Freon import license: refrigeration equipment, heat pumps to Ukraine

Cost of services:

from 30 000 UAH
The International Business License
License for import
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In April 2023, we had a Client who had a contract to buy a large quantity of refrigeration equipment for import into Ukraine. 

Since this equipment, including air conditioners, contained a substance called freon, a special import license was required. The Client initially tried to get the license themselves but faced a refusal from the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources.

As the goods were supposed to arrive at customs, but would not be allowed to proceed without the necessary license, this situation posed a significant risk of financial loss due to delays. Therefore, the Client urgently needed to obtain the import license.

Today, we'll explain how to get the required license for importing freon and other goods that demand an import license.

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What to do if you were refused a freon import license?

Is it possible to obtain an urgent Freon Import License?

The process involves submitting documents to the Ministry of Economy, which then forwards some of them to the Ministry of Ecology for their assessment on whether to grant permission for importing these substances and in what quantities. The Ministry of Economy ultimately reviews the entire application, including contracts and invoices, to make the final decision.

In the past, this procedure used to take about 30 days, as required by the law. However, at the beginning of 2023, there was a temporary halt in license issuance due to some regulatory adjustments. 

The issuance of licenses resumed around March, but it created a high demand. Consequently, this led to a significant backlog at the government offices, resulting in delays.

To speed up the process, engaging a qualified lawyer can be highly beneficial. Properly preparing and organizing the documents can reduce the license acquisition time to about 3-4 weeks. It also helps avoid potential delays from resubmitting incorrect or incomplete paperwork.

The refusal from the Ministry of Ecology left the Client not just with the task of starting the application process anew but also confused about the reason given. The ministry referred to the "Law on Regulation of Economic Activities with Ozone-Depleting Substances and Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases," stating that only individuals registered as controlled substances operators in the Unified State Register have the right to handle such substances.

This explanation seemed strange to the Client because they knew they didn't fall under the category of controlled substances operators, as defined by the law. The Client is simply an importer of refrigeration equipment and is not subject to the registration requirements mentioned. In fact, for most cases involving obtaining an import license for goods containing ozone-depleting substances, there's no need to be included in the Unified State Register of Controlled Substances Operators. 

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What to do if you've received a refusal for the Freon Import License?

After assuring the Client that they didn't need any additional registrations, our team of lawyers started examining the Client's documents to identify the reasons for the refusal.

A critical aspect of the process involves thoroughly examining the foreign trade contract (agreement), as we previously discussed its requirements in detail. Alongside the contract, any related attachments and invoices (pro forma invoices) are also submitted.

All documents must be presented in Ukrainian. If any are in a different language, they must be accompanied by an official translation. The Client faced some challenges with discrepancies between the contract and the specifications regarding the quantity and pricing of the goods. We carefully reviewed the documents and guided in aligning them. Then we prepared the necessary application and other required documents for the Client's signature and submitted everything to obtain the import license.

After submitting the documents, if everything is in order, the process with the Ministry of Economy typically takes about two weeks. The next step involves dealing with the Ministry of Ecology, which can be the most bureaucratic part as it involves multiple people and departments, including the meticulous legal team. However, with well-prepared documents, the legal review won't be prolonged.

If you need help obtaining an import license, don't hesitate to contact us. 

It's advisable to engage a professional lawyer right from the beginning to handle the document submission properly, rather than risking your own time and resources due to potential issues at the border.

You can find the cost of the Import License here.

Check out the cost of import support services in Ukraine here.

Publication date: 09/06/2023
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
Assistant of the Lawyer