Business news from Ukraine

LAWMAKERS REGISTER BILL WITH AGRARIAN STRATEGY

The framework bill on the key principles of the government agricultural policy and rural development policy (No. 9162), which should determine Ukraine’s agricultural strategy, has been registered by a group of lawmakers.
“The document introduces the Agrarian Attache Office to represent and protect the interests of Ukrainian agricultural producers abroad. A step-by-step implementation of the government policy will be an action plan for implementing the basic principles for the development of the government agricultural policy and rural development policy, which will be developed for the period of five years to implement the law. Monitoring of the corresponding plan of measures is also proposed,” the co-author of the bill, MP Oleh Kulinich (deputy group Vidrodzhennia Party) said on his Facebook page.
According to MP Mykola Kucher (Petro Poroshenko Bloc parliamentary faction), the bill will also introduce additional control over the management of state-owned land.
“Although at first glance, bill No. 9162 is declarative, but it is it that establishes the fundamental principles of the formation and implementation of the government agrarian policy, thereby getting a strategic content,” Kucher said.

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UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SIGNS BILL REGARDING PRESERVING FORESTS

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a bill amending some Ukrainian laws regarding preserving Ukrainian forests and preventing illegal imports of rough timber, according to posting on the official website of the head of state. The law increases fines for illegal logging and causing damage to forests and young trees by several times. The amendments are made to the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses, Criminal Code of Ukraine, Code of Criminal Procedure and the law on the specifics of the public regulation of activities of business entities linked to the sale and exports of wood.
The government is instructed to design a comprehensive program on restoration of forests of Ukraine and set the priorities for these works, fire and disease protection and other measures. The introduction of the requirements of the law will allow preserving the environmental safety of Ukraine and will create an effective mechanism to prevent committing crimes related to illegal logging. As reported, on July 3, 2018, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada passed bill No. 5495, restricting domestic consumption of rough timber to 25 million cubic meters a year and temporarily banning exports of firewood.

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PARLIAMENT PASSES UKRAINIAN FOREST PRESERVATION BILL WITH PRESIDENT’S REMARKS

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has passed bill No. 5495 about preserving Ukrainian forests and preventing illegal imports of rough timber with remarks of the Ukrainian president. The bill introduces severe punishment for smuggling of round timber and restricting domestic consumption of rough timber to 25 million cubic meters a year. A total of 246 lawmakers backed the bill with the president’s remarks, removing the clause about firewood export ban.
Head of the parliamentary committee for industrial policy and entrepreneurship Viktor Halasiuk said that the parliament must return to the issue and find a possibility of retaining the ban on exports of firewood, under the disguise of which round timber is exported from Ukraine.
As was earlier reported, on July 3, 234 deputies passed the bill (No. 5495) on making amendments to some laws of Ukraine concerning the preservation of Ukrainian forests and preventing the illegal export of unprocessed timber at second reading.
According to amendments taken into account in the second reading of the document, administrative and criminal liability for illegal logging and its timber exports outside customs control (smuggling) has been significantly strengthened.
The Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses, in particular, introduces a clause according to which illegal cutting and transportation, storage of illegally cut trees entail the imposition on citizens of a fine of 15 to 30 nontaxable minimum incomes of citizens (one nontaxable minimum – UAH 17), and on officials – from 75 to 150 nontaxable minimum incomes of citizens.
In case of a repeated offense within a year, the amount of the fine is from 30 to 60 nontaxable minimums for citizens and from 300 to 600 for officials.
In addition, according to changes in Ukraine’s Criminal Code, movement across the customs border of Ukraine outside the customs control or concealment from the uncontrolled control of unprocessed timber or sawn valuable or rare species is punishable by imprisonment for three to five years.
The same actions that have been committed repeatedly or by prior conspiracy by a group of persons or an official using his official position are punishable by imprisonment for a term of five to ten years, with deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions and with confiscation of property.
If these actions are committed by an organized group of individuals or on a particularly large scale, a penalty of imprisonment of ten to 12 years is provided, with deprivation of the right to engage in certain activities for three years and with confiscation of property.
Late July Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko vetoed the bill and returned it to the parliament with his proposals.

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PARLIAMENT PASSES BILL ON USE OF LARGE TRACTS OF FARMLAND

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada adopted draft law in the second reading and in general to resolve the issue of collective ownership of land, improving land use rules and stimulating irrigation. Some 236 lawmakers voted for the bill, 11 more than the required minimum of 226 votes. The bill introduces the concept of tracts of agricultural land. Within such tracts agrarians will have the opportunity to exchange plots, conclude sublease agreements without the consent of landlords, rent field roads and optimize areas for cultivation. Agrarians who own/use more than 75% of the tract will have priority rights over other users of the tract.
The bill also defines the order of inventory of land plots, which is to take place prior to the creation of arrays. As expected, it will contribute to the updating of the State Land Cadastre. Its results will be approved by local authorities.
The document provides for the protection of the rights of farmers who improve and restore hydraulic reclamation systems. In addition, a mechanism of permanent or urgent land easements is being implemented to introduce measures for land reclamation, which can be established both by contract and by a court decision.
Users of land plots on which hydrotechnical reclamation is carried out have the right to claim compensation for the costs of hydraulic reclamation of adjacent land plots from their owners or users. According to the document, lands of collective agricultural enterprises whose activities are terminated shall be transferred to municipal ownership of a local community.

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BILL ON EXIT CAPITAL TAX REGISTERED IN PARLIAMENT

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has submitted a bill on exit capital tax to the Verkhovna Rada. According to a posting on the official website of the parliament, bill No. 8557 amending the Tax Code of Ukraine regarding exit capital tax was registered in the Rada on July 5.
As reported, Poroshenko at a meeting with representatives of business in Kyiv on July 4 said that Poroshenko has signed and intends to register a bill on exit capital tax in the Verkhovna Rada in the near future. He said that the bill, if adopted, will take effect only jointly with compensators for revenue of the national budget.
“I declare that this bill does not and will not enter into any contradictions with the International Monetary Fund, since this bill will come into effect only when appropriate compensators are provided for the budget,” the president said.
Poroshenko also said that the rapporteur on the bill in the Verkhovna Rada would be his representative in parliament, Bloc of Petro Poroshenko MP Iryna Lutsenko.

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PARLIAMENT PASSES AT FIRST READING BILL BANNING PALM OIL USAGE

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday passed at first reading bill No. 3871 amending some Ukrainian laws regarding the ban on the use of palm oil in food. A total of 233 lawmakers backed the document.
The bill proposes amending the Code of Administrative Offenses of Ukraine, the laws on milk and dairy products, on the key principles and requirements to safety and quality of food. The amendments introduce administrative punishment for production and sale of food with palm oil content. It is banned to use palm oil in production of dairy products and food made in Ukraine.
The violation of the law implies a fine from 20 to 100 non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens (UAH 17) imposed on officials. The repeated violation committed during one year after imposing the first fine entails a fine from 100 to 200 non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens.

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