Shipping to Bulgaria From the UK
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Are you looking to widen your footprint within Europe? If so, Bulgaria is a great market to tap into.
Bulgaria has a growing ecommerce market with over ecommerce users expected to reach 3.9 million by 2025. The digital user penetration in Bulgaria is also expected to hit 58.3% by 2025.
For a UK-based company looking to acquire new customers, this Balkan nation with promising indicators presents an exciting choice.
Fashion and apparel is the clear leader in popular ecommerce categories in this country. It accounts for 32% of ecommerce revenue here. Other categories for online purchases are electronics and media, toys, hobby and DIY, furniture and appliances, and personal care.
Shipping to Bulgaria from anywhere in the UK requires an understanding of the country’s rules and regulations. This will come in handy when choosing the right carrier, preparing for customs, and calculating shipping costs.
To plan shipping to Bulgaria from the UK, this offers information on carriers, shipping costs, customs information, FAQs, and more.
Cost & delivery speeds for shipping to Bulgaria from the UK
Choosing the right shipping carrier for your shipping needs is often dependent on parameters such as speed of delivery, cost-effectiveness, and customs support.
Before shipping to Bulgaria, make yourself aware of the many options available before deciding on a carrier. Royal Mail, FedEx, UPS, Evri (The new Hermes), Parcelforce, and DPD are all credible options that offer a variety of services.
Below is a table with indicative costs and timelines for some of the shipping options available from these carriers.
The rates here have been calculated using each carrier’s unique pricing calculators for a standard example of a 2 kg package with a declared value of 50 GBP in May 2022. Final prices may change.
Note: ShipBob’s exact rates for customers will vary as we charge an all-in ‘total fulfillment cost’ that includes picking, packing, and shipping, among other factors. To know what ShipBob offers when shipping to other countries like Bulgaria, please request a quotehere.
|Royal Mail||International Tracked||£14.95||3-5 business days|
|Royal Mail||International Economy||£14.25||3-5 business days|
|Royal Mail||International Standard||£12.20||3-5 business days|
|UPS||Standard||£19.39||3+ business day|
|UPS||Express Saver||£34.77||1-5 business days|
|FedEx||International Priority||£153.28||1 business day|
|FedEx||International Economy||£141.61||5 business days|
|Evri||Evri Courier||£39.56||3-7 business day|
|Parcelforce Worldwide||globalpriority||£22.20||3+ business day|
|Parcelforce Worldwide||globalexpress||£22.20||1+ business days|
|DPD local||Air Classic||£45.88||5-6 business days|
|DPD local||Air Express||£56.58||2-4 business days|
Prices for Parcelforce and DPD local are of the home pickup options. FedEx and Royal Mail home pickup options presently come at no additional cost. Also, the size of the parcel was taken as 45cm X 35cm X 16cm (L X W X H) for Evri and DPD local shipping options.
How to choose a shipping carrier
When looking for an international carrier it is important to make an informed decision.
The pros and cons list below will come in handy when choosing a trustworthy carrier for your shipping needs.
Shipping to Bulgaria from the UK with Royal Mail
Royal Mail has been around for over 500 years and is one of the oldest organizations in the world. It has a network to deliver to over 220 countries across the world.
It has a vast physical drop-off footprint and employs a large workforce within the UK making it a trustworthy choice.
When shipping to Bulgaria, International Tracked and Signed is one of its fastest shipping options that aims to deliver within 3-5 business days. It is a service that is fully tracked to the delivery point and also comes with free returns for undelivered items.
There are other economic options such as International Standard and International Economy. However, deliveries for these are not fully tracked.
Delivery timelines also vary, for International Standard, the delivery timeline within Europe is 3-5 business days but for International Economy deliveries may take up to 5 weeks
When to use Royal Mail to ship from the UK to Bulgaria
If you need cost-effective solutions and want to send lightweight packages of up to 2 kg, Royal Mail is a credible choice. Royal Mail offers speedy options that aim to deliver within Europe in 3-5 business days.
