From 14 August 2012, currency exchange ratios are only permitted to deviate by 5% (rather than the previous 20%) from the daily rates announced by the Bulgarian National Bank.
This change in the regulations is intended to prevent any incorrect and misleading practices affecting customers.
Other changes to the regulations were approved in June 2012 and include the following:
- permitting the use of ATMs for cash foreign exchange transactions into Bulgarian leva of amounts up to 2,000 Bulgarian leva (c.€1,000). Customer safeguards include compulsory registration of the ATMs, issue of a receipt for each transaction, linking the ATMs to the National Revenue Agency (“NRA”) and providing a phone number on the ATM screen for claims about ATM transactions to be made.
- reducing the documentary requirements for registration as a foreign exchange bureau and permitting the use of electronic signatures to facilitate online applications. Successful registrants receive a registration certificate from the NRA with a schedule of each site or ATM where foreign exchange activity is carried out.
- there are explicit rules and procedures for registration by persons who are already registered as foreign exchange traders in another EU/EEA country (as required by the Currency Act and EU law).
- there are detailed rules about the content and form of information to be provided to customers undertaking foreign exchange transactions, to prevent misleading practices. The information includes: the currency code and rate (shown to three decimal points for the currency being traded); the NRA’s and trader’s phone numbers. There are also requirements as to the colour, font, size of the letters, etc. The information must be provided on the board of the foreign exchange bureaux (which can be also electronic) or on ATM screens.
- there is a ban on the trader advertising any transaction other than foreign exchange, using currency codes, graphic symbols or other representations of currency.
- all previously-issued issued certificates (and schedules of registered sites) for registration as a foreign exchange bureau remain valid until an event occurs requiring re-registration. The new procedure will then apply to all applications for registration or amendment of certificates/schedules. • bureaux have until 26 September 2012 to bring their activities into compliance with the new rules, except for the advertising restrictions which are already in force.
Amendments to Regulation No. 4 of 8 August 2008 on the terms and procedure for registration in the public register of currency exchange bureaus and the requirements to their activity, published in State Gazette, issue No. 74, dated 22 August 2003