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The third article in a series of publications "Classification of goods from A to Z"

In the previous one articles we talked about how the declarant can independently determine the UKT FEA code for their product and how to correctly interpret and apply the UKT FEA. Now let's find out how customs can help a company classify its goods.

What to do when it is not possible to determine the product code on your own?

The declarant is obliged to determine the code for his goods. However, sometimes he cannot fulfill this duty. The product may consist of different components or the declarant may not choose from several codes.

For such cases, there is a procedure for the customs to make a preliminary decision on the classification of goods in accordance with the UKT FEA. It should be noted at once that this procedure should be resorted to only in exceptional cases. Let's explain why.

Advantages and disadvantages of the previous decision

The previous decision has one important advantage in comparison with independent classification of the goods. If you register the product on the basis of a previous decision, the risk of liability in connection with the change of the product code is minimal.

Therefore, if you have serious doubts about the product code, be sure to try to get a preliminary decision. Changing the code can cost you much more.

Now about the disadvantages:

  1. The deadline for a preliminary decision is 30 calendar days, and customs has many reasons to extend this deadline.

  2. Customs makes a preliminary decision on a specific product that is moved across the border on the basis of a single contract. If you change the article number of the product you are importing, the previous decision can no longer be applied to the product with the new article.

  3. The existence of a preliminary decision does not guarantee that the customs will not change its mind and change the product code. In the process of customs clearance, the customs checks whether the characteristics of the goods correspond to the characteristics specified in the previous decision. If the customs finds a discrepancy, it revokes the previous decision and determines a new code.

In practice, customs officers very often evade previous decisions and find existing and non-existent grounds for refusal. This is confirmed even by official statistics. In the first quarter of 2017, all customs of Ukraine made only 40 preliminary decisions.

How to get a preliminary decision?

The procedure for obtaining a preliminary decision at first glance is quite simple.

Stage 1: submission of documents

In order to obtain a preliminary decision, the company must submit to any customs the appropriate application and package of documents.

The request for a preliminary decision must be issued in a special form, which is contained in Annex №1 to the order of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine №650 dated 30.05.2012. In the application for a preliminary decision, the company must offer its own version of the classification and indicate on the basis of which the Basic rules of interpretation of the UKT FEA, it offers this code.

The following documents must be attached to the application:

  • foreign trade agreement (contract);

  • technical conditions, technological schemes of production of goods;

  • photos, drawings of goods;

  • permits and certificates of authorized state bodies;

  • specifications, catalogs and passport data on the manufacturer's product;

  • certificates of origin, permits, marking labels;

  • samples of goods.

Be sure to submit only the contract. Other documents - if the company has.

We recommend submitting as many documents as possible. Hidden documents can be grounds for reversing a previous decision and bringing the head of the company to justice.

Make sure that your documents confirm the description of the product that you specified in the application for a preliminary decision. So you can reduce the likelihood of receiving from customs a completely unpredictable product code.

Stage 2: requesting additional documents (optional)

After submitting the documents, the first checkpoint is 15 calendar days. During this period, the customs considers the submitted documents and has the right to request additional information or documents. This can be repeated several times. You submitted the documents, the customs examined them and asked for additional documents, considered additional and asked for additional information about the goods. Each time the term starts again from the moment of providing additional documents.

Stage 3: making a preliminary decision

If the customs does not request additional documents, it has 30 calendar days from the moment of receipt of the full package of documents to make a preliminary decision. The head of customs may extend this period by 15 days. The company must be notified of the extension.

However, after 30 days, the customs will not necessarily make a preliminary decision, it may refuse. Then you need to either appeal the refusal to the court, or classify the goods yourself.

The customs shall issue the original of the preliminary decision to the declarant for use during customs clearance of the goods.

In the next article we will find out how the customs in the process of customs clearance controls whether the declarant has correctly defined the code for his goods.


The original article is published in the online edition Logist.FM

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If you have problems with the classification of goods, you want to get a preliminary decision on whether your goods were detained by customs, you can always contact us for help


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