For packages heavier than 2 kg, their group company Parcelforce Worldwide’s service can be used. Books and pamphlets of up to 5 kg can however be shipped via Royal Mail.
Shipping to Bulgaria from the UK with UPS
UPS is a global leader in logistics and has a network to deliver across 220+ countries and territories. Just within Europe, it has a network to deliver across 56 countries and territories.
UPS offers a range of transportation solutions from time-defined deliveries to flat rate shipping solutions. It also provides enhanced customs support and specialized solutions to small businesses.
For an ecommerce company looking to ship to Bulgaria from the UK, UPS is a reliable option.
When to use UPS to ship from the UK to Bulgaria
UPS Express Saver and Standard are two options offered to ship to Bulgaria from the United Kingdom.
UPS Express Saver comes with money-back guaranteed delivery during the day and is a fast option. UPS Standard is a more cost-effective option for less urgent packages.
If you are an ecommerce business looking to send heavy packages, UPS’s flat-rate solutions for small businesses make for a sound choice when shipping internationally. It makes sending heavy packages of up to 70 kg rather cost-effective.
Additionally, enhanced customs support and reliable and trackable delivery options are all reasons to trust UPS with your shipments.
Shipping to Bulgaria from the UK with FedEx
FedEx is amongst the top logistics leaders in the world. It gives its customers access to the world’s largest air express network and also boasts of a strong road network with a vast vehicle fleet within Europe.
If you are looking to ship to Bulgaria from the United Kingdom, FedEx with capabilities to ship across 220 countries and territories internationally, and a presence of over 35 years in Europe makes for a dependable choice.
When to use FedEx to ship from the UK to Bulgaria
If speed is what you are after, FedEx with its next-day delivery solutions and reliable tracking mechanism could be your carrier of choice.
When shipping from the United Kingdom to Bulgaria, FedEx offers two options, International Priority for when you want your goods delivered fast and International Economy for less urgent requirements.
FedEx options are priced higher than other players. However, its door-to-door service, shipment weight cap of up to a generous 68 kg, robust tracking mechanism, etc. are all reasons to trust your shipments with it.
Shipping to Bulgaria from the UK with DPD UK
DPD has the largest landline delivery network in Europe and has capabilities to deliver to 200+ countries internationally.
When shipping from the United Kingdom to Bulgaria, DPD partners with Speedy, one of the largest courier companies in Bulgaria. Speedy covers 100% of Bulgarian territory with its logistics network.
DPD has over 6,000 drop-off points across the UK. When you use their services, parcel tracking comes as a standard.
When to use DPD UK to ship from the UK to Bulgaria
If you are someone who is looking for reliable, trackable, and speedy shipping options, DPD could be a meritorious choice. Its vast physical drop-off point network brings added convenience.
Also, if you are an ecommerce business that is looking for environmentally conscious solutions, DPD’s efforts such as green packaging, and building an all-electric delivery fleet can be of significance to you.
Shipping to Bulgaria from the UK with Evri (The new Hermes)
Evri has a vast physical network of over 6,000 parcel shops and lockers within the UK. It has capabilities to deliver to over 190 countries internationally.
The delivery time frame for all international packages, including within Europe is aimed at 3-7 working days. But, a defined date for international deliveries is not guaranteed.
Evri also boasts of working alongside top UK retail companies such as ASOS, Next, and John Lewis.
When to use Evri (The new Hermes) to ship from the UK to Bulgaria
All packages sent via Evri come with a standard tracking at no additional cost. If your need is to have your packages tracked but are not stringent on delivery timelines, Evri may be suitable for your requirements.
Its vast physical footprint of parcel shops and lockers also brings added convenience.
The maximum permissible weight limit is however capped at 15 kg.
