Travelling into Ukraine, FAQs: arriving in/out by air, customs, dining out, currency, souvenirs

Holders of passports of 59 jurisdictions can enter Ukraine without a visa for a stay up to 90 days within a 180 day period, amongst them are the following: UK, EU countries, Switzerland, Japan, USA, Australia, Canada.

Please find below answers on some frequently asked questions on travel into Ukraine.


Arrivals into / out of Ukraine by air

In general all EU and UK rules on border crossing apply, with some exceptions in line with Ukrainian customs regulations:

– complete restriction on import of plants / plant products into Ukraine,

– tight control on taking paper cash out of Ukraine.


Tobacco and Alcohol bringing into Ukraine

Under Ukrainian customs regulations, private individual over 18 can take into Ukraine every 24 hours tax-free the same quantity of tobacco and alcohol (with exception of 5 liters of beer), as it is allowed into EU countries from third countries (please see below).


Passport, piles of cash and bank receipt when in Ukraine

Electronic payments, debit and credit cards are accepted almost in every shop in Ukraine. Local currency hrivnya (UAH) officially circulates in Ukraine, and all electronic payments might be charged to cards issued by foreign banks; and transaction will be made in hrivnya using exchange rate of Ukrainian bank. As usage of foreign currency is limited, cash to be withdrawn from ATMs shall be in UAH, As capacity of these machines (ATMs) is usually limited to several thousand hundreds UAH, cash to be withdrawn might be limited as well (depends on a bank/card arrangement, could be up to couple of thousand UAH). Private person with passport available may exchange currency in bank currency exchange point (usually operate during banking hours, Monday – Thursday 9.00 a.m- 18 p.m., Fridays 9.00 a.m.- 17 p.m.) and in independent street operators (Monday -Saturdays). It is advisable to keep receipt of this transaction for foreigner. During this operation cashier may offer to issue a special bank report on currency exchange. I would recommend to take it as well. Due to effective NBU regulation foreigners are to show this bank report to customs when leaving Ukraine, if foreigner takes from Ukraine amount of paper foreign currency bigger, than it was declared upon arrival into Ukraine. Anyway, total amount of paper cash to be taken from Ukraine without special NBU permission shall not exceed Euro 10 000 (or its equivalent) per one person.


Eat and drink early in Ukraine

Dining out: local bars, restaurants are tend to work 7days / week till 11 p.m.  Sale of alcohol is restricted after 11 p.m.

Ukrainian souvenirs of choice and compulsory receipts

Usually tourists take from Ukraine local cigarettes, high quality local alcohol and modern hand – made souvenirs.

Tobacco & alcohol

High quality cigarettes are produced locally and relatively cheap (by EU standards); imported alcohol is expensive in Ukraine due to high import tariffs, while there are some high quality vodkas produced locally.

Antiques, historical valuables

In relation to another favorite traveler’ choice – there are strict Ukrainian customs rules regulating the export from Ukraine of antiques and items of historical interest. Historical valuables, antiques under 50 years old are generally allowed to be taken out Ukraine without special government permission.

It is important to take and to keep receipts on all these goods, not only due to import limitations, but for reimbursing VAT, provided relevant double tax avoidance treaty is applicable. Ukraine has such effective treaties with number of countries, including UK, majority of EU countries, etc.


Bringing goods into the EU, into UK  

Arrivals from outside the EU (from Ukraine) and bringing goods into the EU, into UK

It is allowed to bring from third country (Ukraine) into EU country non-commercial goods worth up to Euro 350 (by air), and into UK – non-commercial goods worth up to £390.

Alcohol allowance

One person can bring in:

  • beer – 16 litres
  • wine (not sparkling) – 4 litres

One person can also bring in either:

  • spirits and other liquors over 22% alcohol – 1 litre
  • fortified wine (eg port, sherry), sparkling wine and alcoholic drinks up to 22% alcohol – 2 litres

You can split this last allowance, eg you could bring 1 litre of fortified wine and half a litre of spirits (both half of your allowance).

Tobacco allowance

One person can bring in one from the following:

  • 200 cigarettes
  • 100 cigarillos
  • 50 cigars
  • 250g tobacco

It is possible split this allowance – so to bring in 100 cigarettes and 25 cigars (both half of one person allowance).



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