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CUSTOMS CLEARANCE IN

(import, export, customs control,main documents, mandatory customs payments, customs regimes)

Customs control and customs clearance general overview. All imported/exported goods and means of transportation (road, rail, maritime or air) crossing the customs border of are subject to customs and border control, which is carried out by the customs authorities in order to ensure that the customs rules and other applicable provisions are observed. There are around 80 customs points across Ukrainian border - all international air and sea ports, railway and road border crossing points. Every customs point covers a particular geographical area. For vehicles to avoid repeated customs checks when crossing borders, the TIR system is applied. The goods are only checked and sealed at the first customs office and the vehicle is then waived through by customs authorities until it reaches its final destination.

Goods entering the territory of Ukraine must go through three main customs procedures before they can be cleared: 1) customs control; 2) customs formalities; 3) payment of mandatory customs duties. Customs clearance can be a lengthy process, a speed of which depends mainly on the nature and quantity of the goods, completeness and correctness of the documents submitted by the importer.

Customs clearance is a set of procedures with a view to acknowledging the compliance of goods with customs requirements and to obtaining permission for the free circulation of the goods within . These customs procedures are carried out by the customs authorities and are regulated by the Customs Code of Ukraine, the International Convention on Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Kyoto Convention), to which acceded in October 2006, resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and orders of the State Customs Service of Ukraine.

The goods are under customs control from the moment of their cross-over through the Ukrainian customs border until the fulfilment of all customs formalities. The clearance process begins from the moment of delivery of the goods at the place of destination. The importer has 3 hours from the moment of arrival of the goods at the place of destination to declare the commodity to the customs authorities.

Customs clearance is carried out by the customs authorities, to which the Cargo Custom Declaration was submitted. That is the in-house customs by place of the accreditation of the subject of foreign economic activity. Accreditation means an order of steps with a view to obtaining a record card, which authorises a business entity for customs clearance. A representative office has the right to be the importer of goods and carry out the customs clearance. Declaring commodities outside a customs office where a legal entity is registered requires formal approval from the customs authorities (approval letter). Customs clearance of goods imported into by residents may be carried out by the customs authority where the buyer of the goods is located or by the customs authority in the point of entry at the customs border of .

For example, alcohol and tobacco goods imported into can only be cleared through Sevastopol, Mariupol or Ilichevsk ports.Customs clearance is usually done by a broker acting on the importer’s behalf or by the importer himself.After documentation is submitted, necessary payments are made and the shipment/documentation is inspected, the shipment is cleared and can be released to consignee.

Main documents for customs clearance. The following documents are to be submitted to the customs authorities for customs clearance: 1) Cargo Custom Declaration, 2) a copy of license, if goods are subject to licensing, 3) all permits issued by a state authority, if the goods are subject to special customs control by a certain body, 4) Customs value declaration, 5) commercial and shipping documents. The importer must within a ten day period render to the customs authorities the full package of documents.

Declaring of any export-import operation is performed by issuance and submission to the Customs authority a special form - Cargo Custom Declaration. The Declaration is a unified document, which provides necessary description of the cargo, its price and customs value, information about exporter (importer), which is a party to the supply contract, broker (declarant), consignee, customs authority which performed the customs clearance, means of transportation, a list of all commercial and shipping documents related to the cargo, describes payment of all custom duties and charges related to the export-import of the commodity.

The CCD must be completed and signed by the importer or his agent and is to be rendered together with the electronic copy. The CCD is not applicable if import is lower than a certain level (currently EUR 100), except for excisable goods. If the company imports on a regular basis from the same supplier under the same trading terms, it can use the Periodic Customs Declaration to save time completing individual customs forms.

The duly executed CCD must contain the following stamps: "checked", "paid", "under customs control". All the pages of the CCD are to be affixed with a personalized number seal of the customs inspector; CCD is given a registration number consisting of 16 symbols. Upon performance of all these conditions, the CCD is deemed to be valid and duly executed.

Customs value declaration - if the value of imports is over 5000 euro, the importer has to present to the customs authorities a Customs Value Declaration. This document determines the amount of customs duty and import taxes payable.

Certificates of control bodies - some goods are subject to control before they can be cleared. For example, the import of animals is controlled by the issue of animal health certificates and veterinary inspections; the import of plants is controlled by the issue of phytosanitary certificates and may be subject to phytosanitary inspection if the plants are an endangered species; the import of vehicles containing hazardous chemical compounds and agents is subject to ecological inspection; the import of precious and semi-precious stones is subject to gemological inspection, etc.

Certificates of Origin and Certificates of Conformity - needed for some consignments such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, mineral oil, bicycles, cars, toys, etc., before they can pass through customs and into free circulation in .

Most common commercial and shipping documents:

1)Contract;

2)Invoices;

3)Packing Lists;

4)Certificates of Origin;

5)Receipts for payment of customs duties and charges.

6)Necessary certificates (conformity; safety; veterinary; etc.);

7)Transport documents (bill of lading, airway bill, railway consignment note, CMR, etc).

The goods may be placed at 0 bonded warehouse to wait for some documents, e.g. licenses or certificates, thus suspending import procedure. The importer should only submit the documents, which identify the goods and vehicles and confirm legal grounds for them.

Mandatory customs payments. Importers must pay an import duty, value added tax and, if applicable, excise tax and customs charges:

a)Import Duty – rates on every import product is defined by the Customs Tariff of Ukraine, according to which the import duty is charged as a percentage of the value of goods and is known as "ad valorum" duty. There are 3 rates of import duty under the Customs Tariff: 1) privileged rates of duty - applicable to all WTO members; 2) preferential rates of duty - applicable to all countries, which together with are members of free trade zones; and 3) full rates - applicable to goods originating from other countries, or where the country of origin is not determined.

b)VAT - rate is 20%, as levied against taxable turnover, which does not include VAT.Taxable turnover for import VAT is calculated as customs value of the goods, including customs duties and any applicable excise taxes.Import VAT is due and payable at the same time AS customs duties are being assessed (with a potential thirty-day extension made at the discretion of the customs office).

c)Excise Tax - Parliament of Ukraine establishes the list of goods (products), which are subject to the excise tax.The list of excisable goods includes caviar, shrimp, chocolate, coffee, alcoholic beverages, beer, tobacco products, cars, automobile tires, petrol and diesel fuel, weapon, jewellery, home electronics (microwaves, CD players, TV-sets, Video- and audio devices), clothing (fur coats and leather jackets), office furniture.Excise duty rates range from 10 to 200 percent of the declared customs value. Excise duty rates are expressed as a percentage of the declared customs value, plus customs duties and customs charges paid for imported products. Payment should be made in Ukrainian currency at the Ukrainian National Bank exchange rate effective on the day of payment.

d)Customs Charges - there are only 2 customs charges in : for storing a cargo at the customs warehouse and for work of customs inspector in non-working time (18 p.m. – 9 a.m.), during weekend or official state holidays.

Conclusion. Foreign exporters who intend to import goods into should understand the system and may find 's import regime complicated, especially, for inexperienced traders. For more information or advice, contact us through www.kpl.net.ua

Author: Oleksandr Tereshchenko

Copyright. Marketplace UkrRos LLC
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