l read the news today, oh boy. It's us! Our first article ... published!

Ok, it's the Sofia Echo and not our MSM and not a scoop....  but it still means something to us anyway. The journalist didn't do a bad job at all in my opinion and even kept our real names out of it. So, without further ado, here is our first published article :-

"Restrictions on the export of cigarettes before January 1 2010 used to mean that only one carton of cigarettes (containing 200) was allowed when leaving Bulgaria.

On January 1 2010, these restrictions were lifted, meaning that any quantity of cigarettes could be bought. The export of cigarettes for private use is no longer limited, provided EU duty is paid in Bulgaria.

Unfortunately, the relevant authorities seem ignorant of the new rules. Mick Walker contacted The Sofia Echo to tell us his experience of the hazards of what could be called cigarette tourism.

"When I buy my cigarettes, I buy for six to 12 months. And as I smoke more than two cartons a week (400+) l purchase at least 50 cartons at a time," Walker told us. "When these are running low in approximately six months' time, I return to purchase more. Why do I do this? The answer is simple financial sense. The cigarettes I smoke in the UK that I get from Bulgaria cost 4.90 leva* for a pack of 20 cigarettes (a carton of 200 cigarettes costs 49 leva). In the UK the same pack of 20 cigarettes would cost me 14.11 leva and a carton of 200 would cost me 141.10 leva!"

In May 2010, however, Walker was prevented from taking his cigarettes and returning to the UK."

Full story here


  1. The British Embassy in Sofia lied, they didn't change the travel advice within 24hrs ... it took a couple of weeks.

    Also, the statement from them saying Bulgarian Customs use the regs and not the travel advice is false too ... and they know it because they were told more than once.

    Bulgarian Customs were showing the travel advice to pax they stopped and saying 'Our regs say you can't take out more than 200 cigarettes and your embassy say the same'

    lt's pretty hard to argue with that especially as your flight leaves shortly. Also even if you do have docs on you that show you can take more than 200 out ... the Bulgarian Customs say they cant read English.

    Fortunately we now have a letter in both languages saying you can and it names their boss!

    lt is not a good career move to embarrass your boss!


  2. There's some comments on the Sofia Echo website. Google "sofia echo", scroll down, click on "Know your rights".


"In the eyes of the Tribunal the review letter contained several preconceptions, prejudgments and non-sequiturs"

"the absurdity of this reason is demonstrated by simply stating it"

"We therefore find that Mr Sked misdirected himself as to the Policy in carrying out the review and his decision is therefore one that no reasonable review officer could have arrived at."

... commonly known here at N2D as 'Skeds' ... that is to say these are Judges comments regarding UKBA Review Officer Ian Sked's reasons for rejecting peoples appeals against seizures.

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