Cabinet's decision on single customs cost of imported goods could trigger sanctions against Ukrainian exports - EBA
The decision of the Ukrainian government to apply average prices and benchmarks of the customs value of imported goods could be taken by the international community as the application of indicative prices, and could result in the application of trade sanctions against Ukrainian exports by other countries-members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the European Business Association (EBA) has said.
"The bright example is the case of Panama with the participation of the EU, the U.S. and other countries as third parties against Columbia, which used indicative prices to define the customs value of goods," EBA Executive Director Anna Derevyanko said.
Derevyanko said that when Ukraine joined the WTO it took on an obligation not to apply mandatory lowest rates available on any imported goods and not to refer to other prices or the fixed appraisal with the purpose of appraising imported goods.
She said that since September 19, the EBA has continued to receive claims from companies-importers which failed to pass customs clearance for their cargo at Ukrainian ports, including in Odesa.
"These are alarming signals, which point at a failure of the normal operation of the customs offices," she said.
Derevyanko said that the association asked the customs offices to help companies to pass customs clearance, which led to problems faced by companies being resolved.
"We understand that goods cannot pass customs clearance manually, with the help of personal requests," she said.
She said that companies-importers have asked for cabinet resolution No. 724 to be amended and they do not support the concept of defining the custom value of goods using indicative prices, as the customs value shown by customs filers would not correspond to indicative prices, and in practice it would be a ground for refusal to approve the declaration by customs offices.
Another reason why importers are not satisfied with the cabinet resolution is that preference would be given to grey importers, who use various tools to minimize tax payments. They would form "contract" prices on imported goods, taking into account indicative prices, while companies which work transparently would have to explain the reasons why the contract prices do not correspond to indicative prices.