At the present moment, Ukraine's customs system is at the stage of becoming an independent executive body in the system of state authorities. This phase launches a fundamentally new vector for the development of the national customs system, which should ensure the progressive improvement of the work of customs authorities in accordance with European principles, norms and standards. The reform of Ukraine's customs system should be based on the identification of key problems in the customs sphere and the development of effective measures for their solution. In this context, the necessity of researching the retrospective and current trends of the development of the national customs system of Ukraine is being updated, which will enable to form a substantiated information base.
On the basis of studying and analyzing the history of the development of the customs system in the terms of independent Ukraine, four key stages were identified according to the organizational and structural principles. In particular, the first stage of development of the national customs system in the conditions of a sovereign state is connected with the creation and operation of the State Customs Committee of Ukraine (1991-1996); the second stage can be identified with the activity of the State Customs Service of Ukraine (1996-2012); the third stage in the history of the development of the national customs system concerns the functioning of the customs authorities within the structure of the Ministry of Revenues and Collections of Ukraine (2012-2014); the fourth stage is connected, first of all, with the reorganization of the Ministry of Revenues and Collections into the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, which includes customs authorities (from 2014 to the present). It was established that the first stage in the history of the development of the customs of independent Ukraine was characterized by significant problems related to the withdrawal of Ukraine from the USSR, the formation of an independent state and the transition of the domestic economy from the administrative-command type to the market model. Despite difficult circumstances, this period reflected the first positive changes in the development of the national customs system on the basis of strengthening its key functions. At the second stage, the qualitative improvement of the organizational structure of the customs authorities and the active development of international customs cooperation took place. It was determined that the third stage became a critical turning point, which led to the gradual destruction of the national customs system in the context of tax and customs union. The fourth stage was a continuation of the previous stage and only deepened the unjustified priority of the fiscal function, the abandonment of security-protective, service, control-regulating functions, as well as international customs cooperation. It is proved that such tendencies are ungrounded in the conditions of European integration and necessitate the launch of a new fifth stage of the development of Ukraine’s customs system, which will represent a large-scale structured and systematic reform of the customs sphere and bring it out of a state of prolonged stagnation to a qualitatively new stage of development.
On the basis of the comparative analysis of key time and cost indicators of customs servicing of international trade in Ukraine, countries of Europe and Central Asia, as well as countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with high income, according to the International rating "Doing Business", it was established that today Ukraine still has rather low places, but at the same time demonstrates the gradual improvement of most customs parameters. This confirms the fact that the domestic customs system is still characterized by the existence of a number of significant problems of an objective and subjective nature, related to the low level of efficiency of measures to simplify customs procedures and promote legal international trade, high level of bureaucracy of customs formalities, the presence of corruption component, low level of development of customs infrastructure and logistics of customs bodies, inconsistency and non-harmonization of customs legislation with European standards, lack of efficient management of customs authorities, etc. In the context of intensification of European integration of Ukraine, such problems should be properly resolved on the basis of large-scale and substantiated reform of the national customs system, which will enable to intensify the international economic relations of the state, foreign economic activity of domestic enterprises, increase the level of national security and ensure the progressive development of the national economy.
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