Customs exempts a Ukrainian fishing ship take from taxation

Customs issues: Clearance delay/refusal Odesa region

Subject of complaint: The State Fiscal Service of Ukraine (SFS), Odesa Customs of the SFS 
Complaint in brief: On September 14, 2018, Interflot company, engaged in ocean fishing of Antarctic krill, applied to the Council. The Customs refused to exempt the Complainant’s take from the Atlantic Ocean from taxation. 
The Ukrainian ship caught crustaceans in the waters near the Antarctic coast and sent them to Ukraine. On August 22, two containers of chilled krill meat arrived in Odesa. According to the Customs Code, products of Ukrainian fishing ships are exempted from taxation. 
However, Odesa Customs refused to exempt the goods from customs duties. In particular, the state authority was concerned that containers arrived in Ukraine not directly from homeport in Cape Town but through the port of Singapore. Accordingly, the Customs questioned the issue of the product origin. In order to confirm the right to apply the preference, the company provided the customs authority with documents confirming catching of krill particularly by the Ukrainian ship. 
However, even this did not convince Odesa Customs. As per September 14, a perishable product remained blocked and could not get into free circulation. It was then that the Complainant appealed to the Business Ombudsman Council. 
Actions taken: The Council’s investigator supported the Complainant in writing in a letter to Odesa Customs of the SFS. During the investigation of the case, the investigator spoke with representatives of the SFS, Odesa Customs of the SFS and Odesa-Central customs post. In particular, he stressed the necessity to comply with the established procedure for reviewing customs declarations. 
Result achieved: With the Council’s facilitation, Odesa Customs accepted the company’s declaration and exempted the goods from the duty. The case was successfully resolved. 

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