Why does Ukrainian government want to impose restrictions on purchases abroad?

Author : Andriy Dotsenko

Source :

Deputies want to deprive Ukrainians of the opportunity to buy abroad cheaper and high-quality things, which are preferred by more people every year
14:08, 8 November 2017

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112 Agency

Almost every day deputies in the parliament approve populist bills, which can only benefit them or their entourage. Rarely MPs remember ordinary Ukrainians who, due to deplorable state of the economy in the country, live on the verge of poverty.

Our MPs did not ignore the purchases, which Ukrainians make abroad. It would seem that everything is simple: you order goods from another country, you wait until it is delivered to Ukraine, you receive it at the post office, and it's yours. In the whole civilized world, this is exactly what happens, although there are certain limitations. For example, in the US last year the limit on the importation of parcels that are not subject to taxation increased from $ 200 to $ 800, since the costs of administration, processing and payment of charges from parcels exceeded budget revenues from their taxation. Ukraine, on the contrary, wants to reduce this limit to 150 euros a month or set limits on the number of received items by one recipient to 36 a year or 3 per month. Although before the limit was 150 euros for one purchase, and their number was not limited at all. Of course, Ukraine and the strategy of its development is very far from the United States. We have our own system, which is successfully lobbied not only by interested persons - employees of large companies who want to reduce the influence or even close foreign markets for ordinary citizens, but also officials.

Deputies want to deprive Ukrainians of the opportunity to buy cheaper and better quality goods abroad, which are preferred by more and more people every year. By the way, an alternative version of the amendments to the Customs Code is put forward by the Cabinet in its bill (which, however, has not yet been registered in the Verkhovna Rada). It provides exemption from taxation only for the first three postal international items during one calendar month per person. For all subsequent parcels this month, you will have to pay the full cost of the fee.

In comparison with deputy projects, such initiatives of the Cabinet look like a step forward, but if we compare them to the current situation, then this is an unequivocal step backwards. Sometimes it seems that although officials are submitting various bills, they all play in the same team. And this team has a goal to drive the Ukrainians into a dead end, and turn the country into an analogue of North Korea.

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Officials cannot so easily authorize the increase in purchases from abroad in the future. After all, most of them have relatives or friends who sell the same goods for two or three times higher price and do not guarantee high quality at the same time. Of course, the scheme is beneficial not for people, but for those who for many years earned millions of profits on ordinary Ukrainians.

Instead of paying attention to real problems, which appear every day, our politicians play in populism, because this does not require special efforts. After all, Ukrainians often do not think about the consequences of this or that action from the part of the government. They only think about what is happening here and now, and about who makes some promises. For example, today the big problem, which is not being discussed, is the problem of smuggling. Every year its number in the country increases several times. And this is not only related goods from China or Russia. Over the past decade, European goods have also joined this group; they are in great demand in Western Ukraine. We saw the stores, shelves or a whole departments with the inscription "Goods from Poland, Italy and ...". At the same time, we all perfectly understand how such goods are delivered to Ukraine and what the benefit to customs officers and other employees is. And this is just the tip of a huge iceberg called "contraband".

The question arises: why don’t we tackle the problem of smuggling, rather than limit of ordinary citizens' purchases instead? We perfectly understand that the amount of funds that our budget does not receive for illegal transportation reaches millions of hryvnia, and the introduction of new restrictions for Ukrainians on the contrary will require additional financing. It is necessary for someone to check every parcel, collect information that confirms the person who made the order, to deal with the calculation of taxes, their ordering, etc. And it will not be all robots, but living people. That is, a resource that needs wages, which ordinary Ukrainians will pay from taxes.

Therefore, before supporting and accepting such changes in the Customs legislation, it is worthwhile to understand the situation well. To clarify for whom it is profitable, who stays behind the promotion of such initiatives in power, which firms will suffer from this first and to which groups of influence they belong. And it is worth considering why other pressing issues in the country are not being solved. Maybe it's just another blurring of vision, a smoke made to blur the eyes before introducing much more important changes?!

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