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  • About 40% of exporters and importers benefited from the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement


    On November 20, 2020, experts from the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting (IER) in the frameworks of European presented the third part of the V annual survey of exporters and importers, which concerned the assessment of EU-Ukraine Association Agreement,barriers and participation in business associations. In total, more than 1,000 Ukrainian exporters and importers were interviewed in April-June 2020 with the support of the European Union, the International Renaissance Foundation and the Atlas Network.

    39.3% of importers and exporters positively assessed the impact of the Association Agreement on their business. This is about 10 percentage points higher than the previous three waves of the survey. At the same time, the share of those who reported losses has not changed dramatically since 2016 and is only 5.6%. About half of the enterprises did not feel any changes.

    The highest assessmentsto Agreement were given by enterprises from Western and Central Ukraine, in particular in Lviv, Rivne and Kyiv oblasts. The lowestscores dominated in the South, especially in Kherson and Odessa oblasts.

    “The positive assessment of the received benefits from the Association Agreement has increased. However, in 2020, entrepreneurs are less optimistic, compared to the results of 2016-2017, about the potential impact of the Agreement in the next five years",- said Eugene Angel, IER Research Fellow.

    “Traditionally, big businesses have greater positive impact from the Agreement than the SME sector. It is necessary to pay attention to the creation of opportunities provided by the Agreement for small and micro businesses", - said Oksana Kuziakiv, IER Executive Director.

    8% of exporters and 19% of importers reported to have faced barriers to trade – it is the lowest share since 2016. The main barrier to exports are the lack of simplified rules for determining the origin of goods and the long wait for customs clearance. The main obstacles to imports are non-transparent customs valuation, the complexity of customs and tax legislation, and high rates of customs duties.

    The Internet remains the most popular source of information on foreign trade regulation for enterprises. More than 98% of businesses are aware of most government websites and most often use State Customs Service and Tax Service websites.34% of exporters know about the Export Promotion Office. The visibility of the Office increased by 6 percentage points, compared to 2018. The average score of the Office activity has hardly changed and is 3.4 points (from “0” to “5”).

    In 2020, almost a third (30.9%) of enterprises participating in foreign economic activity were members of business associations. This proportion decreased with each wave of the study. Among exporters and importers, most often the large and medium-sized businesses or industrial enterprises are members of business associations.

    Reference information:

    The survey was conducted by the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting in April-June 2020. It was attended by 1 thousand 45 enterprises engaged in foreign economic activity. The survey was conducted within the project "Support to the public initiative" For fair and transparent customs " with the financial support of the European Union, the International Renaissance Foundation and Atlas Network. 

    The first part of the report on customs reform is available here. The second part – here.

    Contact Olena Rubanik for more information: +38 (097) 352 04 11 or

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