Border and customs control

Bringing your possessions to Ukraine doesn’t pose too many customs headaches, as long as you plan ahead and keep your paperwork in order. Customs officers will need to see your passport, a valid visa, a physical inventory of your belongings, and an accreditation from your employer if you will be working in Ukraine.

The following items can be charged with a tax: objects made before 1945, artist drawings, coin collections, stamp collections, sculptures, icons, musical instruments, precious metals, precious stones, books, and any other items of cultural value. You must register all these items, with – if relevant – their serial number, the name of the artist, and the name of their work. For information on dutiable items when moving to Ukraine, check in advance with the customs offices in your home country.

Remember that importation of items such as weapons, drugs, pornography, fresh meats, vegetables, pets, and plants is prohibited.

As a footnote, although the Ukrainian shops are numerous and over-loaded, lots of consumer goods are of low quality and there are many fakes. Clothes, shoes, children goods, cosmetics, razors, car parts... get the picture? The place of origin is questionable for both for mass market and premium goods. So, if you are conscious about comfort, quality and expense, you’d best shop abroad.

An updated version of customs rules for travellers, prepared by the Ernst & Young Tax and Legal department is available in both English and Ukrainian on the Forum (the document is available for the registered Forum members).

The rules are in line with the newly adopted Customs Code of Ukraine and are effective starting from 1 June 2012.

To read up about shipping your belongings to Ukraine, visit our Forum to speak to expats about their experiences.

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