Ukraine’s customs reform scheduled for 2023

In 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is planning to carry out customs reform that will include six steps.
The relevant statement was made by Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in an interview with Forbes Ukraine, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“I will press for this reform to be implemented this year. We have already agreed with the President of the European Commission on the gradual opening of access to shared databases,” Shmyhal told.

In his words, customs reform requires the implementation of six steps. Firstly, the introduction of joint checkpoints and a shared database with EU countries, namely Poland.

“When the databases of Poland and Ukraine contain the same information, everything will be aligned. Smuggling-related corruption will reduce by 98%,” Shmyhal noted.

Secondly, the digitalization of all processes and the introduction of a queue management system. The third and fourth steps provide for rotations at customs every three months and the increase in the number of checkpoints.

“The more checkpoints, the less the load, fewer queues, less corruption. We are already actively working on this. For the first time in 24 years, Ukraine opened two new checkpoints with Romania,” Shmyhal stressed.

Two more steps cover a risk-oriented approach and the installation of functional scanners across all customs checkpoints.

“Without structural reform, personnel changes will not be effective. During the war, we already started the changes. We are currently negotiating the extension of economic visa-free regime, i.e. duty-free and quota-free trade, until late or mid-2024,” Shmyhal added.

A reminder that, on February 1, 2023, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dismissed the management of the Ukrainian State Customs Service. Law enforcement officers are working to reveal shady schemes at customs.

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