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Andrew Brylev


The Customs Code of Ukraine from 13.03.2012, № 4495-VI (hereinafter - CC of Ukraine, CCU) enforced on June 1, 2012, provides such a category of foreign economic activity agents, as the authorized economic operator. Having specified status, company can apply for various benefits during customs clearance of export / import of goods and means of transport for commercial use. Currently, however, it is not possible to get the status of economic operator for objective reasons. But first things first.

Who can become an economic operator?

According to Art. 14 of CC of Ukraine, an authorized economic operator could be an enterprise which:

- At the time of applying to customs authority have been performing FEA for three years (otherwise, it must give customs authorities a written consent for an unscheduled inspections within six months from certificate obtaining);

- Does not have defaults on payment of customs duties and penalties at the time of applying to customs;

- Has no tax arrears;

- In the last three years has no fact to make accountable company’s officials with administrative responsibility for violation of customs regulations;

- Has a system of goods’ accounting to compare documents and information to be provided by customs authorities during customs control and customs clearance with documents and information about its business activities;

- Has no outstanding liabilities for customs duties according to customs authority at the time of documentary checkouts.

At the same time, we should draw attention to the fact that, in accordance with CC of Ukraine, an individual entrepreneur can not be an authorized economic operator.

What confirms status of authorized economic operator?

According to Art. 12 of CC of Ukraine, status of company being an authorized economic operator can be confirmed by one of three certificates:

- A certificate of safety and security;

- Certificate for simplification of customs procedures;

- The so-called combined certificate (it combines safety and security certificate and a certificate for simplification of customs procedures).

Privileges given to company-holder of certificate are listed in the following table.

Certificate name


Certificate of safety and security

- Reduced amount of information to be provided to customs upon arrival or departure from territory of Ukraine for goods and vehicles for commercial use

- Temporary storage under customs control of goods and vehicles for commercial purposes in premises, on public and private areas of economic operator

- Removal of customs security without customs authorization

- Sending goods from premises, open and covered areas of economic operators, without presenting to customs authorities

Certificate for simplification of customs procedures

- Implementation of customs control in matter of priority

- Placing of goods in temporary storage of closed type without permission from customs authorities

- Guarantee waiver for internal customs transit of goods (except for excisable goods), if goods are declared by economic operator

- Customs clearance of goods at the economic operator facilities

- Provision of single customs declaration, if over a period of time goods are imported / exported repeatedly by one person according to single foreign trade contract

Holder of "combined" certificate obtains all of the above benefits. In turn, the order to use of these benefits for economic operators is approved by Ordinance of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine № 447 from 21.05.2012

Given privileges are related to economic operators who declare goods themselves or entrust it to do on their own behalf by third parties. Also, having certificate and under exercising their rights, economic operators can open and operate a bonded warehouse, temporary bonded warehouse or a customs cargo complex.

How can businesses get status of authorized economic operator?

According to Art. 13 of CC of Ukraine, certificate is issued by customs at location of company (that is, by custom, which accredits company as a subject of foreign trade). At first glance, set of documents for certification is minimal: statement and application form. This is where the fun begins.

First, according to the above article, application form, statement, certificate, and procedure for its issuance must be approved by the Ministry of Finance. However, at the time of this paper the corresponding by-laws have not yet been published.  We had this fact in mind when started article and talked about that today it is nearly impossible for company to get status of authorized economic operator. However, on the website of the Ministry of Finance there is access to legal acts drafts, which will regulate procedure for obtaining status of authorized economic operator.

Secondly, according to content of art. 13 of CC of Ukraine, application form should have answers for at least 20 questions relating to various activity areas of company. But it's unclear yet in which form it needs to be done: in narrative or affirmative (ie, "yes" / "no"). In addition, yet there is no explanation about some answers content in application. For example, to obtain status of authorized economic operator, company is required to have a system of goods accounting. But nowhere is mentioned in which form should be such system (in paper or electronic form, using special software, etc.).

 Period to issue certificate is long enough and can range from 90 to 120 days (ie, 3-4 months). During this time, customs authority shall verify information from documents filed by company, as well as coordinate possibility of granting status of economic operator with the State Customs Service of Ukraine (in near future - with the Ministry of Revenue and Duties of Ukraine).

 It is also important to keep in mind that legislation does not state charging for issuance economic operator certificate of any kind.

For how long the status of authorized economic operator is granted?

CC of Ukraine does not set the term for certificates of economic operator. However, CC of Ukraine contains a lot of reasons for which certificate can be suspended or revoked. These are listed in Articles 16 and 17 of CCU.

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