An official opinion on the possibility of Ukraine’s joining the Convention on a Common Transit Procedure is expected in July, according to DG TAXUD

The final assessment mission of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD) has completed its assessment of Ukraine’s readiness to accede to the Convention on a Common Transit Procedure and the Convention on the Simplification of Formalities in Goods and the possibility to apply the NCTS internationally.

“European integration remains one of the main priorities of the Ministry of Finance, including the introduction of European customs practices. At the national level, Ukraine has been applying the joint transit procedure since November 2020. Even under conditions of martial law due to the armed aggression of the Russian Federation, all necessary steps have been taken to join the system of international application of a common transit procedure and the NCTS. Therefore, we have every reason to hope for a positive opinion of the mission,” said Yuriy Draganchuk, Deputy Minister of Finance of Ukraine for European Integration.

An official opinion on the possibility of inviting Ukraine to join the Convention on a Common Transit Procedure is expected in July 2022. After the accession, Ukrainian businesses will be able to enjoy the same benefits and simplifications of joint transit as businesses in 35 European countries that are parties to the Convention. In addition, when moving goods in common transit, it will be possible to apply the principle of “one vehicle — one declaration — one financial guarantee”.

“The monitoring mission acknowledged the progress made by Ukraine in preparing for the accession to the Convention on a Common Transit Procedure despite of the ongoing war. We welcome the achievements in the implementation of the new transit system on a national scale, technical readiness to start international application of the NCTS, implementation of IT processes for the common transit system and the commencement of the implementation of the NCTS Phase 5. The latter provides confidence that, notwithstanding the hostilities, Ukraine can fulfill the requirements for the transition to the NCTS Phase 5 synchronously with all countries of the Convention. The mission concludes that the country is ready to access the Convention and it will recommend to the Technical Committee of the Convention to grant Ukraine with the membership status,” said Michael Rathje, Head of the Transit Sector / TIR, Customs Policy Unit, DG TAXUD.

The mission worked online on June 23–24. It included representatives of DG TAXUD and three countries party to the Convention on a Common Transit Procedure (Croatia, Turkey and the United Kingdom), who also participated in the previous assessment missions covering Ukraine’s apparent progress over six months.

Looking back, the previous assessment mission confirmed Ukraine’s full technical readiness to join the Convention. This opinion was disclosed in early June based on the findings of Conformance Testing. Ukraine’s experience resulting from its application of the investigation procedure of the common transit procedure violations and registration of arrivals different from those declared by the customs (so-called diversions) has also been recognised an advantage. The Ukrainian side presented an IT security plan to deal with emergencies.

“Introduction of a common transit procedure and accession to the Convention are one of the preconditions for Ukraine’s accession to the EU. Therefore, the preparations for Ukraine’s joining the Convention, assisted by the European partners, are aimed at expediting Ukraine’s accession to the EU,” said Vytenis Ališauskas, an EU4PFM International Key Expert on Customs.

“For us, both the assistance of international partners in preparing the system and organizing the process of supporting common transit and the very fact of conducting an assessment mission at this time, during hostilities, are important. This gives us confidence that, despite the war, our partners are serious about Ukraine’s intention to join the Union transit procedure,” said Vladyslav Suvorov, Deputy Head of the State Customs Service.

Representatives of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, the State Customs Service, the Office for Reform Support under the Ministry of Finance, the National Bank of Ukraine, experts from the EU Public Finance Management Support Program (EU4PFM), business representatives and guarantors took part in the mission’ work.