Ukraine - Country Commercial Guide
Import Requirements and Documentation

Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer.

Last published date: 2020-11-06

Starting January 1, 2018, a new electronic system (“Single Window”) was introduced for all importers according to the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers #364 dated May 25, 2016.  The “Single Window” is a single electronic data exchange system that allows different control and customs authorities to automatically exchange information about the goods crossing the border of Ukraine and the results of state customs control.  Single Window simplifies customs and state control procedures, reduces the time for customs clearance, minimizes the human factor influence, lessens corruption risks, and introduces digital document flow and customs e-declaration.

Resolution No. 364 stipulates that the importer needs to submit scanned copies of documents together with an electronic message containing an electronic signature pursuant to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine # 1452 revised on August 17, 2017 revised on August 17, 2017. An authorized officer of the controlling body shall, within four working hours after receipt of the electronic message and scanned documents, decide on the completion of the relevant state control or the need for additional review or other actions.  In the absence of any decisions and actions of the controlling bodies, within four hours after receipt of the scanned copies of documents, the System automatically forms a decision on the implementation of the appropriate type of state control, which is the basis for the completion of customs control and customs clearance of goods moving through customs border of Ukraine.

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 licensed customs brokers to navigate through the often changing and seemingly inconsistent customs clearance procedures.  For a list of licensed customs brokers contact the Association of Customs Brokers of Ukraine. The list of registered customs brokers is also available on the website of the State Fiscal Service.

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 the website of the State Fiscal Service some products may require prior approval, be subject to sanitary and epidemiological control, veterinary control, phytosanitary control or environmental control. The complete list of products with respective control requirement is available here.

Products that require prior approval from the relevant administrative agency before an import license that may or may not be automatic, are issued by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade subject to Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers.

In 2016, a new agency, the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection (SSUFSCP) was established.  The SSUFSCP exercises the powers 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 formation, determination, and application of state regulated prices; state supervision in tourism and resorts; consumer rights protection with regard to goods of precious metals and gemstones; and control of the rights to plant varieties in seed and plant production.

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. 1018 On Approval of the List of Products subject to Import and Export Licensing and Respective Quotas for 2019, dated December 20, 2018. In 2019 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, insecticides, herbicides, and plant growth adjusters.

Most import licenses are granted through the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, 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 (in Ukrainian only).

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 accordance with Article 335 of the Customs Code of Ukraine the following documents are required for customs clearance procedures: 

For goods moving via road transportation:

  • Documents for the vehicle, including those containing information about its state registration (nationality);
  • Travel (transportation) documents (international consignment note)
  • documents defined by the Universal Postal Union to accompany international postage (if any postage is present);
  • Commercial documents (if any) for transported goods that contain information including the name and address of the carrier, the name of the country of departure and country of destination of goods, the name and address of the sender (or seller) and the recipient of the goods;
  • Information on the number of packages and type of packaging;
  • Name of the goods;
  • Gross weight of goods (in kilograms) or volume of goods (in cubic meters), except for bulky cargo.

For goods moving via water:

  • General declaration;
  • Declaration of the goods;
  • Declaration of supplies (ship’s stores);
  • Declaration of personal belongings of the crew;
  • Information on the crew including names, citizenship etc.;
  • Passenger list;
  • Documents defined by the Universal Postal Union to accompany international postage (if any postage is present);
  • Transportation documents for the goods which contain, in particular, information on the total number of goods, number of packages, description of goods, type of packaging;
  • Commercial documents (if any) for products and information about product placement on board;
  • Information about the presence (absence) on board of goods import of which into Ukraine is prohibited or restricted, including currency values available to the crew, medicines, which include narcotic, potent, psychotropic and poisonous substances;
  • Information about the presence (absence) on board of dangerous goods, weapons and ammunition.

For goods moving via air:

  • Standard carrier document envisaged by current international agreements in the field of civil aviation (general declaration);
  • Documents containing information on goods carried on board (cargo information, airway bill);
  • A document containing information about the stores (on-board supplies) and the number of stores (board supplies) loaded on board and unloaded from it;
  • Transportation (transportation) documents;
  • Commercial documents (if available to the carrier) for the goods transported;
  • Documents defined by the Universal Postal Union to accompany international postage (if any postage is present);
  • Information on the signs of nationality and registration marks of the vessel, flight number, flight route, point of departure and arrival of the vessel;
  • Information about the name of the company (organization, institution), which operates the vessel and the number of crew members;
  • List of passengers with their number on the vessel, names and initials, drop-off points and landing; information on passengers’ luggage (passenger list);
  • Name of goods, airway bill, the number of seats for each consignment, goods loading and unloading points;
  • Information about the presence (absence) on board of goods the import of which into Ukraine is prohibited or restricted;
  • Information about the presence (absence) on board of dangerous goods, weapons and ammunition.

For goods moving via rail:

  • Transport (transportation) documents;
  • Transfer roll on railway rolling stock;
  • Document certifying the availability of supplies (if there are any);
  • Documents defined by the Universal Postal Union to accompany international postage (if any postage is present);
  • Commercial documents (if available) for the goods transported.

Regardless of the type of transportation, the documents confirming compliance with the prohibitions and/or restrictions under Ukrainian law regarding the crossing of goods across the customs border should be provided in paper and electronic form during the arrival of the goods at checkpoints. A bill or other document that defines the value of the goods should be submitted together with the customs declaration. According to the Customs Code the declarant or his authorized representative should provide in the customs declaration the information on:

  • Documents certifying the authority of the person submitting the customs declaration;
  • foreign trade agreement (contract) or other documents confirming the right of possession, use and / or disposal of goods;
  • Transportation documents;
  • Commercial documents available to the person submitting the declaration;
  • If necessary, documents confirming compliance with non-tariff regulation of foreign economic activity;
  • Documents confirming compliance with the restrictions arising from the use of protective, antidumping and countervailing measures (if such restrictions exist);
  • In certain cases documents confirming the country of origin;
  • If necessary, documents confirming the payment and / or secured payment of customs duties;
  • If applicable, documents confirming the right to benefits for customs duties payment, full or partial exemption from customs duties under the chosen customs regime; and
  • If necessary, documents confirming the change of customs duties payment terms;
  • Imported products are subject to radiological control which is, in most cases, performed at the customs.

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, 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 licensed customs brokers contact the Association of Customs Brokers of Ukraine and the website of the State Fiscal Service.