Ukraine's government has announced that it plans to ease the cost of importing polymers to the country by abolishing the additional 5 percent import duty it imposed from the start of 2015.
It intends to lift the temporary duty – imposed on foreign polymers and finished plastics products as part of measures to generate additional revenue in the face of Ukraine's economic crisis – on Jan. 1.
The abolition of the extra duty, along with an additional 10 percent tariff imposed on food imports and 5 percent duty on a wide range of other goods, was announced in an October statement by Aivaras Abromavicius, Ukraine's economic development and trade minister. It was subject to confirmation by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Increased duties, lasting 12 months, were imposed “regardless of the country of origin of the goods and trade agreements concluded by Ukraine.” The additional tariffs were scheduled overall to generate around 835 million euros for the cash-strapped Ukrainian treasury.
Plastics converters in the country are entirely dependent on polymer imports and the government's decision to ease the extra duty will help reduce the cost of procuring polymer feedstocks, as well as finished plastic products.
Ukraine's economy has shown some signs of recovery this year with the fall in industrial production slowing. In September, the drop off in output eased to 5.1 percent compared with the same month in 2014 against a 5.8 percent fall a month earlier, according to the state statistics service.
In the period from January to September 2015, the country's industrial production declined overall by 16.6 percent. The processing industries recorded output down by 16.3 percent against the worse-hit mining and quarrying sector where production was down by 18.7 percent, the service reported.
But the government appears optimistic that the worst of the economic downturn could be over. In October, finance minister Natalia Yaresko was reported to have said Ukraine's economy “has passed the bottom of the crisis” and “at this stage we can speak of a return to growth.”