IDG implemented the Ukraine Trade Policy Project (TPP) to expand export opportunities for Ukraine’s private sector, and to promote the diversification of the country’s export markets (2015 – 2017). In order to increase Ukraine’s ability to prevent and address foreign trade pressures, IDG focused on implementation of three project components:
- Expanding Ukraine’s capacity to utilize tools available through the World Trade Organization (WTO) system;
- Improving communication and coordination on WTO issues within both the Government of Ukraine (GOU) and with external stakeholders; and
- Assessing and improving Ukraine’s WTO compliance.
Two elements were central to IDG’s overall project approach. The first was reactive and focused capacity building to overcome barriers to trade using international trade tools. The second element was proactive and broad, and sought to facilitate government and private sector diversification into beneficial trading opportunities, including those provided by WTO and the EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA).
With IDG’s support, Ukrainian officials participated in numerous meetings, forums, and other events with key WTO Members on regional and global issues of common interest. In collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT), the State Fiscal Service (SFS), and the private sector, IDG conducted a WTO conformity assessment of policies, laws, and regulations, which identified gaps in the trading framework and developed an action plan to ensure implementation of key WTO obligations, as well as the alignment of the regulatory framework with international standards. The WTO conformity assessment covered Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS), Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), customs, and intellectual property rights (IPR). It also served to motivate Ukraine’s first WTO Trade Policy Review and ultimately acted as a guiding document for creating reforms in full compliance with the WTO.
In addition, IDG assisted Ukraine in ratifying, notifying, and developing an implementation plan for the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, and aided the government in harmonizing its legal framework with WTO and DCFTA requirements (in areas such as food safety, technical regulations, customs-AEO, and electronic communications).
In regards to improvements in port customs procedures, IDG collaborated with SFS and Odessa Customs on policies to increase savings, streamline valuation practices, and expose customs enforcement abuses. For example, IDG guided the establishment of a modern Customs Clearance Zone (CCZ) at the Port of Odessa, which would allow the efficient clearance of imports. IDG also assisted in developing plans for a Single Window system, a centralized submission portal where cross-border traders can submit official documents for increased efficiency and cost savings. Furthermore, IDG worked with the GOU to create laws that simplify and expedite customs clearance processes, decrease unnecessary customs inspections, and remove legal gaps in goods valuations. These efforts strengthened partnerships between the MEDT and private sector organizations on dispute settlement cases and the application of trade remedies. Through training sessions and analysis, IDG offered recommendations for public, private, and academic stakeholders in the areas of WTO compliance, EU integration, including anti-dumping trade remedies, DCFTA, EU Association Agreement alignment, e-commerce harmonization, and effective use of regional trade corridors.
In 2016, the TPP embarked on a nationwide Ukrainian anti-piracy campaign that included the production of three IP anti-piracy videos, which is still ongoing following conclusion of the project.