Certificate for export of fish products and invoices for UAH 1.5 mn: a story of Albacor LLC

Tax VAT invoice suspension Zaporizhzhya region

One of the biggest fish and seafood importers in Ukraine successfully exporting fish products in the EU and the USA – Albacor LLC turned to the Business Ombudsman Council with two complaints at a time.

The company got a refusal from State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection in Zaporizhia Oblast to issue a health certificate for fish products export. The state consumer protection service reported that nothing was known about the company’s production facilities and in addition noted that the latter ignored its requests.

At the same time, the enterprise got trouble with the tax authority: the State Tax Service did not enforce the court decision on VAT invoice registration amounting to UAH 1.5 mn. Such situation made the company turn to the Council for help to unlock its operation and restore cooperation with international partners as soon as possible.

Taking into account that during 2022-2023 business complaints related to delay in issuing or preparing permissive documentation, particularly, from Zaporizhzhia Departrment of the state consumer protection service, became more frequent and systemic that the Council could make sure of during a separate meeting with Zaporizhia entrepreneurs. The Council sent the state consumer protection service a letter and had a personal meeting with its head. BOC emphasized that due to actions of the regional state cosumer protection service thousands of enterprise’s employees could lose their job, while artificial obstacles to issuing a permission certificate to the company being a well-known of fish products exporter in the world market, negatively affected the image of Ukraine. Besides the Business Ombudsman brought up the complaint for consideration of the Commission for considering problematic business  issues with the state under the President of Ukraine. Simultaneously, a meeting of the Council’s Expert group with the State Tax Service of Ukraine was held, where an issue of non-enforcement of the court decision was discussed.

Eventually, thanks to BOC persistent communication with state bodies the two company’s complaints got positive outcomes: the state cosumer protection service management in Zaporizhia Oblast issued the certificate for fish products export to the company, and STS enforced the court decision on VAT invoice registration for the amount of UAH 1.5 mn.

Note: The complainant gave permission to disclose its title in the case.

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