Bulgaria to ban entry of cars with Russian number plates

Bulgaria will put into effect a ban on the entry of Russian-registered cars “by the end of the day,” Border Police chief Anton Zlatanov told Bulgarian National Television on October 2.

Such a ban has been in effect for lorries with Russia number plates for several months, Zlatanov said.

The ban is in line with clarifications sent about two weeks ago by the European Commission (EC) to EU countries on the application of sanctions on Russia because of its war on Ukraine.

On September 14, Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Kalin Stoyanov said that the document on the clarifications would be studied and a decision made on how to proceed.

Zlatanov was unable to provide statistics on the number of Russian cars that enter Bulgaria every month, but said that there were not that many.

Russians’ personal belongings are also at risk of confiscation. The ban affects almost all items, among them smartphones, tablets, jewellery, leather goods, personal hygiene products such as toothpaste and toilet paper.

A number of European countries already have been following the recommendations of the EC to ban Russian cars.

In early July, German customs confirmed that the import of passenger cars from Russia is prohibited under the regulation that defines the embargo against Russia, and that any movement of goods, even for personal, non-commercial purposes, falls under it.

As of this week, Greek customs have started to stop cars with Russian number plates, reports said.

Estonia officially introduced a ban on the entry of Russian cars from September 14.

Latvia has also already stopped Russian-registered cars from entering the country.

Lithuania does not allow Russian-registered cars to enter. “We are not looking at the driver’s passport, but the car’s registration,” the country’s customs service. An exception is made only for cars transiting to Kaliningrad.

Norway and Poland also have banned the entry of cars with Russian number plates.

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