In order to enter Ukraine foreigners need both their passports and a visa. For a number of countries Ukraine has treaties that allow for visa free trips, but even in this case a passport and an invitation are required.
Currency can be imported and exported by any persons regardless of their age. For an amount of currency equivalent to under 1,000 US dollars an oral declaration can be made, if required. Above this, and up to 10,000 USD equivalent in cash, or cheques equivalent up to 50,000 US dollars, a written declaration should be submitted, but no prior permission is needed. Personal jewellery should be declared, but photo and video cameras are subject to voluntary declaration should a tourist so desire. Short-term importing of cars (for up to 2 months) is possible, but the tourist must pay a custom commission fee.
Export of art items requires the permission of the Culture Ministry, to export souvenirs only the shop's or art boutique's receipt is needed.
Pets can be freely imported so long as they have a special certificate given by an official veterinary service from the tourist's place of residence and also an anti-rabies inoculation certificate.
The telephone number of Simferopol's customs post is: +38 0652 27-65-58.
Registration and Resort Commission Fee. Foreigners are registered when they cross the border of Ukraine, and after that may move freely within the country. Despite this, even in the resort towns and some villages, you may have to pay at hotels and other accommodation places a small resort commission fee.
Monetary Units. In the Ukraine, all transactions are conducted in the national currency - hrivna (UAN), which is then sub-divided into 100 Kopecks. There are coin denominations for 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, and 50 kopecks and also 1 and 2 hrivna. Bank note denominations exist for 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 (the most suitable for exchange), 50, 100, and 200 hrivna. On certain official dates, souvenir precious metal coins are issued.
Currency can only be exchanged at special exchange booths, although these are numerous and work almost without breaks and days-off. Large banks provide exchange not only in US dollars and euros, but also several other major currencies as well.
Banks, hotels, major shops and photo development establishments in large towns will accept well know credit cards and traveller's checks . In business centrers and large hotels there are ATM machines.
Tips. In restaurants mostly catering for foreigners, a 10 % service charge will be added to the bill. In other places, you can leave the change to the waiter or give a tip at your discretion. Porters and taxi drivers usually charge what you have already settled in advance.
In Crimea, the living standard of most people currently leaves much to be desired. The majority of the population have to get by on the equivalent of 30 - 60 US dollars a month. The sight of plenty of expensive cars and luxurious villas is convincing evidence that wealthy people live in the Crimea as well.
Published on: 04/09/2005
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