On December 10, 2020, experts from the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting (IER) presented the fourth part of the V Annual Survey of Exporters and Importers on Corruption and “Gray Imports” at Customs. In total, more than 1,000 Ukrainian exporters and importers were interviewed in April-June 2020 with the support of the European Union, the Renaissance Foundation and the Atlas Network.
20.2% of respondents consider corruption and bribery to be a problem in the work of customs. At the same time, enterprises do not consider corruption to be a priority. Corruption ranks fourth on the list after imperfect customs legislation, overestimation of customs value and lack of transparency and openness. According to OECD Executive Director Oksana Kuzіakiv, the study shows that there is a strong link between the level of corruption and the efficiency of customs. “Those customs that have bigger problems with corruption were assessed by the respondents as less effective,” she concluded.
44.2% of respondents consider the presence of “friends” in government important for business success. This is slightly more than in 2018, when there were 39.3% of such respondents. Most often it is about customs and tax authorities, but the importance of “friendship” with them in 2020 has diminished. “The study shows a tendency for importers to treat informal relations with the authorities primarily as a means of protecting business, and exporters – as a means to simplify business,” – said Irina Fedets, a senior researcher at IER.
The return of all goods on the Ukrainian market is “gray imports”. This level has not changed since 2018, but the share of respondents who are aware of this phenomenon in their market has increased significantly. At the same time, “gray imports” are not an acute problem for importers. In 2020, it shares the 9th place among the problems with the problem of poor infrastructure.
More than ¾ all respondents support the criminalization of smuggling. At the same time, 53% support criminal liability without imprisonment, and only 26% propose to introduce criminal liability with imprisonment. According to Ekaterina Yakovleva, Public Finance Management Manager at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Ukraine is the only European country where smuggling of goods is not a criminal offense, causing Ukraine to lose significant budget revenues. “Like most respondents in this study, we believe that it is very important for Ukraine to criminalize the smuggling of all goods on a large scale. Today, this issue is very high on the agenda of cooperation between the EU and Ukraine, “she concluded.
✅ Presentation of speakers (eng) here
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