30 July 2015

According to Sofia new agency, Bulgaria will set up an ant-corruption inspectorate at Customs Agency. The inspectorate will analyse the corruption risks and propose measures to eradicate the risks. This new agency will also check on tip-offs received and notify the prosecuting authority of any suspected criminal activity.

This unit will also require all customs officers to declare their assets and check the accuracy of the declarations.

Currently there is an inspectorate under the finance ministry with the oversight of Customs Agency and the National Revenue Agency (NRA). The present idea is to separate the two agencies so that they could be monitored closely. Later a separate inspectorate will be set up to monitor the NRA.

Proposed changes to the rules of the Customs Agency also provide for the closure of two directorates – one handling legal issues and the other handling professional standards. The directorate handling human resources will be strengthened.

Recently instituted mandatory psychological tests for the appointment and promotion of customs officers have made it necessary for these reorganizations.

Functions of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate will be broadened to give powers to customs officers to do operational search and to perform escort activities.