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EU & UK: Overview of customs easement to help Ukraine aid exports

(FREE) Both the EU and the UK have agreed on customs easements making it easier to move aid and donations to help the people of Ukraine. Overview + Links

The horrendous actions by Russia against Ukraine has terrified us. Many wish to support the people of Ukraine.

The European Union and its Member States as well as the UK have publicly condemned in the strongest possible terms the unprovoked and unjustified military aggression by the Russian Federation and the involvement of Belarus against Ukraine in this aggression. In the words of the EU "This unacceptable action undermines international security and stability".

Customs in the EU and the UK have now been somewhat simplified so that businesses and enterprises can move aid and donations to the people of Ukraine.


Organisations and people, the EU and the UK recommend, who would like to help, may donate cash through trusted charities and aid organisations, rather than donating goods. Cash can be transferred quickly to areas where it is needed, and individuals and aid organisations can use it to buy what is most needed.

In the UK, the government strongly recommends (whenever possible) you give financial aid through the Disasters and Emergencies Committee Appeal and other trusted charities and humanitarian aid organisations, rather than sending or driving donated goods directly to the region.

UK promises Maximum Flexibility

The UK is on record in saying that "Provided the goods are not exported to, or through, Russia or Belarus, then these simplified processes apply to the above-mentioned goods regardless of the destination to allow maximum flexibility to get aid to where the need is greatest". The simplification of customs processes will usually apply to goods intended to support those affected by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, which are exported from the EU and Great Britain.

In practice, this means that businesses, charities and community organisations sending aid from the British ports will be able to make a customs declaration by speaking to customs officers or simply by the act of driving through a port. They will no longer need to complete and submit electronic customs declarations to HMRC before exporting these goods, and smaller movements will not need to use the Goods Vehicle Movement Service to pass through ports where it is in operation. The easement will also remove other customs formalities, such as needing to notify HMRC when the goods have been exported.

The easement, which excludes all controlled goods and dual-use goods, will be in place for a limited time, which will be announced in due course.

EU insists on process, but offers online simplifications

The German Zoll states that "the generally applicable customs regulations must also be observed in principle for donations in emergencies, such as non-commercial aid deliveries. In overland transport, the Polish customs administration at the external border of the EU is responsible for customs clearance of deliveries to Ukraine".

Following the laws and principles of the Union Customs Code (UCC), all goods must, in principle, follow the well-known two-stage export procedure: The 1st stage consists of declaring the goods electronically. The second stage is presenting the goods at the Polish or other EU customs office of exit.

However, simplifications exist in the EU, too:

  • Commodity number 9919 0000 can be used for aid deliveries to Ukraine, except for goods that require a permit.

  • The following simplified registration options exist: Aid deliveries with Union goods with a value of more than 1,000 euros or net weight of more than 1,000 kilograms, which are to be transported to Ukraine by truck via the road crossings in Dorohusk and Korczowa, can be registered in a simplified manner using a special online form. This can be found on the "Help for Ukraine" page. An electronic signature in Poland (Zaufany profile) is required to send the form.

If the goods do not exceed a value of 1,000 euros or a net weight of 1,000 kilograms, they can be verbally declared for export directly at the customs office of exit in Poland.

Polish Customs recommends obtaining information about the handling of the relief supplies or contacting a local customs office.

See the German Zoll:

France: Emergency humanitarian aid: shipping rules

France has stated on their Customs website that "Humanitarian shipments intended for disaster-stricken populations or areas are subject to different formalities, depending on the quality of the organization involved, the nature of the goods exported (food products, for example) and their origin (donations and collections or purchases)".

They further confirm that "Economic operators or individuals wishing to import goods of a humanitarian nature from non-EU countries to the European Union can use the transit procedure or temporarily make use of the verbal declaration"

French Exporting Rules to Ukraine

Download PDF • 76KB

.French Importing Rules

Download PDF • 79KB

When simplifications usually apply

Your goods must be destined for the victims of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The goods must not be destined for, or travel through, Russia or Belarus. Only certain goods can be taken out of Great Britain or the EU using simplifications. This may include goods such as clothes, blankets and sanitary products, but other goods may also qualify.

Goods you cannot bring to Ukraine

If your goods fall under any of the following exclusions, the following is unliley to be able to be send to Ukraine,, neither from the EU nor the UK

  • controlled goods

  • medicines where you do not have a licence to distribute

  • excise goods (such as fuel, alcohol and tobacco)

  • prohibited and restricted goods such as:

  • military goods

  • dual use goods

  • goods subject to sanctions

  • Dual-use goods can be put to military or civilian purposes, and include (but are not limited to):

    • protective equipment (for example, equipment which provides chemical, nuclear or biological protection)

    • chemicals (for example, any chemical on the Chemical Weapons Convention list)

    • high specification telecommunications equipment employing cryptography

Transportation companies help - Useful addresses

Further Information, including further support by transportation companies:

Free advice and support for any organisation supplying aid to Ukraine

If you have questions or require assistance on how to export goods to Ukraine, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be delighted to support you and will never charge a fee for any work in relation to supporitng Ukraine in this most diffuclt time.

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