October 10, 2018

Single Window for International Trade

On 4 October 2018, Law of Ukraine No. 2530-VIII On amendments to the Customs Code of Ukraine and some other laws of Ukraine regarding the introduction of the single window mechanism and optimization of the control procedures for the movement of goods across the customs border of Ukraine came into force.

The Law introduces a “single window” mechanism that shall be used in interaction among applicants, their representatives, customs authorities, and other public authorities with respect to the movement of goods or vehicles to be used for commercial purposes across the customs border of Ukraine. The introduction of the “single window” mechanism at the legislative level is aimed at relieving the pressure on businesses and improving the Ukraine’s position in the Doing Business rankings.

For this purpose, the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine establishes the Single Window for International Trade unified public information web portal, which must start operation within six months after the entry into force of the Law. Single Window for International Trade will be available around the clock, with the State Fiscal Service being responsible for its administration. The State Fiscal Service of Ukraine will be liable, among other things, for determining codes of goods in accordance with the Ukrainian Classification of Goods of Foreign Economic Activity (UCG FEA), the transportation of which across the customs border of Ukraine is subject to prohibitions or restrictions, as well as for keeping record and publishing the list of such prohibitions and restrictions on the State Fiscal Service website.

The documents for goods crossing the border must be submitted electronically only once; they must also bear an electronic signature. A paper form is no longer required. However, documents containing confidential information may still be submitted in a paper form.

To simplify border control procedures, the number of border control authorities will also be reduced:

  • Customs officers will now check permits which used to be checked by the State Environmental Inspection officers;
  • Officers of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine will conduct inspections of the level of radioactive contamination of vehicles and goods imported into the customs territory of Ukraine, which used to be conducted by the State Environmental Inspection officers. Environmental Inspection representatives will be invited only if the mobile devices of the Border Guard Service officers show that the background radiation exceeds the threshold limits;
  • Abolition of sanitary and epidemiological and ecological control of goods crossing the customs border.

Now customs officers and border guards are the ones who will interact with applicants at customs on a regular basis. They should provisionally examine the goods and then decide within two hours whether to admit the goods into the customs territory of Ukraine or to invite experts for further examination. If experts are involved, they must arrive without delay and, within two hours, make one of the following decisions: to admit or refuse the admittance of goods into the customs territory of Ukraine or to order an inspection/sampling/additional processing. The information about all decisions made in relation to the goods must be recorded in the single window information system.

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