Who needs a licence to import goods that contain or may contain ozone-depleting substances?

Cost of services:

from 30 000 UAH
The International Business License
License for import
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In April 2021, we were contacted by a Client who was going to import refrigeration units to Ukraine. In fact, it had done it without any problems before, but this time the Client was asked for a license to import the goods at customs, or a confirmation that the license for importing the goods was not needed.

What happened? On 27.06.2020 the Law of Ukraine “On regulation of economic activity with ozone-depleting substances and fluorinated greenhouse gases” came into force. According to clause 9 of part 1 of Article 1 of this Law, ozone-depleting substances and fluorinated greenhouse gases are controlled substances. And on December 28, 2020 the Cabinet of Ministers adopted the Decree, which approved the list of exported and imported goods that are subject to licensing. These lists are updated annually. Thus, in order to import most of the equipment that contains refrigerants into Ukraine, it is necessary to obtain an Import License.

The Client heard that the license is unessential and that it can obtain the appropriate letter-explanation from the Ministry of Economy that the substances present in the equipment are not subject to control.

The Client contacted us to understand which option would be more beneficial and whether we could obtain the necessary document quickly in order to minimize its losses from delays at customs.

You may also like: How to Get a License to Export Ozone-Depleting Substances?

Importing goods that contain or may contain ozone-depleting substances?

What document do you need to transport refrigerants and equipment containing them?

Not all equipment is subject to licensing. The above-mentioned CMU Decree has Annexes 2 and 3, which specify the UKTVED (Ukrainian Classification of Goods for Foreign Economic Activity) codes of goods and equipment, which may contain ozone-depleting substances and fluorinated gases.

But even if your product is included in the list of substances that may potentially pose a threat to the environment, the final decision whether these substances are really dangerous or not is made by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine. It provides the appropriate recommendations to the Ministry of Economic Development.

Why are all sorts of inquiries and “reply letters” not working? In the case of importing devices that may contain ozone-depleting substances, the degree of their danger and threat to the environment is determined by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources. The Ministry of Economy cannot assess the level of danger to the environment on its own. Therefore, when licensing the import of ozone-depleting substances and devices that contain them, you must submit two copies of applications to the Ministry of Economy, one of which is sent to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, which must, within three business days, report on the grounds for refusal to issue an approval or issue an approval to issue a license within 10 days.

When the Ministry of Economy responds to requests such as “give explanations or we need a license”, then, firstly, it must respond to such a request within 5 business days and it physically does not have time to obtain approval from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, and secondly, the legislation provides for issuing this approval, provided that there is an application for a license.

Thus, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources can only give a brief formal clarification, which will have no effect at customs. 

Another client was going to import heat pumps. He was also told to get the same license. Why? The thing is that the above-mentioned Resolution has several additions (annexes): 

  • Volumes of quotas of goods, the export of which is subject to licensing;

  • The list of controlled substances (ozone-depleting substances and fluorinated greenhouse gases), exports and imports of which are subject to licensing

  • List of goods and equipment that may contain controlled substances (ozone-depleting substances and fluorinated greenhouse gases), the export and import of which are subject to licensing. 

Heat pumps belong to the third list of goods. That is, they MAY have controlled substances. But not the fact that they do. The customer was sure that no ozone depleting substances were there, so a note to that effect would suffice. But as we have repeatedly said, the Ministry of Economic Affairs is in no hurry to give answers to the request for a license or not. This is also due to the fact that sometimes it is impossible to determine right away. Only the Ministry of Natural Resources can determine for sure, and for this purpose it needs to provide the appropriate documents. 

Therefore, the Ministry of Economy often just says: apply for a license, and we will look at it. In the case of heat pumps, we submitted a complete list of documents to obtain a license. The best confirmation that the license is not needed is the refusal to issue a license on this basis. Just a heads up: if the denial is on the basis that the documents are not properly drafted, that is not a reason not to get a license. 

Our client received a license, and was able to import a batch of heat pumps into Ukraine without delays at customs. We also accompanied this process with the help of our customs broker, providing the service of the declaration of import of goods.

So, how can you transport equipment that may contain ozone-depleting substances? 

The most effective way to obtain the document required by customs is to apply for and obtain a license or to be denied a license on the grounds that a license is not needed for these goods. But you should keep in mind that the probability of getting a refusal due to incorrectly completed documents and/or incomplete package of documents is higher than due to the fact that the given goods are not subject to licensing.

Many people do not know that some of the documents must be stapled, including one copy of the application, and the second copy must be simply attached. To say nothing of the correct completion of the application. 

You can avoid refusal on formal grounds or due to the incorrect completion of documents by contacting a specialist who will take care of getting you the right document on the first try.

Therefore, we suggested our Client apply for a license, which advice it followed. And although it is longer than filing a request, if the documents are filled out correctly, the answer of the licensing authority will be clear and sufficient for the unhindered transportation of goods across the custom border of Ukraine.

Do you need help with transporting certain goods across the border safely and without delay? We’ll tell you what documents you need and will obtain them in advance.

Didn’t find an answer to your question?

Everything about the procedure of obtaining an Import License in Ukraine here.

Publication date: 29/06/2021
Marina Losenko

About author

Name: Marina Losenko

Position: Associate

Education: National Aviation University

Knowledge of languages: Russian, Ukrainian

Email: [email protected]

Marina Losenko is a lawyer of the company, specializing in corporate law and intellectual property law.

Marina has extensive experience of registration and dissolution of enterprises, charities and non-governmental organizations, representative offices of foreign companies as well as formalization of changes to registration information of the entities.

For quite a long time she has been working in the field of licensing and obtained licenses for different types of business activities including sale of medicines (license for activities of drugstores); wholesale of pesticides and agrochemicals; activities with scrap; activities with hazardous wastes; operations with scrap of precious metals and gemstones; private security services; transportation; tour services; use of redio frequency resource; IPTV services, etc.

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Marina Losenko
Kuzava Vlasta
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