There are currently purpose-specific customs control procedures for importing goods to Ukraine during wartime:
- For humanitarian aid (CMU Resolution No. 174 dated March 1, 2022), the import of goods is carried out according to the declarative principle and/or based on the submission to the customs authorities of a guaranteed letter of the end user of the goods in the established form using a simplified customs clearance procedure;
- For specified goods imported into Ukraine during the period of martial law, in accordance with Resolution of the CMU No. 236 of March 9, 2022, which establishes the possibility of obtaining a deferral of customs payments for the period of martial law. Such goods include medicines, medical products and medical products, food products according to the established groups of goods, military goods, according to the list determined by Resolution of the CMU No. 1807 of November 20, 2003, goods of critical import according to the list of Resolution of the CMU No. 153 from February 24, 2022; Other goods are subject to customs control and registration to the extent determined by the Customs Code of Ukraine.
The most recent Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers dated October 10, 2020, introduced new procedures for interaction between declarants and customs authorities regarding the movement of goods and vehicles across the customs border of Ukraine using the “single window” mechanism. According to these procedures, interactions between declarants and customs authorities are electronically recorded during the official control and preliminary documentary customs control measures. The record contains information from companies, regulatory authorities, customs authorities, and the automated customs clearance system. It also includes documents and information used for official control measures and preliminary documentary control, information about the regulatory and customs authorities who carried out official control measures and preliminary documentary control.
Despite some procedural improvements made by Ukraine, U.S. companies exporting goods to Ukraine should continue to expect a slow working bureaucracy and a large volume of paperwork when dealing with Ukraine’s State Customs Service. Because of this, many firms choose to use customs brokers to navigate through the often changing and seemingly inconsistent customs clearance procedures. For a list of customs brokers, contact the Association of Customs Brokers of Ukraine. The list of customs brokers as well as custom warehouses and temporary warehouses is also available in Single Window for International Trade website.
The Ukrainian Classification of Goods of Foreign Economic Activity was compiled on the basis of harmonized system and the Combined Nomenclature of the European Union and its text in the original language prevail over the text translated into Ukrainian. Depending on the code of goods in Ukrainian Classification of Goods of Foreign Economic Activity, some products may require prior approval, be subject to sanitary and epidemiological control, veterinary control, phytosanitary control or environmental control, or even prohibited. The complete list of products with respective import restrictions is available on the website of State Customs. Import licenses that require prior approval from a relevant administrative agency are issued by the Ministry of Economy subject to Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
In 2016, a new agency, the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection (SSUFSCP) was established. The SSUFSCP has the authority of the State Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service of Ukraine, the State Inspection of Ukraine for Protection of Consumers’ Rights, as well as the functions of state control over compliance in the following areas: state supervision in tourism and resorts; consumer rights protection regarding goods of precious metals and gemstones; and control over compliance of the rights to plant varieties in seed and plant production by legal entities. SSUFCSP is Ukraine’s Competent Authority and resides under the Cabinet of Ministers.
Every year the government of Ukraine composes the list of products subject to import and export licensing. The current list of such products can be found in the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 1329 On Approval of the List of Products subject to Import and Export Licensing and Respective Quotas for 2022, dated December 29, 2021. In 2022 the list included: pharmaceuticals, paints and lacquers, dyes, hygiene products, cosmetic products, pedicure and manicure products, shaving aerosols and deodorants; lubricants, waxes, shoe polishes, insecticides, solvents, silicone, fire extinguishers and the chemicals that fill extinguishers; refrigerators and freezers, air-conditioners, humidifiers, and other selected industrial chemical products; fungicides, herbicides, and plant growth adjusters and other products.
Most import licenses are granted through the Ministry of Economy, Regional and Kyiv City Administration. Other import licenses or approvals are issued by other agencies including:
- Ministry of Internal Affairs - sporting weapons and self-defense articles
- National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatization (NCSRCI) – radio electronic devices and emitters
- State Service of Ukraine on Medicines and Drugs Control – medicine and drugs
- Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry - agricultural chemicals, seeds, veterinary medicines
- Ministry of Health - pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, and hygiene products
- Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine - ozone-depleting chemical substances including propellants, paint-solvents, fire extinguishers and refills, oil-sprays, air-conditioners and refrigerating equipment, refrigerated vending machines; agricultural chemicals contained in sprays; and pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, and hygiene products contained in sprays
A listing of Ukrainian agencies that issue licenses for business activities in Ukraine is available at the website of the Parliament of Ukraine.
Customs clearance is conducted in designated customs clearance locations. The main document required for customs clearance is a customs declaration completed by an importer of record (or by a customs broker acting on his behalf).
In August 2022, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved the law on customs “visa-free regime” from the EU. This law provides for the accession of Ukraine to the Convention on the Common Transit Procedure and the New Computerized Transit System NCTS. The changes provide for the introduction of a European complaint handling mechanism and the continuation of the digitalization of customs, which will speed up its passage and reduce corruption risks.
A Certificate of Origin is required when preferential customs duty rates are applied, when certain quantitative restrictions on movement of goods across the customs border of Ukraine are applied, and if it is required by Ukrainian law or international treaties.
According to Article 49 of the Customs Code, the customs value of goods is defined as the cost of goods used for customs purposes, based on the price actually paid or to be paid for the goods, which usually includes the cost of goods, insurance cost and transportation cost. Other costs under certain conditions may be required to include into the customs value of goods, such as royalties or license fees. The Customs Code establishes one main and several secondary methods of determining the customs value of imported goods. The basic method of determining the customs value of goods imported into Ukraine according to Article 57 is the price of contract (the transaction value of the imported goods). The Customs Code requires an exhaustive list of documents to be submitted to determine the custom value of goods.
Because the list of the required documents to be presented to customs authorities changes frequently, and because under the Customs Code, the importer of record may be required to submit additional documents specified by the applicable legislation, American exporters are advised to vest customs clearance in Ukraine as contract liabilities of the Ukrainian trading partner or end-user customer. For a list of customs brokers contact the Association of Customs Brokers of Ukraine and the website of the State Fiscal Service.