Bulgaria PM to Seek Merger of Revenue, Customs Agencies

Domestic | April 9, 2015, Thursday // 08:08|  views

Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said on Wednesday he could table next week a proposal to merge the National Revenue Agency and the Customs Agency.

Borisov announced during a regular cabinet sitting that the measure was necessary due to "discouraging" results in the fight against smuggling.

"It is no secret what customs officers' and border police officers' settlements are scattered all along the border. They do not serve the state, but to other masters," he is quoted as saying in a transcript of the cabinet session released on the government's website.

Borisov added he was setting a one-week deadline for heads of both agencies to talk him out of his idea.

In his words, smuggling results each month in BGN 30 M in lost revenues for the treasury.

The Prime Minister made a reference to a special operation which in end-March resulted in the arrests of 13 customs officers and three border police officers involved in a cigarettes smuggling scheme. It was later announced they they had granted passage to sixteen trucks of smuggled cigarettes.

An idea to establish a "mega-agency" including taxation and customs bodies was also tabled last year by the previous elected administration, with then Finance Minister Petar Chobanov firmly backing the proposal to boost coordination and efficiency. It was later rejected by the interim government of Prof Georgi Bliznashki, which said it was not within his competence to consider such moves.

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Tags: Boyko Borisov, smuggling, National Revenue Agency, Customs Agency, Petar Chobanov


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