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Business news from the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs

U.S. FIRM CONVERDYN CONTEMPLATES OPENING URANIUM HEXAFLUORIDE FACILITY IN UKRAINE

KYIV. July 3 (Interfax-Ukraine) – ConverDyn, an American company, is contemplating the potential for setting up a joint uranium hexafluoride production facility in Ukraine.

The likelihood of such cooperation was discussed between the U.S. company’s representatives and the top managers of Nuclear Fuel state concern in Kyiv in late June, the Ukrainian concern said in a press release.

Today ConverDyn is keen on cooperation with Ukrainian companies in providing uranium-conversion services to the Ukrainian energy sector.

“The business meeting resulted in an agreement to continue working on possible areas of cooperation between ConverDyn and the concern on the basis of the needs of the Ukrainian nuclear industry,” the statement reads.

Uranium hexafluoride is a necessary link in the production chain prior to uranium enrichment.

Ukraine’s state company VostGOK (based in Dnipropetrovsk region) increased its 2013 output of natural uranium concentrate by 0.4% (3.4 tonnes) to 925.7 tonnes in 2014.

ConverDyn specializes in providing uranium hexafluoride (conversion) services. ConverDyn is owned 50/50 by General Atomics and Honeywell.

Ukraine set up Nuclear Fuel state concern with the aim of organizing certain elements of the nuclear-fuel cycle, such as production of propellants for nuclear power plants and fuel assembly.

Nuclear Fuel consists of four state companies: Eastern Mining and Processing Complex (VostGOK), Smoly, Dniprovsky Precision Pipe Plant, Ukrainian Industrial Technology Scientific Research and Project Exploration Institute.

 

EC READY TO STIR UP WORK ON UKRAINE JOINING COMMON TRANSIT SYSTEM

KYIV. July 3 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The European Commission (EC) is ready to stir up work on Ukraine joining the common transit system, the harmonization of the customs and tax laws of Ukraine under the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, the introduction of the “one face to the customer” approach and the institution of authorized economic operators, as well as Ukraine joining the Pan-Euro-Med accumulation of origin system, the press service of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine has reported, referring to the statement of Director of the Directorate General for Taxation and Customs at the European Commission Heinz Zurek on the negotiations with Head of the State Fiscal Service Roman Nasirov.

“We understand that EU standards in the tax and customs areas are decisive for the successful modernization of the State Fiscal Service, and we’re ready for the quick introduction of them in our work. This first is needed for the development of customs procedures, the proper tax administration, building of modern electronic resources of the European model and fighting corruption,” Nasirov said.

He said that joint border and customs control with the EU should be introduced and electronic services should be built up: excise duty, consignment note, the taxpayer cabinet, and the “one face to the customer” system.

The New Computerized Transit System (NCTS) is designed to exchange electronic data on goods in transit between all customs agencies-participants and foreign economic traders.

UKRAINE OBTAINS RIGHT TO EXPORT AROUND 5,000 ITEMS OF GOODS TO U.S. FROM LATE JULY WITHOUT PAYING DUTIES

KYIV. July 3 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian companies have received the right to export around 5,000 items of goods under a duty-free regime to the United States, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry has reported.

The ministry said that Ukraine received the opportunity as a part of the revision of the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, or GSP, which will be in effect from July 29, 2015 until December 31, 2017.

Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Natalia Mykolska said that GSP covers widely movable goods: a large number of chemicals, minerals and construction stone, jewelry, many types of carpets, some types of agricultural products, and fish.

Mykolska said that Ukraine has effective protection of intellectual property rights and labor rights, while Ukrainian companies comply with the rules on origin of goods.

“Importers in the United States are to submit applications for giving preferences under GSP. They also received a right to have compensation of the duty which was lifted in July 2013,” she said.

UKRAINE SHOULD BE READY TO SUBMIT EU MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION IN 5-6 YEARS – POROSHENKO

KYIV. July 3 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said in 5-6 years Ukraine should reach the criteria that will allow it to submit an application for membership in the European Union.

