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EUROPE: Ukraine could tighten customs controls on fuel imports brought by water from Romania

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Ukraine will start to check the origin of fuels that arrive in the neighboring country by ships from Romanian ports.

Deliveries of petroleum products to the Ukrainian market with barges arriving from Romanian ports could be additionally checked by the Ukrainian customs service, a measure similar to those previously applied to imports from Turkey, Bulgaria and the Republic of Moldova, according to sources cited by the Ukrainian specialized media.

According to Ukrainian traders, an order of the Ukrainian Customs in this regard would be published today.

“According to our information, fuel consignments arriving by water from the ports of Georgia and Romania will come under increased control with additional checks. At the same time, transports from Romania by road and rail will not be subject to the new checks”, said the head of the logistics division of one of the main importers of petroleum products.

Last year, Ukrainian Customs began additional checks on oil products coming from Turkey, which is one of the world’s largest importers of Russian diesel, were the first to be implemented. Later, similar procedures were applied to imports from Bulgaria and Moldova, whose ports would have received vessels with fuels of Russian, Turkish and unknown origin. This actually led to the cessation of imports from these directions, according to Ukrainian media.

Recently, imports from the south of the country have been an important topic of discussion in the fuel market of Ukraine, due to prices different from those in the market and dumping practiced by a large number of unknown operators. The first explanation for the low prices is the importation of fuel of unknown origin with the subsequent falsification of documents of origin. Then it would be about getting an advantage outside the market by using tax avoidance schemes when selling in Ukraine.

As informed by a source from the State Customs Service of Ukraine, starting from June 10, consignments arriving in Ukraine by sea from the ports of Constanța (Romania), Kulevi and Batumi (both in Georgia) will be subjected to tests laboratory. “As a result of another investigation carried out by the Security Service of Ukraine, data was received according to which diesel fuel of Russian origin can enter Ukraine using the capacities of the specified ports,” the quoted source explained.

According to the recommendations of the Security Service of Ukraine, the batches of fuel from Constanța, Kulevi and Batumi will be put into circulation only after the analysis of the samples is completed.

Previously, similar actions were applied to fuel imports from Turkey, Bulgaria, Algeria, Egypt and Moldova, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, which would have received fuel produced by Russian state companies, coming directly from Russian ports.

In April and May of this year, Ukrainian customs authorities instituted additional controls aimed at identifying possible ways of smuggling oil products. Such measures were taken amid rumors of alleged fuel smuggling in Ukraine.

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