Bulgaria's 2010 Arms Exports Amounted to EUR 260 M

Business » INDUSTRY | July 20, 2011, Wednesday // 19:00

Bulgaria exported arms and munitions worth over EUR 259 M in 2010, according to a Bulgarian government report.

The 2010 of the Inter-institution Commission for Export Control and Non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction of the Bulgarian Economy Ministry was adopted by the Cabinet on Wednesday, and will be presented to the Parliament.

It shows that in 2010 the arms commission issued a total of 614 permits, of which 339 were for the exports of arms and transfer of weapons out of Bulgaria's territory.

The largest number of permits were issued for arms exports and transfers destined for India, the USA, Egypt, and the Czech Republic.

The report further indicates that the specialized institution refused two arms export permits in 2010.

The weapons imported and transferred into Bulgaria in 2010 were worth EUR 55.5 M, according to government figures.

The inter-institutional commission issued 275 permits for the import and transfer of weapons into Bulgaria. The highest number of these were for imports from the USA, Germany, Serbia, the Czech Republic, and Ukraine. However, the highest worth of arms imports into Bulgaria came from France, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Ukraine, and the Netherlands.

The better part of the arms import was destined for the modernization of the Bulgarian armed forces but some of the import refers to weapons sold on the consumer market, and munitions and arms destined to be destroyed.

In 2010, the governmental commission gave 21 permits for the transit of weapons through Bulgaria's territory, and 25 permits for the export and transfer of dual-use goods.

Once the reported is presented to the Parliament, it is to be published by the Ministry of Economy, Energy, and Tourism.

The Council of Ministers has pointed out in a statement that in accordance with its international commitments Bulgaria provides annual information about its exports and imports of conventional weapons under the UN Register of Conventional Arms, and under the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Wassenaar Arrangement on the Control of Brokering in Small Arms and Light Weaponry.

Of the large-scale Bulgarian military-industrial complex, whose total exports reached more than USD 1 B in the mid 1980s, Bulgaria's military industry today has 5 major military plants, four of which are private-owned, and one - VMZ Sopot - is about to be privatized.

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