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Author Topic: Kiev customs?  (Read 4395 times)

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Offline Maku

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Kiev customs?
« on: August 24, 2010, 09:58:25 PM »
Hi,

soon I'm going to Kiev and I have a few questions regarding the customs there.

- Do you always have to fill in the customs declaration?
- Do the people at customs speak english?

I'm asking because I have to take medicine which is considered narcotic and I wonder whether this might cause any trouble at customs. I speak a little Russian but I think the customs declaration will be in Ukrainian and I'm not shure whether I'll be able to fill it in correctly.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Offline DKMM

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2010, 10:25:59 PM »
1ST answer is yes, 2nd is no.

You should be careful to keep your prescription with you and probably have it translated.  I would NOT declare this to anybody and 99.9% chance you will be fine.  If you dress like a Rasta then you might be searched otherwise its very unlikely to cause a problem.

Offline erudite

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2010, 10:27:46 PM »
Having been through customs at Borispol Airport in Kiev several times with multiple bag and carry on items, I have yet to encounter any problems at all.  Fill in the customs form while you are on the plane when they hand them out. Keep it handy to give to Ukraine Customs, do not lose it. You will need it when you leave. The officers always address me in very good English and are very courteous, even smiling. They may ask you some questions about the contents, but just answer them truthfully and likely they will pass you through. The US at JFK Airport is another story entirely. Ridiculous, outrageous and insulting; especially for an American citizen. It is more difficult to enter America than many foreign countries as an American citizen.  :wallbash:
« Last Edit: August 24, 2010, 10:29:19 PM by erudite »
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Offline Seeker

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2010, 10:40:36 PM »
Having been through customs at Borispol Airport in Kiev several times with multiple bag and carry on items, I have yet to encounter any problems at all.  Fill in the customs form while you are on the plane when they hand them out. Keep it handy to give to Ukraine Customs, do not lose it. You will need it when you leave. The officers always address me in very good English and are very courteous, even smiling. They may ask you some questions about the contents, but just answer them truthfully and likely they will pass you through. The US at JFK Airport is another story entirely. Ridiculous, outrageous and insulting; especially for an American citizen. It is more difficult to enter America than many foreign countries as an American citizen.  :wallbash:

Ditto from my experience.
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Offline DKMM

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2010, 10:57:35 PM »
I just realized that maybe they do speak English but I use Russian as soon as I land there and try to avoid sounding or looking like an Amerikanetz.  yep even the pointy shoes and no smiles.

My wife and I found the JFK immigration officer to be hilarious and quite the opposite experience than you guys suggest.

Offline ML

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2010, 05:29:28 AM »
Quite amazing the false answers given here.  And it seems even multiple trip people don't know the difference between customs forms and immigration forms for entering Kyiv.

Customs forms do NOT need to be filled out, except in specified situations.  e.g. You are bringing in gifts over the dollar limit (and you don't want to risk not declaring), or you are planning to take out dollars over the limit.  There is no limit for bringing in dollars, but there is a limit for taking out.  So if you might take out over the limit, you want to declare your total dollars going in, thus proving where the dollars came from.  For dollar limits check the Ukraine and USA Embassy sites as they do change from time to time.

Immigration forms are USUALLY given out on the plane before arrival.  Try to snatch an extra one or two so you can fill it out the next time BEFORE you are on the plane.  Because the form asks for contact info that you might have trouble locating while you are crammed into your plane seat.

Customs forms are NEVER given out on the plane.  Grab a few when you are standing in the passport lanes upon arrival.  Then fill them out BEFORE arrival on your next trip, if needed.  A real hassle to try to fill them out when you are trying to get through passport control, getting your luggage, etc., and you are jet lagged.

Immigration forms MUST be filled out, handed in at passport control, they keep one half and return the other half to you which you must present again upon departure.

The DO speak English at Borispol.

Take a list of prescription and non-prescription medicines that you will be carrying AND get your physician to sign this list stating they are prescribed for you.  You may never have to show this list, and NEVER volunteer it.  But it will save your ass if they find the narcotic drugs on you, or any drugs for that matter.  This goes for entry back into USA as well as all other countries on  your trip.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 05:43:15 AM by ManLooking »
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Offline Wayne

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2010, 09:57:48 AM »
I just entered at Kiev twice recently. You can bring in up to $10,000 without filling out the customs form, but why would you want to bring more than you intend to spend?
I just walked thru the nothing to declare line and no one said anything. When returning from Egypt to Kiev, none of the flight attendants spoke English and they did not pass out immigration registration cards nor customs forms. I found them at the airport, but I did not have a pen and it took me a while before I got a flight attendant who was leaving for a flight to loan me her pen. She said I only had 5 minutes! Just do not lose the half of the paper that they leave in your passport.