“These reforms pursue a clear-cut and understandable goal – to prepare Ukraine to gain membership in the European Union. I am convinced that within 5-6 years Ukraine should change and reach the required criteria to submit a membership application [to the EU],” Poroshenko said before a meeting with European Parliament President Martin Schulz in Kyiv on Friday.

 

UKRZALIZNYTSIA READY TO TRANSPORT NEW HARVEST GRAIN

KYIV. July 1 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The State Railway Administration of Ukraine (Ukrzaliznytsia) has prepared its grain carriers and freight stations for shipments of grain of the new harvest and is ready to ship at least 3 million tonnes of grain and grain cargo every month, the press service of Ukrzaliznytsia has reported.

The press service said that in January-May 2015, a total of 166,000 grain carriers were loaded and they shipped 10.7 million tonnes of grain, and loading grew by 14.6% from a year ago.

“In 2015, railways expanded the working grain carrier fleet, cut the turnover of vacant and loaded wagons, and increased the volume of grain shipments using direct routes. It is planned to bring the shipment of grain with direct loading on vessels to 46%,” reads the report.

The administration said that available grain carriers are enough to ensure all the needs in transporting grain.

“The only problem that creates a shortage of rolling stock is the absence of the loading plans from grain traders. From year to year difficulties with planning of exports [are] repeated: there are almost no applications at the beginning of the month and too many applications in the second half of the month, and loading on holidays and weekends is not rhythmic,” Ukrzaliznytsia said.

The equipment of elevators also reduces the efficient use of rolling stock. At some elevators, grain is loaded from trucks, and delays appear also occur due to bad weather and the unsatisfactory state of roads.

Ukrzaliznytsia operates a grain carrier fleet of 11,700 wagons. Private companies have 1,900 more grain carriers. This is enough to ship around 40 million tonnes of grain every year.

BERRY MARKET IN UKRAINE FAR FROM BEING SATURATED – EXPERTS

KYIV. July 2 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The berry market in Ukraine which grew over the past five years by 7-1% every year, is still unsaturated, as demand for berries exceeds their real supply, according to profile experts.

“Today the fields with blueberry are 800-1,000 hectares. At least 6,000-8,000 ha is required to saturate the Ukrainian market,” Director of Brusvyana Ltd. Liliana Dmytriyeva said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Wednesday.

Private entrepreneur Pavlo Zbynsky, who grows blueberries, said that high-mountain blueberry is the most promising berry.

“The price is from $3 per kilogram to 10$ per kilogram, and the payback period of the project to grow is four years,” he said.

Director of Brusvyana Volodymyr Dmytriyev said that the popularity of blueberry is growing thanks to its transportation quality. The cooled berry can be stored from seven days to one month.

Dmytriyeva added that 51% of blueberries are sold for fresh consumption and 49% are sent to freezing and processing

Raspberries and currants also exhibited good growth over the past five years, however strawberries were less attractive, the conference participants said.

They said that fields with berries in the country in 2013 totaled 22,000 hectares, and they do not have the updated statistics.

They said that despite the prospects of the market, the growth of the berry business in 2015 slowed due to the unstable political and economic situation in the country and the temporary suspension of new berry projects.

“Berries are an expensive product. Its consumption at present is focused in Kyiv and other large cities. Earlier, the key districts for selling berries were also Crimea and eastern Ukraine. The major part of producers is located in Zhytomyr, Rivne, Volyn and Kyiv regions,” Dmytriyeva said.

The press conference participants said that growth of berry business is restricted by problems which it faces at the stage of enlargement: a lack of financing, administrative and tax restrictions, the necessity of certifying products and receiving patents, problems of transportation, the absence of wide retail trade and the impossibility of processing large volumes of berries.

Dmytriyeva said that it is better to boost exports where Ukraine has achieved the third position on the global frozen berry market. The most promising countries for exports are Asian and Middle East countries, while the markets of the EU countries are saturated with large and smooth supplies from Poland, Lithuania, and other countries.

Dmytriyeva said that on July 10 a conference to discuss the prospects of developing the berry business and related problems will be held in Bucha, Kyiv region.