The State Customs Service, European experts and business representatives discussed issues of customs valuation

The representatives of the European Business Association, the Business Ombudsman Council, EU4PFM project and Romanian Customs Administration, the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, and the Public Council at the State Customs Service of Ukraine participated in a round table discussion with the leadership of the State Customs Service on topical issues of customs valuation during customs clearance at the Ukrainian border.

Round table discussion on custom valuation

The head of the State Customs Service, Mr. Pavlo Riabikin, opening the meeting, stressed that the leadership of the Service carefully analyzes and monitors the issues that business representatives refer to the customs authorities, higher level bodies and the business ombudsman. The majority of the complaints concerns the customs value of goods. Since the beginning of the year, the State Customs Service alone has received almost 150 of such complaints.

“There are a number of factors that lead to controversial issues and, as a result, to complaints. First, it is the imperfect work of customs brokers, who are responsible for properly filling out the customs declaration and submitting all necessary documents. Second, unfortunately, we must state Insufficient competence of customs officers, – said Mr. Riabikin. – Also in some cases, the conflict may lead to unclear legal grounds for adjusting the customs value and the lack of regulations that would clearly define the rules of action. ”

The business ombudsman, Mr. Marcin Svenczycki, highlighted that since the Council’s establishment 6 years ago, nearly 9,000 business complaints have been received, of which customs issues do not exceed 4 % threshold. Even though, despite the small number of complaints, the Council understands the importance of these issues for the Ukrainian economy. “We have prepared 2 reports on foreign trade and customs procedures. The document contains 18 recommendations to the customs service, of which 3 have been implemented, 4 are under consideration, and 6 are in the process of implementation, ” Mr. Marchin Svenchytskyi said.

With the participation of the Department of Administration of Customs Payments and Customs and Tariff Regulation of the State Customs Service, the participants of the meeting reviewed several practical cases when importers challenged the customs value of goods determined by the State Customs Service. Director of the Department, Mr. Andriy Voitseschuk, stressed that despite the systemic internal and external phenomena that lead to business complaints about the actions of customs, the leadership of the State Customs Service is set for qualitative changes to improve service and create comfortable conditions for business in Ukraine.

“We are taking a number of steps forward to this. E.g., with the help of the EU4PFM program and its key customs expert, Mr. Vytenis Ališauskas, we had the opportunity to conduct a three-day training for heads of the relevant departments and customs value control units of all Customs authorities, which was devoted to the study of European legislation in the field of customs valuation and relevant regulations, “- said Mr. Andriy Voitseschuk. He also noted that the experience gained by his colleagues will help to inform customs agents and brokers about ways of understanding the disputes that arise in the process of customs clearance.

The participants also paid attention to the need for full implementation of the customs post-audit system in Ukraine and noted that this issues together with a number of other pressing issues need to be processed on legislative changes that will expand the functions and powers of the State Customs Service in cooperation with business and international partners for application of the most effective solutions.

“A number of normative acts should be introduced to determine the procedure for officials to control the correctness of customs valuation. The State Customs Service has sent 16 draft regulations to the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine and the President’s Office, which should bring closer the implementation of European customs legislation in Ukraine. In addition, we are constantly working to develop partnerships with associations of importers and manufacturers, which allows us to respond quickly to market processes, “- Mr. Pavlo Riabikin summed up.