Ukraine To Drastically Overhaul Customs Processes

Moving containers through Ukraine ports will be significantly simpler in 2016 as a result of an agreement between the country’s Ministry of Infrastructure and State Fiscal Service. The agreement is expected to cut transit times, reduce paperwork, and create savings for shippers in an effort to perk up the country’s sagging container trade. The new policy will allow customs clearance to begin before the arrival of a container vessel at a Ukraine port, according to Minister of Infrastructure. Risk-free goods will be able to immediately receive all customs clearance before the arrival of a container ship to port. The number of regulatory bodies that a shipper must deal with when importing and exporting from Ukraine will be reduced sharply from between eight and 10 to one or two, while a single window and electronic documentation will also be established.

The changes will take effect sometime in the first quarter and reduce container handling time in ports to 30 minutes from the current two to three hours. All told, the government expects that the changes will save shippers between 30 and 35 percent of their regular costs. The program will be rolled out in two stages, with the first applying to transshipment and exports, while the second stage will see the program expanded to imports. Ukraine hopes that the cheaper and more efficient processes will help foster a recovery in the country’s struggling container trade.