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ECONOMIC MINISTRY UNVEILS NEW IMPORT DUTIES FOR GOODS FROM EU

KYIV. Jan 6 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade has promulgated new import duty rates for goods from the European Union, which came into effect on January 1, 2016 in connection with the entry into force of the free trade area (FTA) between Ukraine and the EU.

According to the agency, the EU reduced import duty rates for Ukraine to the level of the first year of the FTA in 2014 within autonomous trade preferences, therefore the functioning of the deep and comprehensive free trade area marks the beginning of Ukraine’s reducing import duties on goods from the EU.

The ministry also notes that in parallel with the free trade regime, the GSP preferential regime, which Ukraine has been using in exports to the EU for many years, will be valid for another two years.

As reported, the agreement on a deep and comprehensive free trade area between Ukraine and the European Union came into force on January 1, 2016 after a one-year pause the parties took at Russia’s request for consultations with the country, which failed.

PETRO POROSHENKO BLOC PLANS TO RADICALLY REFORM CUSTOMS SERVICE

KYIV. Jan 6 (Interfax-Ukraine) – MP from Petro Poroshenko Bloc Andriy Antonyschak will register a bill on national customs service, aiming at radically changing the service, next plenary session week of the parliament, the press service of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc has reported.

“Today the customs service actually does not exist. Its role is fiscal function: to protect economic interests of the state and replenish the national budget,” Antonyschak said.

He also said that the document aims at creating the National Customs Service that will protect the customs interests, customs security, domestic market, development of the Ukrainian economy, its integration into the global economy and prevent customs irregularities.

He said that MPs held several meetings with European experts and everyone came to the conclusion that the customs service should become a separate institution.

“The main goal of the customs service is not replenishment of the budget. The main task of the customs service is the smooth and transparent movement of goods and protection of the borders from smuggling. We propose in this bill that an independent customs service is created and subordinated to the Finance Ministry,” he said.

The bill envisages the creation of separate services – customs, tax, financial investigation and auxiliary services (analytics and customs value of goods).

The document toughens criminal punishment for bribing.

“For example, if a customs officer takes a bribe of $10, he will be automatically deprived of the job record, an apartment, social benefits and other things,” Antonyschak said.

He added that the next step for conducting the radical reform of the customs service should be direct negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union (EU).

 

YUZHNY PORT SEES 1.8% RISE IN CARGO HANDLING IN 2015, TO RECORD OF 15.1 MLN TONNES

KYIV. Jan 5 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Yuzhny maritime merchandise port (Odesa region), the largest Ukrainian port in terms of cargo handling, saw a 1.8% rise in cargo handling in 2015, to 15.069 million tonnes.

The port said in a press release that this is 100.5% of the target and it is a record figure for the whole history of the enterprise.

“Traditionally, ore is first in terms of handling – 12.623 million tonnes and coal is second with 2.423 million tonnes,” the port said.

Last year 216,477 wagons and 210 vessels were processed at the port.

Yuzhny port was founded in 1978. It is located on the Adzhalyk firth and is the deepest harbor in Ukraine. The length of its berths is around 2.6 kilometers. The port has six handling terminals.

Sea terminals in various forms of ownership operate at the port: Pivdenny oil terminal, Transbunker-Yug LLC’s fuel handling terminal, a terminal of Transinvestservice LLC, a grain handling terminal of Borivage LLC, and a tropic oil handling and processing complex of Delta Wilmar CIS LLC.

GOVT PROPOSES PRIVATIZING OR REORGANIZING STATE LAND BANK

KYIV. Jan 5 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has proposed that the parliament puts into effect the reorganization or privatization of the State Land Bank via the State Property Fund of Ukraine.

Bill No. 3733 was registered in the parliament on December 28, 2015.

According to an explanatory note to the document, now the State Land Bank is being liquidated, but the alternative to this is its reorganization of privatization to sell the state-owned shares to potential investors. This would allow returning funds to the national budget that were used to form the bank’s charter capital and attracting additional investment to the Ukrainian agricultural sector.

As reported, the parliament on June 17, 2014 permitted to liquidate the State Land Bank.

The State Land Bank was created to realize new mechanisms of agricultural crediting and provide farmers with affordable funds. The previous Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine sent UAH 120 million in the charter capital of the bank, and amendments to the Land Code are to be adopted to put land plots in the bank’s charter capital.

It was planned that the bank will manage farmland in state ownership and will fulfill functions on the realization of state credit programs, first of all, for small and medium-sized business in rural areas.

NBU FACILITATES OPENING OF ACCOUNTS BY BANKS, BRINGS INTERBANK TRANSFER RULES IN LINE WITH CENTRALIZATION OF NBU’S FUNCTIONS

KYIV. Jan 5 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has brought the interbank funds transfer rules in Ukraine in the national currency in compliance with new requirements of Ukrainian law and changes in the structure of the regulator in relation to the centralization of its functions and reformation of territorial departments, the central bank said on its website.

NBU resolution No. 994 on approval of changes to the interbank funds transfer rules in Ukraine in the national currency dated December 30, 2015 took effect on January 5, 2016.

The resolution relaxed the procedure for opening correspondent accounts by banks at the NBU, as from now on the NBU can receive information about banks in the electronic form via the website of the central executive-branch agency in the area of registration of companies and individuals.

The resolution sets the procedure for writing off refinancing debts of banks to the NBU from correspondent accounts of debtor-banks opened at other Ukrainian banks.

The document also removes the requirements to keep correspondent accounts of bank by the NBU’s chief department in Kyiv city and region and the requirements for functioning automated jobs of the NBU’s territorial departments.

AGRICULTURE MINISTRY PREDICTS GROWTH OF FIELDS WITH SPRING CROPS BY 10.3% IN 2016

KYIV. Jan 4 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Fields with spring grain and leguminous crops in 2016 could grow by 10.3%, to 7.547 million hectares, the press service of the Agricultural Policy and Food Ministry of Ukraine has told Interfax-Ukraine.

Fields with corn could grow by 9.6%, to 4.536 million hectares, sorghum – by almost two times, to 98,700 hectares, rice – by 6%, to 12,400 hectares, millet – by 19%, to 126,500 hectares, and buckwheat fields could narrow by 11.8%, to 116,600 hectares.

The ministry also predicts that fields with sugar beets grow by 5%, to 250,500 hectares, soybeans – by 0.8%, to 2.164 million hectares and sunflower seeds – by 1.7%, to 5.048 million hectares.

The ministry said that Ukraine reduced fields with winter crops for 2016 harvest by 10.5%, to 7.06 million hectares, and fields with winter rapeseeds were decreased by 2.6%, to 645,800 hectares.

According to the State Statistics Service, areas sown with agricultural crops in Ukraine (excluding the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea and the Anti-Terrorist Operation zone) for the 2015 harvest have dropped by 1.9% compared to 2014, to 26.7 million hectares. The total area sown grain and leguminous crops this year amounted to nearly 14.7 million hectares, which is 0.5% less than last year.