Bulgaria to exempt carriers from checking if foreigners’ documents are fake

Bulgaria’s Cabinet is to ask the National Assembly to amend the Foreigners Act to remove an obligation for air, land and sea carriers to check whether foreigners embarking on a trip are using false documents and visas.

The Cabinet decision on March 30 2016 was motivated by the fact that carriers do not have such expertise, a government statement said.

Instead, the law will be amended so that carriers need to check only whether foreigners have travel documents and, if needed, visas, and if these documents have “obvious” alterations, deletions or indications that the photograph has been changed.

The amendments proposed, if adopted, would reduce the minimum penalty for failure to carry out this duty from 6000 leva to 2000 leva (about 3000 to 1000 euro) while the maximum will remain 10 000 leva.

These thresholds were consistent with those in the legislation of other European Union member states and were seen as proportionate to the degree of the offence, and would dissuade it, which would lead to effective enforcement of the law, the government statement said.

The statement said that the bill was drafted by a working group including representatives of Bulgaria’s ministries of transport, information technology and communications, interior and of foreign affairs, the State Agency for National Security, the Civil Aviation directorate and the Association of Bulgarian Air Carriers.

(Photo: mediaphoto.org)



The Sofia Globe staff

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