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The Council helps speed up customs clearance of imported flowers

19.08.2019

Complainee: Volyn Customs of the State Fiscal Service (Volyn Customs) 

Complaint in brief: The Council received a complaint from a large Ukrainian importer of flowers. The company complained about a delay in customs clearance of goods by Volyn Customs. 
 
According to the Complainant, customs clearance of goods became longer recently – customs officers especially carefully and several times examined the boxes and pallets on which the flowers were transported. Considering that flowers are a very perishable commodity, long interruptions for the company created serious problems. One of the examples provided by the Complainant was a day’s delay of a batch of tulips from the Netherlands at the request of Volyn Customs. According to the company, similar situations happened several times a week. Moreover, after long examinations, customs officers released cars without finding any violations.
 
In order to avoid further losses from delays, the company sought assistance from the Business Ombudsman Council. 
 
Actions taken:
The Council’s investigator examined the circumstances of the case. She promptly addressed the Head of Volyn Customs of the State Fiscal Service and asked in writing to prevent possible violations of the complainant's legitimate interests as a result of lengthy examinations. The investigator stressed duration of customs clearance of goods should not exceed 4 hours. She further emphasized the Complainant's losses caused by the delay in customs clearance were disproportionate to the potential danger of the imported goods.
 
Result achieved: Volyn Customs heeded the Council’s request – numerous long-lasting examinations stopped. According to the company, all further deliveries of goods were successfully cleared. The complainant thanked the Council for assistance. The case was closed successfully.