Business news from Ukraine

PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN UKRAINE: STATUS OF EU CANDIDATE WILL GIVE IMPETUS TO GROWTH OF UKRAINIAN ECONOMY AND SIGNAL TO INVESTORS

The status of a candidate member of the European Union will give impetus to a new trajectory of Ukraine’s GDP growth and a positive signal to investors, Andriy Hunder, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine (ACC), believes.
“The EU candidate status will kick-start a new GDP growth trajectory, while at the same time providing huge morale for post-war economic transformation and reform implementation. Such a move sends a positive signal to investors that Ukraine is moving in the right direction,” he said in a comment to the agency. Interfax-Ukraine.
“There is no future for transparent business in Russia. At the same time, companies will see Ukraine as a priority for post-war investment,” Gunder said.
He also expressed confidence that with a positive decision on such a status by the EU members, Ukraine will make every effort to implement all the necessary reforms as soon as possible. In particular, to introduce real and effective judicial reform, the rule of law, fair justice and the establishment of a level playing field for business.
“We will see a comprehensive approach to creating a strong state and a competitive economy,” Andrei Gunder stressed.
“The message on the status of Ukraine’s candidate for membership in the European Union is clear – Ukraine is returning home. Ukraine is returning to the European family of peoples, the values it shares, and, once and for all, is moving away from the yoke of Russia’s cruel suffocation,” he said.
Acceleration of Ukraine’s membership in the European Union by approximating national legislation in the field of competition, customs, healthcare, protection of intellectual property rights, media, etc. to EU legislation is one of the key priorities for member companies of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine for the post-war economic recovery of Ukraine, added the ACC President.

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AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN UKRAINE URGES INTERDEPARTMENTAL COMMISSION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE NOT TO IMPOSE DUTY ON IMPORTED WIRES

The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine urges members of the Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade (ICIT) not to introduce special measures in the form of the special duty on imported wires to Ukraine, regardless of the country of origin and export, the Chamber said in a Monday press release.
On March 29, 2021, the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine published the Basic Facts and Conclusions on the Special Investigation on the Import of Wires to Ukraine Regardless of the Country of Origin and Export. According to the basic facts and conclusions, the Ministry recommends introducing special measures in the form of the special duty of 23.5% for three years (with the subsequent liberalization).
“The potential introduction of the special duty on import will in fact, turn into the extra tax to be paid by the telecommunication industry. It will adversely affect mobile operators’ investment capacity because instead of investing in infrastructure, mobile operators will have to pay additional duties,” the Chamber said.

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AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN UKRAINE CALLS TO AMEND EXCISE TAX RATES ON HEATED TOBACCO PRODUCTS

The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine has called on Head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy Danylo Hetmantsev to amend the Tax Code of Ukraine regarding the excise tax rate on heated tobacco products, according to the organization’s website.
“Since January 2021, law No. 466 has increased the tax rate on heated tobacco products by 320%. In the current economic realities, such a sharp increase in tax can lead to devastating consequences for the market and the economy of the country, since a significant increase in the price of such products will contribute to growth of illegal market, as a result of which the state will not receive the planned budget revenues,” the organization said.
According to the companies-members of the chamber, the plan to increase the excise tax rate on cigarettes needs to be amended by increasing it until 2030 with a 10% annual rate increase, as well as maintaining the current ad valorem component of the excise tax. At the same time, from January 1, 2021, the amount of excise tax is UAH 1,456 per 1,000 pieces with an annual tax rate increase of 20% to UAH 2,517 in 2024.
According to the American Chamber of Commerce, from January 1 of this year, the amendments introduced by law No. 466 also make it impossible to sell, transport and store liquids for electronic cigarettes already produced in 2020. Such restriction deprives tobacco companies of the opportunity to exercise their right to property, including storing, transporting, selling or exporting products outside the customs territory of Ukraine, the message said.
As reported, on January 16, 2020, the Verkhovna Rada adopted law No. 1210, which introduced amendments to the Tax Code, increasing the excise tax rate on heated tobacco products four-fold from January 1, 2021.

