Country of origin requirements

The rules of origin establish the “economic nationality” of goods, i.e. the place (country) where they were fully produced or sufficiently processed. For customs purposes in Ukraine, there are two types of origin of goods: non-preferential and preferential.

The rules for determining the non-preferential origin of goods are set out mainly by the Customs Code of Ukraine.

Preferential origin is a condition for the application of tariff privileges (preferences) with respect to the rates of the Customs Tariff of Ukraine in the form of exemption from import duty, reduction of import duty rates or establishment of tariff quotas in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine and for the import of goods originating from countries with which the relevant international agreements have been concluded.

Ukraine has concluded multilateral international free trade agreements with the EU, EFTA, bilateral international agreements with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia, Canada, Georgia, the State of Israel, etc.

Ukraine acceded to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonisation of Customs Procedures in 2006 (as amended by the 1999 Amending Protocol) and follows the rules and procedures of the Convention, including special cases of determining the origin of goods.

Documents confirming the country of origin:

Documents confirming the non-preferential origin of the goods are:

Documents confirming the preferential origin of goods are:

  • Certificate of origin of the goods
  • Certified declaration of origin
  • Declaration of origin of goods
  • Certificate of the regional name of the goods specified in international agreements and conventions to which Ukraine is a party

Certificates of origin are issued by the customs and the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Definitions of vegetarian and vegan

Ukrainian legislation does not define exactly these terms. However, the Law of Ukraine “On Information for Consumers on Food Products” provides for the labelling of food products with the words “vegetarian” and “vegan”.

A product may be labelled with the word “vegetarian” if:

1) no ingredients of animal origin were used at any stage of its production (except for milk, dairy products, colostrum; eggs or egg products obtained from live animals; honey or bee products (propolis, beeswax, etc.); products obtained from the wool of live animals (lanolin, etc.);

2) at all stages of production and circulation, all necessary measures are taken to avoid the presence of substances that are not consumed by ovo-lacto-vegetarians, except in cases of unintentional ingestion of such substances;

3) food market operators and/or persons acting on their behalf have not conducted any animal testing of the food product or ingredient.

A product may be labelled with the word “vegan” if:

1) it is a food product that has not used ingredients of animal origin at any stage of production;

2) at all stages of production and circulation, all necessary measures have been taken to avoid the presence of substances that are not consumed by vegans, except in cases of unintentional ingress of such substances;

3) food market operators and/or persons acting on their behalf have not conducted any animal testing of the food product or ingredient.

Fortification of foods

For Ukraine, the topic of fortification is quite new and does not yet have systematic support at the state level.

There is no mandatory food fortification in Ukraine. However, Ukraine, like 159 other countries, has adopted the World Declaration and Programme of Action on Nutrition, committing itself to eliminating chronic deficiencies in the diet of essential vitamins, minerals and other essential compounds. At the same time, a significant number of food companies have already started producing micronutrient-enriched products: bread, bakery and flour confectionery products with added vitamins B, A, E, calcium, iron, iodine, selenium; milk and dairy products with multivitamin complexes, lactic acid and lactobacilli; low-calorie oil and fat products with functional ingredients; and soft drinks with medicinal plant extracts.

On the basis of the Association Agreement between Ukraine, on the one hand, and the European Union, the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, on the other hand, ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on 16 September 2014, Ukraine is constantly approximating its national legislation to the European one.

Currently, Ukraine has adopted a number of laws and regulations that:

  • regulate the principles and requirements for food safety and quality,
  • regulate consumer protection,
  • establish rules for adding vitamins, minerals and some other substances to food products,
  • approve the norms of physiological needs of the population for basic food substances and energy, and
  • approve methodological recommendations for general practitioners – family doctors on advising patients on the basic principles of healthy eating.

A draft Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on the Procedure for Food Fortification is currently under public discussion. It stipulates that food fortification may become mandatory for all manufacturers.

Cannabis as an ingredient in food or supplements

The use of cannabis as an ingredient in food or supplements remains illegal in Ukraine with some special features. The storage, production, distribution and transportation of marijuana is classified as drug trafficking. Legal sales are possible only for industrial hemp grown in a specialised farm, but transactions are allowed only between legal entities. In Ukraine, it is allowed to grow technical hemp (Cannabis ruderalis) containing less than 0.08% THC. To do this, a farmer needs to obtain a licence from the State Service of Ukraine on Medicines and agree on the location of the business facility with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

However, there are products in which cannabis may be present in Ukraine, including:

  • Hemp seeds: Hemp seeds that do not contain psychoactive substances are allowed for sale and consumption.
  • Hemp oil: Hemp oil, which is derived from hemp seeds and does not contain psychoactive substances, is allowed for sale and consumption.

It should be noted that Ukraine has recently legalised the use of medical cannabis, namely, the Law “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on State Regulation of the Turnover of Plants of the Cannabis Genus for Use in Educational Purposes, Educational, Scientific and Scientific and Technical Activities, Production of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Medicines in order to Expand Patients’ Access to Necessary Treatment” was adopted, which allows the use of medical cannabis and will come into force on 16 August 2024.

Lana Sinichkina

Lana Sinichkina
Arzinger Law Firm


This is general information rather than legal advice and is current as of 30 May 2024. We recommend you contact a specialised food lawyer for legal advice for your particular circumstances to support commercial decisions which could impact your product or business.