If you are taking a train to your next city, you can take a bus from the airport to the train station for 25 gravinas; otherwise a taxi would be about $100.

Offline ML

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2010, 12:43:30 PM »
Wayne, there is no limit on the amount of money you can bring into Ukraine (this is a different concept than an amount that must be declared), but there is a limit on the amount you can take out . . . unless you can prove that you brought it into Ukraine previously.

So declare incoming in two cases:  1) if you are over a certain amount (You say $10,000) and 2) if you might take back out more than a certain amount (I think it is $2,000 but always check for updates.)

Why bring more than you intend to spend you ask?

Wow, such precise estimate of how much you will spend must be a very wonderful skill to have!!   :D
Winston Churchill.  “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Offline Jack

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2010, 01:22:14 PM »

If you bring in $10,000 or more you must declare how much you have brought in.

The Ukraine government does not want you taking out more money than you brought in, they are able to tax you for any amount of money over what you brought in.

If you want to bring in $50,000, it is no problem, you simply must declare and often times with this amount they do want to count the money.  In my case I kept the money in my hand and counted for the officials. They did not touch the money but watched me count very carefully.

In the case mentioned above where the person brought in $50,000, he can leave with $50,000, he can leave with $49,000 or $20,000 or $5000 (which is what they hope), but they cannot leave the country with more money than they entered without paying a tax on the difference from what was brought in and what was taken out.



Offline Gylden

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2010, 01:34:05 PM »

http://ukraine.visahq.com/customs/

Ukrainian law requires that travelers declare all cash and jewelry, regardless of value, upon entering Ukraine. Travelers should fill out a customs declaration and ask customs officials to stamp it. According to Ukrainian law, foreign citizens may bring up to $10,000 in cash or up to $50,000 in travelers' checks into Ukraine without a special license. A traveler must declare the cash or checks. If customs officials determine that a traveler entering or exiting the country has undeclared cash on him or her, they can and often do confiscate the undeclared funds. When leaving the country, foreign travelers are only allowed to take out a maximum of $3,000 in cash or as much cash as they declared upon their entry into Ukraine. If a traveler wants to take out more than $3,000, the traveler must have a customs declaration proving that he or she in fact brought the corresponding sum of money into the country.

Travelers desiring to bring more than $10,000 into Ukraine must obtain a special license AFTER entering the country. Details for obtaining this license are available on the Embassy's web site in a separate document

Offline Maku

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2010, 01:53:38 PM »
and NEVER volunteer it.

As far as I know there is a point on the customs form where you have to state whether you are carrying drugs or narcotics. And actually I intended to answer this correctly, but you might be right. I think I'll just wait for things to come and of course have a signed prescription by my physician. I'll have one in English and also try to get one translated.

Offline Jack

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2010, 02:42:35 PM »
Ukrainian law requires that travelers declare all cash and jewelry, regardless of value, upon entering Ukraine.


Gylden I think I posted on this during the past 3 or 4 months.  I believe the information you have posted is old news.

Up until some time ago, maybe 1.5 year, maybe it was 2 years ago, I used to always declare cash, jewelry, camera's, anything of value.   But never gifts.  I never declared gifts.  Years ago when things were different and they would go thru your luggage they would ask "maybe this is gift" and I would say no. Never a problem. 

Had done it this way for years.

Then 1.5 or 2 years ago the custom official told me that since I was not bringing in over $10,000 I did not need declare anything. He then marked thru the watch, the Canon camera, the Sony video camera.

Finding this still hard to believe on my next trip some 3 months later, I again filled out the custom form as I had done the previous 12 years. Jewelry, camera's, anything of value and the cash, less than $10,000.

AGAIN, although a different custom person, told me I did not need to declare anything if I had less than $10,000 cash. I had less than $10,000 cash.

So from that time until today, I don't even fill out a custom form. The last 5 trips into Kiev I put my luggage onto one of the luggage carts after claiming from the airline luggage carousal, I roll up to the custom booths, I stay to the far right, I do not put any luggage onto the x-ray machine, I do not stop at green or red custom booth, I stay to the far right, their is a slight incline and then I take the sharp left to exit thru the main doors leading into the terminal.

On a few occasions I have came in with clients after meeting up in Frankfurt. They would also ask about filling out the custom form and I have told them "Follow me, just follow me".  And they did and they also filled out no custom forms, went thru no custom booths, put no luggage thru X-rays. They had less than $10,000 in cash.

