Import Licensing in Ukraine: Types of Licenses

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To engage in importing goods into Ukraine, it is necessary to prepare a substantial list of documents. While a large volume of goods passes through customs, it is often necessary to act proactively to ensure that goods cross the customs border on time and smoothly.

In some cases, importers need to ensure they obtain special licensing documents, as importing certain types of goods requires a license.

Naturally, it's not just one license; there are several types. The main types of import licenses are listed in the Law on Foreign Economic Activity. This law provides for types such as special, general, export (import), and one-time licenses. But what do these words mean in practice and how should importers deal with them? We will discuss this in our material.

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Import and Export Licenses: What Importers Need to Know

An export (import) license is a regulatory document for goods listed in the annual list approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the export or import operations of which are subject to licensing.

The list of goods for 2024 was approved by the Resolution.

It includes the following groups:

  • Controlled (ozone-depleting) substances;
  • Goods and equipment that may contain controlled (ozone-depleting) substances;
  • A list of goods, the import of which from the Republic of North Macedonia is subject to licensing within the framework of a tariff quota.

Therefore, importers who wish to engage in the importation or already import the following types of goods into Ukraine need to ensure they obtain an import license in advance:

  • Controlled substances (such as chlorofluorocarbons);
  • Products such as air conditioners, refrigerators, dehumidifiers, or certain types of food products in aerosol packaging containing ozone-depleting substances;
  • Animal and plant origin products, beverages from North Macedonia, etc.

You may also like: Obtaining Licenses for Importing and Exporting Ozone-Depleting Substances

What Documents Are Required to Obtain an Import License for Goods?

To obtain an import/export license for goods, the following documents need to be submitted to the licensing authority:

  • Application in duplicate for obtaining the import license in a specified format.
  • Cover letter.
  • Document guaranteeing the payment of the state fee for issuing the license.
  • Confirmation of the state registration of the economic entity (the instruction specifically requires a copy of the certificate of state registration).
  • Copy of the foreign trade contract (contract) and any existing amendments to it.
  • If necessary, approvals from executive authorities.

The official fee will range from 220 UAH to 780 UAHs.

Special Import License in Ukraine

If there are factors that threaten to harm the national market for goods, the Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade (hereinafter referred to as the Commission), which investigates such threats, may establish certain restrictions on imports to protect Ukrainian producers. Although such intervention in the free economy may be justified under certain conditions, one of the special measures aimed at protecting the national producer is the establishment of import quotas for goods into Ukraine, which were subject to a special investigation.

The introduction of quotas is implemented through the issuance of special licenses.

A special license is a type of license issued for the import of goods that are the subject of investigation and/or the imposition of special measures by the Commission. The issuance of licenses is carried out in the established procedure.

For an importer of goods subject to special measures according to the Commission's decisions, the following documents must be submitted to the Ministry of Economy to obtain a license:

  • Cover letter.
  • Application for a special license.
  • Copy of the foreign trade contract with specifications, additions, and additional agreements that are integral parts of such a contract. The contract must be formulated in accordance with the decisions of the Commission and, if formulated in a foreign language, must be translated into the state language.
  • Duly certified copy of the certificate or other document confirming the origin of the goods.
  • Expert examination report of the goods with determination of the commodity code in accordance with the Ukrainian Classification of Goods for Foreign Economic Activity.

Submitting the mentioned applications and accompanying documents can be done 14 days before the first day of the quota period. However, it is necessary to prepare all documents in advance because once the quota volume is exhausted, the importer will be denied the special license. Additionally, the Procedure stipulates that the date of application submission is not the day documents are sent by mail but the date of receipt at the Ministry of Economy, confirmed by registration in the journal.

Furthermore, a fee for issuing the import (export) license, ranging from 220 UAH to 780 UAH, will need to be paid.

The original copy of the obtained special license and the document confirming the origin of the product must be attached to the customs declaration. These serve as the basis for passing goods through the customs border for which special measures have been applied.

Note: Separate aspects of obtaining a license for the import of raw sugar cane are regulated by a separate law of Ukraine and its implementation provisions. In general, the list of documents for obtaining such a license does not differ from those described above, including the application, cover letter, copy of the foreign trade contract, and confirmation of the state registration of the foreign economic entity.

Open, General, and One-Time Import Licenses in Ukraine

Today, it is quite difficult to provide an example where an open license would be required. It can be said that the Law on Foreign Economic Activity declares its existence, but in practice, it is rarely used for licensing.

The essence of an open license lies in determining the total volume of goods that can be imported or exported within a certain period. The license with the same name is widely used in intellectual property law, but there is no connection between this and import/export activities. The same applies to the general license.

A general license is a license valid permanently for a certain period for the import of specific goods specified in such a license, without restrictions on their quantity and value. In practice, it is unlikely that you will find detailed information about this type of license, the list of documents, the procedure, the timing of its receipt, etc.

Separate provisions on general authorization, and open authorization (in the sense of a license), are contained in the Law regulating the transfer of goods of military purposes. In this law, such authorizations (licenses) are mentioned, primarily concerning the list of goods for import, including weapons, pyrotechnic products, military equipment, and components of military equipment, etc.

Therefore, for those wishing to import goods of military purposes into Ukraine, it will be necessary to refer to both the aforementioned list and the Law of Ukraine. Additionally, our team has successful experience in obtaining import permits in this field.

The one-time (individual) license was previously applied in cases where entities engaged in foreign economic operations violated Ukrainian laws by imposing restrictions, prohibitions, or procedures on imports or exports. In other words, the regime of individual licensing was applied as a sanction based on Article 37 of the Law on Foreign Economic Activity, which has since been excluded from the law. Consequently, the regime of individual licensing is no longer applicable.

Therefore, the draft Law of Ukraine, which aims to amend certain provisions of legislation concerning foreign economic activity, proposes changes that would exclude such concepts as "open license" and "general license." This is because these terms are no longer relevant. It also proposes to eliminate the term "one-time (individual) license" as it is deemed inapplicable due to the exclusion of grounds for its application according to the law.

As a result, for the importation of goods, excluding components, materials, equipment, accessories, special components of military products, etc., the concepts of general and open licenses are not utilized. Issuing an individual (one-time) license is also currently not possible.

You may also like: Who Needs a License for Importing Ozone-Depleting Substances?

Applying for an Import License in Ukraine

Our Pravova Dopomoga legal firm understands the importance of prompt and high-quality document preparation for customs clearance of goods. Therefore, we offer comprehensive services to importers, including obtaining licenses for importing goods. Among our services:

  • Handling the procedure for submitting a package of documents to the relevant state authority and obtaining the license, which is then provided to the client.
  • Assisting in organizing the importation of goods, including those containing freon and other ozone-depleting substances.
  • Providing comprehensive support for importing goods into Ukraine, including the declaration and customs clearance process.
  • Assisting in drafting foreign trade contracts, letters, agreements, etc.

If you're interested in reducing the risk of supply and contract delays, please don't hesitate to contact us!

Didn’t find an answer to your question?

Find everything you need to know about obtaining any import license in Ukraine here.

Publication date: 19/01/2024
Marina Losenko

About author

Name: Marina Losenko

Position: Associate

Education: National Aviation University

Knowledge of languages: Russian, Ukrainian

Email: [email protected]

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Marina Losenko
Kuzava Vlasta
Junior lawyer
Ivanna Stefanchyshena
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