Shipping to Bulgaria from the UK with Parcelforce
Parcelforce Worldwide has a network to deliver across 240 countries and territories across the world. It is a part of the Royal Mail Group and has access to 11,000+ post office network across the UK along with depots.
It offers a range of options from next-day delivery with full trackability to more cost-effective options that take anywhere from 3-9 working days to reach Bulgaria from the UK. The more affordable options may not be trackable.
globalexpress is the fastest, fully trackable, and more expensive option while globalpriority and globalvalue are more economic options but take longer. Globalvalue does not offer trackability.
When to use Parcelforce to ship from the UK to Bulgaria
With competitive pricing, access to the UK’s post office network, and trackable and speedy delivery options, Parcelforce Worldwide makes for a strong choice when choosing to ship from the United Kingdom to Bulgaria.
Parcel weight limits are however capped at up to 30 kg per individual package for home pickups and up to 20 kg for post office drop options.
Duties & taxes when shipping to Bulgaria from the UK
Since January 1, 2021, the UK is no longer a part of the EU single market. Therefore, goods imported into Bulgaria from the UK are subject to customs, duties, and tax formalities.
The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement refers to zero tariffs (zero customs duties), which means in most cases no customs duties will be levied on goods being traded between the UK and the EU. This is however conditioned on all goods fulfilling necessary “rules of origin” requirements.
Despite the trade agreement, a customs declaration, a certificate of origin, and a commercial proforma invoice are still required to be submitted along with other necessary certificates/permits wherever applicable.
Under the trade agreement, regardless of the customs duties, applicable VAT as per the import country norms is to be levied.
Additionally, some commodities may also attract excise duties.
Bulgaria customs information
Once your shipment reaches Bulgaria, the National Customs Agency assesses all goods and evaluates necessary duties and taxes.
Customs duties largely depend on the value of the goods, the category, and the purpose of shipment. It is important to submit all required documents to avoid delays and hiccups.
Documentation required includes customs declaration, a proforma invoice, and a post-clearance examination of relevant documents or data.
To avail preferential customs treatment a certificate of origin, insurance policy, and an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI) may also be required.
Necessary permits and certificates wherever applicable will need to be submitted for select categories such as veterinary, physio-sanitary, etc.
Bulgarian customs valuation is dependent on the dutiable value. The same is calculated by adding the costs as per the heads below:
- Purchase price
- Transportation and Loading/unloading costs
- Insurance charges
- Commissions, royalties, and license fees
- A 20%t Value Added Tax (VAT)
- Excise duties wherever applicable
The customs department will usually hold parcels if the EU VAT has not been paid at the point of purchase through the Import-One-Stop-Shop (IOSS) Scheme.
To know more about Bulgaria’s customs department, you can visit the official website.
Prohibited items when shipping to Bulgaria
Every country has a list of items it prohibits from importing. Bulgaria also has a list of such items that are not permitted to cross borders.
Additionally, all carriers also follow a list of restricted and prohibited items that they do not ship.
It is ideal to review these lists before shipping to avoid last-minute unwarranted surprises.
For your reference, you can find below some of the items that are prohibited when shipping to Bulgaria.
Items you can’t ship to Bulgaria from the UK
|Cotton and cotton seeds|
|Tea and coffee|
It is advised to review the customs website for the updated list before shipping as this list is subject to change.
What ecommerce businesses need to know about shipping to Bulgaria
Bulgaria’s predicted compound annual growth rate (CAGR ‘21-‘25) is 13%. It is expected that this market will continue to expand.
For a business based in the UK, Bulgaria also allows easy access to the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region.
For these reasons and more, to an ecommerce business in the UK, this Balkan nation offers considerable potential.
Here are a few interesting insights that may help you if you are looking to set foot in the Bulgarian nation.
1. Tap possibilities in emerging Europe
Bulgaria shares its borders with Turkey, Greece, Serbia, North Macedonia, and Romania. Its eastern coast also borders the Black Sea.
