Kyiv, December 22, 2015. Reforms at the Odesa customs are underway. Yulia Marushevska, Head of the Odesa Customs Office with the State fiscal service of Ukraine presented the results that have already been achieved. Thus, an order was issued defining 30 countries of origin the companies of which can clear their goods using the simplest method – the price stated in the contract. The list is not exhaustive and will be expanded. According to Marushevska the system is already operational and will be applied to the countries with which there is a dialogue on this matter at the state level. “If there is a contract say from Germany and business is providing the certificate of origin and is claiming the price, if we have any doubts we can always get in touch with the German side and get confirmation of the stated price, because they have a working system ready for a dialogue,” explained Head of the Odesa customs office. As a result the total customs value increased by 10% in November and constitutes UAH 1,111 billion.
Marushevska noted that the order on customs clearance of raw materials was signed. The document stipulates that raw materials imported for Ukrainian producers are cleared based on the price stated in the contract. A memorandum lifting groundless checks has also been signed. It prohibits to law enforcement to hold such checks. As a result the number of checks decreased from 1724 over January-October to 20 in November. Grounded checks are now being considered the ones based on an open criminal case, court decision, decision of the Head of the State fiscal service or of his deputy.
Another achievement of the Odesa customs house mentioned by its Head is switching to the e-procurement system ProZorro. It allowed saving 30% of the goods value that the customs house is purchasing for own needs. “Each businessman is now able to see what the Odesa customs house is buying and offer their goods at the competitive price. We will eagerly use this offer,” reassured Marushevska.
She also told about the Open customs space that is to be implemented soon at the ship terminal. Customs clearance will be operated round the clock there and will take not more than an hour. Three-corridor approach is to be exercised: green (customs clearance of the goods that have all the documents written correctly will take 15 minutes), yellow (checks on documents, analytical group follows movement of goods online) and red corridor where the cargo will be checked. The inspector will be recording the check on video. The check is not to exceed one hour. Additionally it is foreseen to introduce an open e-system that is to be integrated into actual databases.
Selection of new inspectors is to start on January 15, 2016. Hundred and thirty inspectors are planned to be hired, they are to undergo transparent selection. Their English-language skills need to be sufficient to communicate with foreigners and process their declarations. The inspectors are also to be tested for general and professional skills, reliability and will be interviewed. They will be also taught to work with the new system. “These are going to be the new people that will become the face of the quality new customs service, the face of the reforms, will become inspiration and successful experiment that customs offices across the country will be able to follow,” noted Head of the Odesa customs office.
Among the problems listed by Marushevska are red tape, inflexible post-Soviet legal basis as well as resistance from brokers majority of whom became a chain in bribing.