The Bulgarian Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (BASBA) was founded in 1997 in Varna, Bulgaria. Initially it was called Regional Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (RASBA) and included 32 companies in the ship brokerage and ship agency services operating in the ports of the Bulgarian Black Sea ports of Varna and Burgas. In the following years the association grew its member base and included companies operating in all ports in the country and by 2003 it was renamed to BASBA.

Among the main goals of the association are the protection of the economic and professional interests of its members , the respective ship owners and parent companies, as well as the promotion of a high level of professionalism, fair business practices and the spirit of cooperation among the companies in the ship brokerage and ship agency services sector.

BASBA is a non-government organization, created under the Bulgarian law for non-commercial legal entities. The management bodies of the association are the General Assembly and the Management Board, which has a 3 year mandate and consists of 8 members and the Chairman of the Board. The BASBA secretariat takes care of the everyday business of the association.

The Bulgarian Association of Ship Brokers and Agents is a full member of the Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents (FONASBA), as well as the European Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (ECASBA). In that position BASBA takes active part in the discussion and development of various documents used by ship brokers and agents in their everyday activities. At the same time through FONASBA it takes part in the development of the strategies for the future of the maritime business.

Since its foundation BASBA has established itself as a stable and reliable partner for the local and national government, the port and customs authorities. The Association is a member in many Bulgarian organizations: The Bulgarian Chamber of Shipping; Marine Cluster Bulgaria; The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; The Association of the Industrial Capital in Bulgaria; The Bulgarian Association for Freight Forwarding, Transport and Logistics and many others, and by taking active part in these organizations defends the interests of its members and their clients.

The Bulgarian Association of Ship Brokers and Agents has developed its General Conditions in order to help with establishing the main principles that should govern the contracts between its members and their clients. In the near future the association will introduce the FONASBA Quality Standard which would also result in the clients feeling more secure and confident when dealing with the agent company they chose.

Currently there are 42 member companies in BASBA. The firms in the association provide agency services for more than 60% of the vessels calling in the Bulgarian ports. Members of BASBA are the liner agents for big international container lines, such as Happag Lloyd, MSC, CMA-CGM, E.M.E.S, Yang Ming, Zim International Israel, K-Line, China Shipping and Evergreen. The broker firms in the association represent many of the largest industrial companies in Bulgaria from the chemical, energy and resource industries and some of the largest shipowners in the country.

The Bulgarian Association of Ship Brokers and Agents is constantly working on strengthening the good relations between local and international associations in such a way to defend the interests not only of the association’s members and their clients but for everyone connected to the maritime industry.