Now the first time I did this I thought it could be a fluke, maybe no one saw me.  When I did this for the second time I was expecting someone to holler at me to stop, nothing.  The third, fourth, fifth time, again, just as I described.   I'll go thru Kiev customs again in a few days and will again will not fill any custom forms. Immigration form yes, keep the second copy with my passport, but will not fill out any custom form. 

Although I think it's not allowed, I might try to video the procedure and I can post it.


Offline ML

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2010, 05:09:14 PM »

Gylden I think I posted on this during the past 3 or 4 months.  I believe the information you have posted is old news.

Up until some time ago, maybe 1.5 year, maybe it was 2 years ago, I used to always declare cash, jewelry, camera's, anything of value.   But never gifts.  I never declared gifts.  Years ago when things were different and they would go thru your luggage they would ask "maybe this is gift" and I would say no. Never a problem. 

Had done it this way for years.

Then 1.5 or 2 years ago the custom official told me that since I was not bringing in over $10,000 I did not need declare anything. He then marked thru the watch, the Canon camera, the Sony video camera.

Finding this still hard to believe on my next trip some 3 months later, I again filled out the custom form as I had done the previous 12 years. Jewelry, camera's, anything of value and the cash, less than $10,000.

AGAIN, although a different custom person, told me I did not need to declare anything if I had less than $10,000 cash. I had less than $10,000 cash.

So from that time until today, I don't even fill out a custom form. The last 5 trips into Kiev I put my luggage onto one of the luggage carts after claiming from the airline luggage carousal, I roll up to the custom booths, I stay to the far right, I do not put any luggage onto the x-ray machine, I do not stop at green or red custom booth, I stay to the far right, their is a slight incline and then I take the sharp left to exit thru the main doors leading into the terminal.

On a few occasions I have came in with clients after meeting up in Frankfurt. They would also ask about filling out the custom form and I have told them "Follow me, just follow me".  And they did and they also filled out no custom forms, went thru no custom booths, put no luggage thru X-rays. They had less than $10,000 in cash.

Now the first time I did this I thought it could be a fluke, maybe no one saw me.  When I did this for the second time I was expecting someone to holler at me to stop, nothing.  The third, fourth, fifth time, again, just as I described.   I'll go thru Kiev customs again in a few days and will again will not fill any custom forms. Immigration form yes, keep the second copy with my passport, but will not fill out any custom form. 

Although I think it's not allowed, I might try to video the procedure and I can post it.

I agree with Jack, almost 100%.  I was also told 4-5 years back by the customs people in Ukraine to stop filling out the customs forms unless something very usual, like something over $10,000 in cash.  However, there is a catch that they don't tell you about.  It is what I and others mentioned above . . . if you are going to take more than $2,000 - $3,000 out, then you have better declared it coming in.  It seems they are deliberately encouraging people to not declare any cash coming in; on the off chance they can catch you on the way out.

But an exception to your stated experience Jack; there is an x-ray maching to the very far right of the path you take.  Sometimes no one is manning that machine and you can shoot right by the red line machines on the left, if you are street wise and don't look nervous, etc.

However, on some occasions that x-ray machine on the very far right is manned and a guard has been there to force everyone to put their bags through the machine.  Sometimes I think this is just to frighten you to think about it and go through the red line and declare something, because I usually always have gold and silver gift jewelry which should show up on the machine, but no one has ever called me on it.
Winston Churchill.  “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Offline easyukraine

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2010, 05:48:13 PM »
when I went threw back in July was only the second time I had to put my bags on x-ray machine. probably because I had my Harley shirt and jeans on. or it could have been the 3 hour wait at JFK before we even took off (faulty sensor ). so in a total of 10 trips I was stopped 2 times. no big deal JFK has been harder at times I think it depends on who is working.

Offline ML

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2010, 06:47:50 PM »
when I went threw back in July was only the second time I had to put my bags on x-ray machine. probably because I had my Harley shirt and jeans on. or it could have been the 3 hour wait at JFK before we even took off (faulty sensor ). so in a total of 10 trips I was stopped 2 times. no big deal JFK has been harder at times I think it depends on who is working.

When they are manning that far right hand side x-ray machine . . . everyone must put their bags through . . . Harley shirt or not!!   :D
Winston Churchill.  “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Offline Dahnlor

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2010, 07:17:53 PM »
I've been to Kiev twice this year, and both times no problems.  Only form was the one for Passport Control, but both times I did stop at the X-ray machine in Customs because it looked like that's what I was supposed to do.  First time, no one said anything to me, and the second time I was asked if I had any jewelry or gifts, and I said "No" and was on my way.

Both times when returning to the USA, my bag was searched.  First time was JFK, but there it wasn't customs, they just asked if my name was Scottish or Irish.  It was the checkpoint getting back into the terminal who decided to rummage through my bag.  Second time was Detroit, I had less than an hour to make my connection, I was the first one there, and they lackadaisically got themselves ready while I waited at the "Wait Here" sign, waved me in and proceeded to sleepily go through everything, slowly and methodically.


Offline easyukraine

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2010, 06:38:20 AM »
When they are manning that far right hand side x-ray machine . . . everyone must put their bags through . . . Harley shirt or not!!   :D
one of the agents asked me to put my things on the machine then was upset because some one else did also. I guess she wanted to look like she was working but didn't want to do to much. the one on the right was not being used but she was standing over there when she asked me to put my things on the machine.

Offline XMan

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2010, 07:48:37 PM »
I asked for an immigration form on the plane (the last time) but they had none.  Had to wait for about 25 minutes to get a form once I got off the plane and into the terminal. They had run out, and were in no hurry to replenish.  It was a free for all trying to get a form once they finally brought some over.  You would have thought they were throwing out Euro's to the masses.

3 times through Kiev in about 20 months, twice had to put my bags through x-ray machine on the right.  Third time it was not manned, so no scans.  Why?  Who knows.  Lunch break?  Machine broken?  Not sure what to expect next time. 

I need clarification after reading this thread. 

I'm planning on taking a piece of relatively inexpensive jewelry with me next time. 
Declare or do not declare? 
I assumed I would not have to.

Thanks.

Offline ML

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2010, 08:22:35 PM »
There is some dollar limit as to what can come in duty free; but I don't know what it is.  Can check on the Ukraine Gov't website for that.
But, I have always played the risk game, and never have declared any jewelry or anything that I brought in as gifts.
If I get caught, it might turn ugly.
Winston Churchill.  “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

Offline kievstar

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2010, 08:14:46 AM »
Been through Kiev airport more than 100 times now past 7 years.  They seem to check less and less.  Sometimes the machines are working and sometimes machines not working.  The funny thing is even if you have stuff in your bags they never catch it in the machines.  There just acting like there working.

If I bring in stuff to declare I fill-out a form but never present it.  If I would ever get hassled I would than produce it.  Another trick is get behind a line of people going through and you will never get checked.  I always carry my own duty and immigration forms as planes tend to run out. 

I have carried cash and jewelry more than $10,000 usd and filled out form but I kept the cash on me and there method includes no personal search.

Offline XMan

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2010, 03:18:27 PM »
Been through Kiev airport more than 100 times now past 7 years.  They seem to check less and less.  Sometimes the machines are working and sometimes machines not working.  The funny thing is even if you have stuff in your bags they never catch it in the machines.  There just acting like there working.

If I bring in stuff to declare I fill-out a form but never present it.  If I would ever get hassled I would than produce it.  Another trick is get behind a line of people going through and you will never get checked.  I always carry my own duty and immigration forms as planes tend to run out. 

I have carried cash and jewelry more than $10,000 usd and filled out form but I kept the cash on me and there method includes no personal search.

Very helpful, thanks much. 

X

Offline spectris

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2010, 09:00:15 PM »
OK, while I've never been to Ukraine - I have been to 40+ other countries in the past 10 years and have NEVER declared anything, nothing - ever - nada.  US, Viet Nam, China, UK, Thailand, Iraq, Mexico - wherever, no one cares unless you act like an ass or look "different".  With that said though, I am going to Keiv for the first time in a couple of weeks - so I with my current luck I wil get arrested :)  I'll let you know...

Offline erudite

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Re: Kiev customs?
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2010, 09:57:59 PM »
Quote from Manlooking:
"Quite amazing the false answers given here.  And it seems even multiple trip people don't know the difference between customs forms and immigration forms for entering Kyiv.

Immigration forms are USUALLY given out on the plane before arrival.  Try to snatch an extra one or two so you can fill it out the next time BEFORE you are on the plane.  Because the form asks for contact info that you might have trouble locating while you are crammed into your plane seat.

Customs forms are NEVER given out on the plane.  Grab a few when you are standing in the passport lanes upon arrival.  Then fill them out BEFORE arrival on your next trip, if needed.  A real hassle to try to fill them out when you are trying to get through passport control, getting your luggage, etc., and you are jet lagged."  End Quote


As for me I have only ever filled out the form passed out on the plane WHATEVER IT IS. But it is good idea to have the address of you place you will stay to fill in or at least make one up. So whatever that form is it is the only one I have ever needed.

I have only needed ONE form going into and out of Ukraine. That is MY experience and I only pass it along for knowledge or whatever. I am not  "EXPERT" like many on this board claim to be.
Truth and Honesty are good companions to keep

 

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