The Transit Trade Zone – Varna
Varna’s geographic location and closeness to all types of transport are the reasons for establishing a duty-free zone. This is not a new-age idea. Back in the Middle Ages, having trade relations with Venice and Genova, tsar Ivan Alexander II allowed them to base their representations in Varna, as well as to trade with minimum duty. Later, after the railroad was built, the efforts concentrated upon a modern port in Varna. In 1927 there was an idea for constructing a canal between Varna and Ruse, and a year later the contest for “Duty free zones in Bulgaria” was open. Their purpose is to stimulate international trade through the forwarding and processing the goods without customs control, without import being required. In the period 1987-1990 seven duty-free zones were formed – Burgas, Ruse, Vidin, Plovdiv, Dragoman, Svilengrad and Petrich. In 1993 architect Dimitar Lilov’s team researches the opportunities for creating a zone Varna-Devnia. 
In March 2001 the Bulgarian government establishes “Transit Trade Zone Varna”, based on the reglamentations of the Customs Law and the growing flow of goods through Varna, as well as the construction of transport corridors 4, 8, 9 and 10. Another factor is the ferry complex, well-developed infrastructure and other features of the area. The establishing of the transit zone is also a part of the regional development strategy. It is expected that the transit zone will lead to increased cargo transport and stimulated production in the region. 

The transit zone will have area of 103 dk in the South Industrial Zone of the city (on the island), along Canal #2, and west from the Asparukhovo Bridge. The construction process includes 3 stages. The project involves building the infrastructure, administrative buildings, three warehouses (total area 5700 sq.m) and 60 000 sq.m. open-air warehouses. Railway exits will connect with the existing railroad system. The last stage includes construction of two piers that will be leased under concession. Additional advantage is the closeness to the planned container terminal of Port Varna. Activities in the region include packaging, unpackaging, final processing, ownership change, unlimited cargo stay, etc. 

The first “dig” of the future Transit Trade Zone Varna was made on June 3rd 2001 by the Prime Minister Ivan Kostov and minister Nadejda Mihailova. 

Special thanks to Milena Minkova for the translation of this page.

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