Ukrainian importers complain about unequal conditions and overcharging – a survey

On October 29, 2020, experts from the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting (IER) presented the second part(http://www.ier.com.ua/ua/publications/reports?pid=6451) of the V annual survey of exporters and importers, which concerned the assessment of customs procedures. In total, more than 1,000 Ukrainian exporters and importers were interviewed in April-June 2020 with the support of the European Union, the International Renaissance Foundation and the Atlas Network.

Importers are more likely to report obstacles in different procedures than exporters. More than half of importers report difficulties in deciding on the customs value of goods. Common problems for importers and exporters in different customs procedures are the overestimation of the customs value of goods, the requirement to provide many additional documents and a different approach to the same legislation or goods.

“Analysis of the problems faced by the business at customs shows that to create a favorable business environment requires not only simplification of procedures and paperwork, but also to prevent selective application of legislation, the principle of equal rules of the game for all should be key “- said Oksana Kuziakiv, IER Executive Director.

Importers are three times more likely to appeal against the actions of customs authorities and are generally better informed about appeal procedures than exporters, ”said Iryna Fedets, a senior researcher at the IER. In a total of four years of the survey, the last year was the most successful for those who complained about the actions of customs. Appeals against customs actions were partially or completely successful for almost 88% of enterprises that had such experience. This is the largest share in 4 waves of the survey since 2016.

Importers are more acutely aware of the problem of cargo delays from customs control, – said Eugene Angel, a researcher at the IER. “Less than half of importers (45%) compared to almost two thirds of exporters (60%) did not face cargo delays.” At the same time, queues at the border remain the main reason for delays during customs control.

More than 80% of enterprises use e-document circulation at customs. This share has hardly changed over the four years of the survey. Payment orders for payment of duties (80%) are most often submitted in electronic form. Veterinary and phytosanitary certificates are most often submitted in paper format (27% and 22% of respondents, respectively).

The most popular idea among innovations at customs is the idea of joint customs control with neighboring countries. It has significant business support, especially at customs where there are long queues. About 70% evaluate such an idea positively and only 3% – negatively. 

You can read the Short Report “TRADE FACILITATION IN UKRAINE: customs procedures, one-stop window and electronic document management” (eng) here

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