For a British business, Bulgaria’s strategic location in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region can work as a base for expansion in the area.
2. Build for mobile
Use of mobile ecommerce applications is on the rise in Bulgaria, especially among millennials. A robust broadband network coverage (3G/4G) makes using mobiles for selling goods and services a lucrative option.
Most major stores have an online presence. A big chunk of the Bulgarian population can also be found on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, etc. Therefore, the use of digital marketing efforts is advised.
Owing to growth prospects in the mobile space, for a UK ecommerce business, it is worth investing in an app for the local market.
3. Localization is important to win
With a relatively low per capita income and a low-to-medium purchasing power, Bulgarian consumers are known to be price-conscious. However, high-quality products may be able to fetch more money.
But a growing middle and upper class presents opportunities for certain categories such as expensive branded cars, accessories, and clothing.
Additionally, to win in this market, a robust after-sales service, customer support, and warranty are also critical. It helps in building customer loyalty, especially for imported goods.
Having a local service repair facility might turn out to be advantageous to a business looking to gain a foothold here.
Outsource shipping and logistics to a 3PL like ShipBob
To offer customers across the world a remarkable brand experience, consider partnering with an international 3PL like ShipBob.
Selling internationally can be challenging, time-consuming, and costly. But with ShipBob, you’re given everything you need to serve customers across the globe while saving time on logistics.
We not only take care of picking, packing, and shipping your orders to Dubai, we also offer upfront fulfillment costs that include customs, duties, and additional taxes.
The best part about partnering with ShipBob is you get time back to focus on more strategic initiatives, such as customer service and marketing.
“We’re not only leveraging ShipBob as a domestic partner, but a global one too. ShipBob is helping us expand internationally and navigate a lot of the technical kinks that come along with that growth.
No one will tell you that going global is easy. But we feel like our partnership has helped alleviate many of those pain points. ShipBob has demonstrated its commitment to our partnership by making the international fulfillment process easier for us.
We currently use ShipBob fulfillment centers in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Global fulfillment is a huge need in the corporate gifting market and a necessity for our clients.
Aaron Patterson, COO of Ben Jablow, VP, Alliances at Postal
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Shipping to Bulgaria FAQs
Read on to find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about shipping from the UK to Bulgaria
What’s the cheapest way to ship to Bulgaria from the UK?
Royal Mail’s International Standard is one of the cheapest options to send packages to Bulgaria from the UK. The delivery timeline is within 3-5 business days.
However, only lightweight packages of up to 2 kg can be sent with this service. But you may be able to send books and magazines of up to 5 kg.
What’s the cheapest way to ship large packages to Bulgaria from the UK?
UPS’s flat rate shipping options make for an economic way to send articles to Bulgaria. The service is however available for small businesses only.
Packages of up to 70 kg can be sent using this option.
What’s the fastest way to ship a package to Bulgaria from the UK?
FedEx’s International Priority and Parcelforce Worldwide’s globalexpress both aim to deliver shipments from the United Kingdom to Bulgaria within one business day.
Do I have to pay customs duties and fees when shipping to Bulgaria from the UK?
Owing to a prevailing trade agreement, in most cases, no customs duties are levied on goods being traded between UK and EU. However, it is based on facilitating necessary “rules of origin” requirements.
Regardless of the customs duties, a 20% VAT is charged on all goods imported into the Republic of Bulgaria at the time of customs clearance.
There are some goods and services that may attract a reduced VAT of 9%. Additionally, excise duty may be charged on some goods.
What’s the easiest way to ship something to Bulgaria from the UK?
Parcelforce Worldwide has a range of competitive and cost-effective shipping options that also aim to deliver timely.
It boasts of a large drop-off points network of over 11,000 post office branches and depots within the UK.
The weight limit set is capped at 30 kg for collection and 20 kg for post-office drops.
For these reasons, it is a convenient choice when shipping to Bulgaria from the United Kingdom.