Zhytomyr Customs completes petroleum products clearance with the Council’s facilitation

Customs issues: Clearance delay/refusal Zhytomyr region

Subject of complaint: Zhytomyr Customs of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine (Zhytomyr Customs)
Complaint in brief: A liquefied gas trader approached the Council. The company complained about being unable to complete the customs clearance of goods due to Zhytomyr Customs officers malpractice.
On March 19, 2019, the Complainant delivered over a hundred tons of petroleum products to Zhytomyr Customs for customs clearance. Having examined the documents, the customs officer sent the goods for customs inspection and product samples collection. According to additional research results, Zhytomyr Customs orally concluded on incorrect classification of goods. To speed up the clearance, customs officers orally advised to independently change the product code and pay a fee, which significantly exceeded payments already made. The company asked to give a reply in writing about the need to change the code but the customs authority refused to. Zhytomyr Customs was slow on the official conclusion, which, according to legislation, had to be made in 4 hours from the beginning of clearance. The state authority did neither release the goods into free circulation under the temporary declaration, nor refused the customs clearance for the company.
The company insisted instead the goods indeed belonged to the group specified in the Declaration of petroleum products group. It was confirmed by supporting documents and the country of product origin certificate the product was released with this very code.  Being sure he was right, the Complainant turned to the Business Ombudsman Council for help.
Actions taken: After examining the circumstances of the case, the Council upheld the Complainant’s position. The investigator asked Zhytomyr Customs in writing to eliminate delays in customs clearance of goods. He noted the customs clearance procedure should last up to 4 hours and after that the customs authority should announce its official decision on the goods.
Result achieved: Zhytomyr Customs accepted the Council’s arguments and completed the customs clearance of the Complainant’s goods immediately after the written request of the Council. The case was closed successfully.

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