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  • Business considers the work of customs to be effective, but points to the need for change - a survey


    On October 28, 2021, the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting presented the results of the “Sixth Annual Survey of Exporters and Importers. Episode one: Simplification of trade procedures in Ukraine 2021: Customs reform through the eyes of business”. The study was conducted within the project "Support to the Public Initiative" For Fair and Transparent Customs "with the support of the European Union, the Renaissance Foundation and the Atlas Network.

    In 2021, 57.1% of respondents - the largest in the history of the survey - said that customs is effective, but needs to change. The share of enterprises that do not see any problems in the work of customs in 2021 decreased to 20.8% after the maximum value for all six waves of the survey in 2020 - 27.9%. The share of negative assessments increased slightly: customs assessments, as fully effective, "flowed" into positive customs assessments, but with the indication that changes are needed.

    As a result, the value of the customs perception index stopped growing for the first time since 2017 and decreased from 0.43 on a scale from -1 to 1 in 2020 to 0.36 in 2021.

    30.1% of respondents believe that customs reform is going in the right direction. This is three times more than the share of those who consider the direction of customs reform wrong - 8.7% of respondents (10.3% in 2020).

    Most of the customs reform business expects to automate procedures, the ability to submit all documents electronically and strengthen the security functions of customs. Also among the main expectations, the business highlights the introduction of personal liability of customs officers for the damage, reducing the time for customs procedures and strengthening the fight against smuggling.

    Among the problems at customs, respondents most often mention imperfect customs legislation and deliberate, in their opinion, overestimation of the customs value of goods.

    Oksana Kuzyakiv, Executive Director of the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting and Project Team Leader, said, “The balance between positive and negative assessments of customs reform is positive. The share of those who believe that the direction is right predominates. As for the expectations of business from the customs reform, the business expects those measures that will reduce its costs, first of all - time. Business expects reforms to be able to do business more efficiently, use time and resources more efficiently. ”

    Vladyslav SUVOROV, Deputy Head of the State Customs Service of Ukraine, noted the high proportion of respondents who assess the work of customs as effective or generally effective: "This year's survey confirmed that we still have a lot of work ahead, on the one hand, as certain indicators . At the same time, it is quite pleasant to note that 78% of respondents rated customs as effective or generally effective. But that doesn't mean we have to stop. "

    Oleksandr Moksalenko, Director of the Customs Policy Department of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, stressed the importance of research on business expectations and its assessments, especially with regard to legislation. He also spoke about the transition of customs from the fiscal function and filling the state budget to the security function. "As an example, a year ago we introduced a general declaration of arrival. Today, the declaration has been implemented "softly", but the security risk system has begun to evolve. Businesses will be required to complete the declaration more carefully. Until now, there were no meticulous things. This declaration makes it possible to analyze the movement of goods for security risks by analytical methods, "Moskalenko said.

    Kyrylo Nominas, Inspector of the Business Ombudsman Council, spoke about the measures taken by the Business Ombudsman Council to combat one of the biggest problems in the work of customs, according to the survey - the overestimation of the customs value of goods. He cited statistics on court appeals of adjustment of customs value: in 2018 - 68% of decisions in favor of declarants (plaintiffs), 2019 - 83%, 2020 - 91%. "Very often, adjustments in customs value, in our opinion, occur unreasonably and where they should not occur. But, in general, a positive assessment of business is very important to us. If the Ministry of Finance and customs move at this pace in the implementation of the action plan adopted in 2020, it will be very good for business. This is obvious, "Kyrylo Nominas emphasized.

    Vitianis Alishauskas, a key international customs expert of the EU Public Finance Management Program in Ukraine (EU4PFM), gave a presentation on the new role of customs in line with the EU Customs Code. He told about the main customs instruments: Automated risk management system, customs audit, AEO and NCTS and what benefits business receives from them.


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