Sales of so-called “gray” equipment and electronics in Ukraine in pandemic year by 12% to 18 billion UAH – study


KYIV. November 24 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The estimate of total sales of home appliances and electronics imported under the so-called “gray” import regimes in 2020 (parallel imports without proper customs procedures and full payment of taxes and fees) fell 12%, to nearly 18 billion UAH, or 16% of total sales in the categories studied, according to a study by Gfk.

“The share of ‘gray’ imports has increased from 23%, which we recorded in 2019, to 16% for the season from April 2020 to March 2021. However, there are certain categories that are leading at the bottom of the rank. These are photographic accessories and equipment, “consultant Tetiana Sytnyk told a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Wednesday.

According to the study, the share of “gray” imports in the total sales value of the accessories category rose to 33% against 31% in 2019, photographic equipment – to 37% against 33% a year earlier. The rest of the categories of goods showed a decrease in the volume of the “gray” market.

“In money, the reduction in the volume of” gray “imports (in hryvnia) was only 12%,” said the consultant to Gfk.

According to Sytnyk, the home appliances and electronics market during the pandemic year saw a 24% increase in hryvnias, and in kind the growth was 10%. Sales of computers and screens (75%), laptops (50%) and tablets (45%), as well as household appliances – vacuum cleaners (41%), small household appliances (34-35 %) increased the most.

“We evaluated 14 product categories, which account for 80% of total sales of home appliances and electronics,” Sytnyk said, adding that the bulk of “gray” imports are smartphones and televisions.

According to China, 71 importers’ representatives participated in the investigation regarding the market share of “gray” imports, and 59 completed the questionnaire.

The trend of reducing “gray” imports is recorded, but there is a bias towards high-end products, said Yevhen Shkola, head of the legal department of the company Samsung Electronics Ukraine.

According to him, the price difference for a high-end TV (from 30,000 UAH) between “gray” and legal imports is 30-40%.

As Shkola said, it is mainly “gray” televisions that are imported from Poland to Ukraine.

In addition, he said that the share of premium mobile phones in the “gray” segment in 2019 was 40%, in 2021 it was already 19%. This reduction was due to restrictions on the movement of people at the border associated with the pandemic.

As explained by Sytnyk, the experts and participants interviewed explain the decrease in the share of “gray” imports by restrictions on international movements (33%), as well as by the shortage of goods (26%) and by the actions of manufacturers (25%). However, she said this is cyclical and temporary, so there are concerns about growing the share of “gray” imports to 2019 levels, as well as picking up demand.

At the same time, interviewees noted weak oversight by state organs.

The Director General of the Ukrainian Association of Importers of Consumer Electronics, Sofia Araslanova, stressed the need to strengthen measures in the field of customs control, to preserve taxation for all business entities without exception.

“The growing share of the misrepresentation regime means a wide field of work for customs authorities,” she said.

As reported, the estimated sales of home appliances and electronics imported to Ukraine under “gray” import programs in 2019 amounted to 20.5 billion UAH ($ 792 million), or 23% of total sales of the categories studied.


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