Business news from Ukraine

PARLIAMENT OF UKRAINE ADOPTED IN 1ST READING BILL ON THERMAL MODERNIZATION OF BUILDINGS

The Verkhovna Rada adopted in the first reading bill No. 6485 on creating conditions for comprehensive thermal modernization of buildings, MP Ivan Yunakov (Servant of the People faction) said.
“We considered this bill at the committee on February 23 … We will prepare for the second reading, taking into account the conditions and challenges that the country faced the next day,” the people’s deputy wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
According to the explanatory note to the bill, the document will remove a number of legislative obstacles to the implementation of thermal modernization projects, including in the case of state support.
The bill amends the law “On the Energy Efficiency Fund” in terms of the procedure for developing, reviewing and accepting applications, implementing and verifying projects.
The draft law will also simplify the implementation of partial thermal modernization projects by reducing the number of procedures, as well as introducing clear criteria in terms of energy efficiency indicators for such projects.
In addition, the procedure for the creation and functioning of associations of co-owners of an apartment building (OSMD) will be simplified.

, ,

U.S. PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN SIGNS $40 BLN BILL FOR UKRAINE

On Saturday, U.S. President Joe Biden signed a bill approved by the Congress to appropriate $40 billion for Ukraine, the White House press service has reported.
“On Saturday, May 21, 2022, the President signed into law H.R. 7691, the “Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022,” the press service said in a statement posted on the White House’s official website.
“Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022” provides supplemental emergency appropriations for fiscal year 2022 to Federal agencies to respond to the situation in, and for assistance to, Ukraine.

, ,

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF US CONGRESS PASSED BILL ON USE OF CONFISCATED RUSSIAN ASSETS FOR RESTORATION AND ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE

The US House of Representatives passed bill HR6930 on the allocation of assets subject to US sanctions for reconstruction and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, the press service of the Congress reports.
“Specifically, within two years from the entry into force of this bill, the President (Joe Biden – IF) may seize such assets if (1) Russia continues to participate in the conflict of territorial seizures in Ukraine; (2) the President has imposed sanctions on the owner of the assets for reasons related to corruption, human rights violations, malicious influence or conflicts in Ukraine; and (3) the value of the assets exceeds $5 million,” the website says.
It is explained that “the seized assets can be liquidated and the funds received can only be used for certain purposes, including (1) post-conflict reconstruction of Ukraine, (2) humanitarian aid and refugee support for the Ukrainian people, (3) weapons for the Ukrainian armed forces ( …)”.
The law must be approved by the Senate and signed by the President of the United States to enter into force.
The House of Representatives of the US Congress passed a bill providing for the confiscation of Russian sanctioned assets.
According to Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal, he personally discussed the need for such an important step with Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi during a recent visit to the United States.
“Thank you for this fair decision. The aggressor must pay for the destroyed property! The provisions of the document allow these funds to be used to restore Ukraine, provide humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians and other assistance to the state, including military,” the head of the Ukrainian government said.
He added that Canada is currently preparing a similar bill, which he also spoke about with Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland during his visit to the United States.

, , ,

BUSINESS INSISTS ON MANDATORY REVISION OF BILL ON TIMBER MARKET

Experts of the European Business Association (EBA) insist on the obligatory revision of the draft law on the timber market taking into account the proposals of the business, in particular, it should provide for a cascade principle of the auction.
“In our opinion, priority access to the resource should be provided to companies that have production facilities and carry out wood processing in Ukraine,” the EBA said in a press release on Thursday.
In addition, according to the press release, it is necessary to significantly revise and simplify the rules of administration of transactions with wood products.
“According to business, they are not only excessive but also inappropriate given the specifics of the market. Businesses find it inexpedient to declare transactions related to wood products, instead of focusing on declaration of the procurement and sale [resale] of wood,” the association’s experts said.
The EBA also notes the need to revise the list of wood products requiring a certificate of origin and exclude from it products that are not of primary wood processing.
The press release notes that the consideration of this bill (No. 4197-d) in the Verkhovna Rada is scheduled for October 22.
“It is worth noting that the updated version of draft law No. 4197-d took into account certain important proposals from businesses. These are provisions that provide a mechanism for the sale of timber on the terms of the offer in parity with the auction and the restructuring of state forestry enterprises by separating the woodworking units of state forestries,” the press release states.
The association notes that it continues to develop proposals for the wording of the bill, which will be submitted additionally.
As reported, revised draft law No. 4197-d on the timber market envisages the abolition of the moratorium on export of unprocessed timber from Ukraine and the introduction of a transparent timber market.

