The FINANCIAL — Residents in Ukraine’s western Lviv region have partially blocked four checkpoints along the frontier with Poland to protest against new border-tax regulations.
The checkpoints at Rava-Ruska, Shehyni, Yahodyn, and Krakovets were blocked for several hours on January 10, with the protesters allowing only vehicles carrying children and ill people to cross the border.
The protesters said they started collecting signatures for a petition calling on Ukraine’s president and lawmakers to cancel the new regulations that came in force as of January 1.
According to the amendments to the Tax Code adopted in December, individuals are allowed to bring up to 50 kilograms of goods into Ukraine without paying taxes if the price of the goods does not exceed 50 euros ($59.50).
Also, taxes are not due if the person bringing goods into Ukraine left the country for more than 24 hours and entered it no more than once in 72 hours. In that case, the price of the goods must not exceed 500 euros ($595).
Critics say the authorities are targeting shuttle vendors instead of fighting against corruption among border officials, according to RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service.
Many Ukrainians living close to the border with Poland travel to the other side of the border on a regular basis to buy goods.
Since June 2017, Ukrainians are allowed to travel to most European Union member states, including Poland, without a visa.