Maritime transport from China to Ukraine via Poland

Update date:
01 Dec 2023
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Date of publication:
16 Nov 2023
Reading time: 3 minutes

It has been some time since the start of the war in Ukraine, but maritime transport of goods to Ukrainian ports is virtually non-existent. The map below shows a real-time satellite view of merchant ships. As we can see, there are virtually no ships arriving at Ukrainian ports. 

Freight traffic destined for the Ukraine is currently handled through Romanian and Polish ports. Many importers from the Ukraine are taking this step. Containers in Polish, Romanian or Slovenian ports are unloaded and the goods are then transported to Ukraine. 

The map shows the ports from which the goods go to Ukraine. 

Import procedure from China to Poland and then to Ukraine. 

The first step is to order sea freight from China to Poland. The Ukrainian importer can order sea freight from a Polish shipping company or book through a Ukrainian company. Once in port, the goods must be transported to Ukraine. 

In order to transport goods to Ukraine, it is necessary to open a T1 carnet. The movement of non-cleared goods from outside the European Union between different areas within the community requires the opening of a T1 carnet. In this case, the goods are suspended from customs duties and can reach their destination where customs clearance will take place. 

When goods enter the territory of the European Union, they undergo a customs clearance procedure, which means that they are released for legal circulation. If the T1 transit procedure is not carried out and the goods are not cleared through customs at the first customs point, e.g. border, seaport or airport, an appropriate document must be issued.

The transit declaration is lodged electronically at the office of departure and, once registered, an MRN is assigned. This makes it possible to trace and control the transit process. Once the goods have arrived at the office of destination, the T1 customs document is necessary for the start of a subsequent procedure, such as the declaration for the release of goods.

To create a T1 transit document, the following are necessary:

  • transport document (CMR);
  • goods specification or packing list;
  • the relevant certificates for specific goods in transport, such as the certificate of origin or the sanitary-health certificate;
  • commercial invoice.

Case Study - sea transport from china to Poland and then transit to Ukraine. 

An importer from the Ukraine orders a container of fans by sea from China to Poland. In order to transport the goods to the port of Gdansk without customs clearance, a T1 carnet must be issued. After opening the carnet, the goods are transported to the Polish-Ukrainian border where the customs agency closes the carnet. The goods then go to the Ukrainian customs agency where they can be cleared in accordance with Ukrainian regulations. 

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Products that Ukraine imports

According to Ukraine's import data, Ukraine's top imports in 2021 were: Fuels and Mineral Oils ($12.48 billion), Industrial Machinery ($7.82 billion), Vehicle Parts and Accessories ($7.00 billion), Electronics ($6.15 billion), Plastics ($3.48 billion), Pharmaceuticals ($2.98 billion), Miscellaneous Chemical Products ($1.67 billion), Fertilisers ($1.55 billion), Iron and Steel ($1.46 billion) and Optical and Medical Devices ($1.46 billion). 

From which countries does Ukraine import? 

According to Ukraine's import data for 2021, the top exporting countries to Ukraine are - China ($10.63 billion), Germany ($6.06 billion), Russia ($5.85 billion), Poland ($4.89 billion), Belarus ($4.70 billion), the United States of America ($3.41 billion), Turkey ($3.15 billion), Italy ($2.62 billion), France ($1.72 billion) and Switzerland ($1.61 billion).

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