints to cut down on undeclared exports of wheat, the country’s Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naidenov said on August 7 during a visit to the Varna-Zapad port.
The joint operation will be carried out by representatives of the agriculture, interior, finance and transport ministries. Checks will be carried out on ships, cargo trucks, at producers’ and exporters’ warehouses and other locations, Naidenov said, as quoted by news website mediapool.bg.
The goal is to cut down on value-added tax avoidance – as announced by Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov, whose office will be overseeing the checks, in July. Last year, authorities issued about 350 fines for failure to pay VAT due on wheat.
Bulgaria’s 2012 wheat harvest is estimated at about four million tons, of which about 524 000 tons have already been exported, mainly to other European Union countries. Naidenov said he expected wheat exports this year to reach levels comparable to 2011, about 2.5 million tons.
The checks are scheduled to continue after the usual summer peak in exports, which accompanies the new harvest, and will be carried out the year round, he said.