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Fish importer receives certificates originals seized by SBU investigator 

08.04.2019

Subject of complaint: Main Investigations Department of the State Security Service of Ukraine 

Complaint in brief:  A fish products importer turned to the Business Ombudsman Council. The Complainant suffered from SBU investigator illicit actions, who seized veterinary (sanitary) certificates originals without a court order. The Complainant obtained certificates duplicates to import frozen fish. However, at the state border, Odesa Regional Service of State Veterinary and Sanitary Control and Supervision suspended the Complainant’s fish products import referring to invalidity of duplicates. 

Actions taken: The Council’s investigator immediately applied to government agencies for clarification and sent a letter to the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumers Protection (SSUFSCP) to explain the difference in the legal nature of veterinary (sanitary) certificates originals and duplicates. The case was also brought up at a meeting of an Expert Group between the BOC and SBU experts within the framework of the signed Memorandum on Cooperation. The Council’s experts stressed that the SBU should comply with the ruling of Shevchenkivskyi District Court of Kyiv city and return veterinary (sanitary) certificates originals to the Complainant. 

Meanwhile, the SSUFSCP confirmed the authenticity of the Complainant’s veterinary (sanitary) certificates duplicates. The investigator soon received a response from the SBU that the investigator had recently received a duly certified decision copy of Shevchenkivskyi District Court of Kyiv city and independently appealed to the Complainant to return document originals. 
 
Result achieved: The importer received veterinary (sanitary) certificates originals. The government agency implemented the Council’s recommendation. The case was successfully closed in favor of the Complainant.