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AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN UKRAINE ASKS PRESIDENT TO TAKE PERSONAL CONTROL OVER IMPLEMENTATION OF MEMO WITH ‘GREEN’ INVESTORS

The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine asks Volodymyr Zelensky to take personal control over Ukraine’s fulfillment of the memorandum obligations between the country’s government and renewable energy investors, which were legislatively enshrined in 2020.
Such a request is contained in a letter from President of the American Chamber of Commerce Andy Hunder to the head of the Ukrainian state dated January 26.
“We ask you to take personal control over the implementation of the provisions of Law No. 810-IX and the fulfillment of obligations under the current legislation and refrain from taking decisions that undermine earlier agreements between the state and investors,” the text of the letter said.
As Hunder recalled, on August 1, 2020, the law on the amendments to certain laws of Ukraine on improving the conditions of support for electricity production from alternative energy sources (No. 810-IX) came into force.
Adoption of Law No. 810-IX was aimed at improving the feed-in tariff’s sustainability and electricity market liquidity by enshrining in law the provisions set out in the Memorandum of Understanding, signed on June 10, 2020 by the Cabinet of Ministers, the Energy Ministry, the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission (NEURC) and renewable industry associations.
Inter alia, the provisions of Law No. 810-IX envisaged 20% co-financing from the state budget and issuance of government domestic loan bonds to cover the deficit in payments to renewable energy producers. However, none of these mechanisms was implemented either in the state budget for 2021 or using debt financing instruments.
“Accordingly, the American Chamber of Commerce members expected that the government will fulfill its obligations under the legislation and the memorandum by allocating at least UAH 9 billion from the attracted UAH 10.25 billion of credit funds to pay off 40% of the debt to renewable energy producers accumulated as of August 1, 2020 in the amount of UAH 22.4 billion. However, on January 16, 2021, the NEURC issued the Guaranteed Buyer an instruction to allocate not less than 50% of the funds received from Ukrenergo under the loans provided by state-owned banks for repaying other debts,” Hunder said.
He said that such NEURC decision combined with a lack of actions by the government to implement Law No. 810-IX is a clear sign of Ukraine’s unwillingness to fulfill its commitments to private investors.

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AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CALLING ON PARLIAMENT TO SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT OF UKRAINE’S MOBILE NETWORK AND DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE

The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine calls on Members of Parliament to support Draft Law #4118 on amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Access to Objects of Construction, Transport, Electricity for the Development of Telecommunication Networks”.
Draft Law #4118 creates transparent rules and equal access to infrastructure for all the telecom market players. It obliges them to work under the transparent agreements in which the fee for access is established in accordance with the clear methods developed by the Government. This will enable not only to prevent corruption risks and improve competition but also to contribute to developing the network and digital infrastructure in Ukraine.
We welcome the development of Draft Law #4118 and look forward to its adoption in the first reading.

AMERICAN VIDEO SERVICE NETFLIX BECOMES MEMBER OF AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN UKRAINE

The American video service Netflix Inc. became a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine (ACC), ACC President Andy Hunder told the members of the association.
He recalled that Netflix is now filming its first feature film in Ukraine.
Discovery Communications Europe Limited also became a member of the ACC in Ukraine in August.
Earlier information appeared on Netflix’ website that two Ukrainian studios Postmodern Postproduction and Tak Treba Production became partners of the video service and received the Gold partner status. They will duplicate service products in Ukrainian.
Postmodern Postproduction (formerly Pteroduction Sound) is one of the largest film studios in Ukraine. It specializes in postproduction (dubbing, CGI and VFX). Founded in 2001, it is part of Film.UA Group. The CEO of the company is Serhiy Bondarenko.
The multimedia company Tak Treba Production specializes in adaptation services for foreign films, TV series and animation (voice acting, dubbing, titration in Ukrainian and Russian). The company was founded in 2003 and is headed by Dmytro Melnyk.

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