A friend of mine is going to the USA for about a week. Is it possible that he buys a laptop (around 1,200 USD) and brings it back to Bulgaria (Europe) without getting any extra taxes from Customs? And does he need to declare bringing in the laptop in and out of the country?

  • 1
    Beware of the keyboard layout... not only will the markings on the keys be different, but the actual physical key layout on US keyboards is different from that in most other countries (even those using QWERTY). Check the left shift and return keys for instance. Versions of Windows sold on computers in the US may not necessarily include localisations for other/all countries. Depending on the brand, you may have difficulties with service in case of issues. And finally, don’t forget that prices in the US are advertised excluding taxes, so you’ll have to add between 4 and 10%, sometimes more.
    – jcaron
    Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 13:53

2 Answers 2


According to Timatic, you may import free of tax and duty:

Free import to passengers arriving from non-EU Member States (incl. Canary Islands, Channel Islands and other similar territories): a. tobacco products, for passengers aged 17 and older: -200 cigarettes; or -100 cigarillos (max. 3 grams each); or -50 cigars; or -250 grams of smoking tobacco; or -proportional assortment;

b. alcoholic beverages, for passengers aged 17 and older: - 1 liter of spirits over 22% volume, or non-denatured ethyl alcohol with more than 80% volume; or - 2 liters of spirits or aperitifs made of wine or similar beverages less than 22% volume, or sparkling wines or liquor
wines; or - a proportional mix of these products; and in addition

  • 4 liters still wine; and

  • 16 liters of beer;

  • other goods up to a total value of EUR 430.-.

You will absolutely have to declare the goods upon importation. Anything you are importing that you did not have before, must be declared upon your return.

Anything above this amount will be subject to tax and possibly duty.

As for the rate that you will pay, it appears the VAT in Bulgaria is 20%. You may also have to pay customs duty atop this. Be careful to check that power supplies work on Bulgaria's voltage; a pin adapter will be required, and possibly also a voltage adapter.

  • 1
    I have not seen a laptop requiring a voltage adapter in at least 10 years. Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 0:04
  • @AndrewLazarus Neither have I, but there are a lot of laptops out there, so I'm not about to make any assumptions. Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 0:08

If he does not bring back in the original box, he purchases a European power supply for the laptop and uses it in the US for a few days, it would be a used device. If it was his only laptop, how would they know where it was purchased?

  • 11
    While people do do this, it is illegal. Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 22:13
  • 2
    The keyboard layout is likely to raise some suspicion. In case of doubt, it is the duty of the traveller to prove that the laptop has been in the country of arrival earlier - it is not the duty of the customs people to prove that it was bought elsewhere.
    – DCTLib
    Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 10:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .