A meeting on the reform of the State Customs Service chaired by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal was held on April 8.
Participating in the event were Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna, Minister of Finance Serhii Marchenko, Head of the State Customs Service Pavlo Riabikin and other officials.
During the meeting, the parties discussed the main directions of work that would bring Ukrainian customs closer to the standards of the European Union.
According to Denys Shmyhal, among the core objectives in the direction of customs reform are to complete the harmonization of Ukrainian legislation with European laws, in particular on the implementation of provisions of the European Union Customs Code, the launch of mechanisms for joint control and exchange of information with EU countries, and introduction of a risk-oriented system of customs procedures. In particular, the Prime Minister said that this would actually mean the creation of "green corridors" for companies having the highest level of trust.
"One of the key tasks facing the leadership of the State Customs Service and the Government is the introduction of a full-fledged system of customs information exchange between Ukraine and the EU and accession to the Convention on the Common Transit Procedure. That would allow for much better control over the customs value of goods and, accordingly, to remove any abuses with underestimation of such value," said the Head of Government.
The participants of the meeting also raised the issue of modernization of checkpoints on the border with the European Union. Denys Shmyhal noted that in March this year the Government had approved an Action Plan for the construction of priority checkpoints for 2021-2023. This plan, in particular, provides for the reconstruction, modernization and technical re-equipment of 25 existing and construction of 10 new checkpoints. Such modernization will begin this year and will significantly improve the technical capabilities of customs.
"The leadership of the customs, the Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and other bodies - all must continue working in harmony and in synergy. Joint coordination will allow us to accelerate change and bring Ukraine’s integration into the EU closer," the Prime Minister stressed.
Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna stressed that Ukraine had fulfilled 100% of all obligations assumed under the Association Agreement with the EU in 2020 regarding the work of the customs service.
The head of the State Migration Service Pavlo Riabikin, for his part, noted that this month the customs was launching a large-scale project on personal testing of employees of the department, which, in particular, will include an integrity check. As a result of such an inspection, all employees will be transferred to a contract form of work with an appropriate probationary period.
In 2020, Ukraine began the process of introducing a New Computerised Transit System (NCTS). NCTS is the technology that underlies the European Convention on the Common Transit Procedure. The Convention is the basis for the movement of goods between 35 countries: EU member states, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, Turkey, Northern Macedonia and Serbia. To accede to the Convention, Ukraine must implement NCTS.
After acceding to the Convention, the customs of the EU and Ukraine will have one transit document in the system. For businesses, the use of one transit declaration to deliver goods from one country to another (from the customs office of departure to the customs office of destination), according to the joint transit procedure, reduces the cost of customs procedures and the time required for their passage.