, ,

PATIENT ORGANIZATIONS URGE MPS TO PASS BILL ON CONTROLLED ACCESS CONTRACTS

Patient organizations call on the parliament of Ukraine to adopt at the final reading bill No. 4662, which will provide the possibility of purchasing medicines under controlled access contracts and the Ministry of Health will be given an opportunity of developing the appropriate regulatory framework for the implementation of the controlled access contracts mechanism by the end of 2021.
“Three weeks ago, we wrote open letters to [Chairman of the Parliament Dmytro] Razumkov from all patient organizations (over 30) with a request to bring this bill into the hall. We also wrote letters to the chairmen of all factions with a request to support this bill. We hope that they will support it, since patients need it,” Chair of the Council of the Orphan Diseases of Ukraine NGO Tetiana Kulesha said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Monday.
According to her, the controlled access contracts mechanism will allow purchasing drugs with a 20-50% discount. Pharmaceutical companies are ready to supply drugs at a reduced cost on conditions of confidentiality and without using public tender procedures, since there is no alternative drug and there cannot be a better offer. Under this procedure, some countries purchase medicines for more than 250 diseases.
“Patients are not provided with the necessary drugs, because they are expensive, unregistered in the country and the state practically does not buy them. The mechanism for the procurement of such drugs under controlled access contracts is effective in 15 countries of the world. This week we are submitting for the second reading the corresponding bill to introduce such a mechanism in Ukraine,” MP Oksana Dmytrieva (the Servant of the People parliamentary faction) said.
According to her, the Ministry of Health will need up to three months to develop a regulatory framework, and after its introduction, the controlled access contracts mechanism will operate for three years as a pilot project.
“Our model of public procurement, unfortunately, does not cover the purchase of all the necessary drugs, in particular for orphan patients. The bill will create special conditions to provide such patients with drugs,” MP Oleksiy Movchan (the Servant of the People faction) said.
As reported, the bill was adopted at the first reading in the spring of 2021.

, ,

UKRAINIAN ECOLOGY MINISTRY INTENDS TO SUBMIT BILL ON LIMITING USE OF DISPOSABLE PLASTIC

A bill on limiting the use of disposable plastic products may be registered at the Verkhovna Rada in October, Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Roman Abramovsky has said.
According to him, the bill provides for a year after its adoption, a ban on production, import and sale of a number of disposable plastic goods in Ukraine, which are proposed to be replaced with similar ones made from alternative harmless materials, including corn starch.
“From such materials, practically without changing the technology, you can make the same products as from plastic. There will be no big problems for re-equipment of production. We are constantly in contact with business and manufacturers, and most confirm that significant transformations will not be needed […] We came to the conclusion that it is inexpensive, 10-15% of capital investments,” the minister said during a press breakfast in Kyiv on Wednesday.
The bill proposes to limit the use of plastic disposable tableware, cutlery, straws, food containers, lids for drinks containers, sanitary cotton swabs, plastic base-holders for balloons and other products made from polystyrene and oxo-biodegradable plastic.
In addition, special labeling is provided for goods that do not fall under the restrictions (wet wipes, feminine hygiene products, diapers, cigarettes with filters).
At the same time, manufacturers of such products are subject to extended liability, in particular, they will be required to recycle a certain share of the plastic produced.
“The discussion about liability is still ongoing, although the bill is already ready for registration. This is a difficult issue, since excessive liability is associated with corruption risks. Today, the following figures are proposed: the primary fine for the provision of prohibited products on the market is from UAH 18,000 to UAH 51,000, repeated violation within one year – from UAH 85,000 to UAH 175,000,” Abramovsky said.
At the same time, the minister noted the lack of statistical information on production of plastic products in Ukraine.

, , ,