Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SIGNS BILL STIMULATING INVESTMENT ACTIVITIES

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed law No. 132-IX amending some Ukrainian laws stimulating investment activities in Ukraine approved by the Verkhovna Rada on September 20, according to a posting on the official website of the head of state. “The law aims to improve the investment climate in our country in certain areas, selected as a result of a comprehensive assessment of compliance of Ukrainian legislation with the best world practices described by the World Bank Group in the Doing Business rating methodology. The document amends a number of legislative acts that contain outdated and ineffective regulation. In particular, it is aimed at filling legal gaps, as well as introducing innovative legal instruments into the legal system of Ukraine.”
The main provisions of the law outline, among other things, liability of persons with an interest and officials of a joint-stock company for losses caused by an interested-party transaction concluded on non-market terms, the consent to which was granted by the majority shareholder or persons appointed by him; expanding the list of transactions that are considered related-party transactions.
The law abolishes the obligation to pay a contribution for the development of the infrastructure of a settlement. The law provides that contracts for the payment of contribution agreements concluded before January 1, 2020 are valid and continue to be valid until they are fully executed. During 2020, companies that ordered construction projects on a land parcel transfer funds to the appropriate local budget for the creation and development of the infrastructure of the settlement: for nonresidential buildings and structures – 4% of the total estimated cost of construction of the facility; for residential buildings – 2% of the construction cost of the facility. The law also defines facilities for the construction of which contribution is not paid.
In the field of land pledge agreements, the law abolishes the obligation to conduct an expert pecuniary valuation of private property land transferred as collateral.
In the field of activity of limited liability companies, the specifics of the creation and activity of limited liability companies operating on the basis of the model charter are determined.

The law enters into force on the day following the day of its publication.

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UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES BILL ON LENDING STATE-OWNED PROPERTY

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has passed at first reading bill No. 1055-1 on lending state-owned and municipal property, envisaging the lending of this type of property via the e-auction system.
An Interfax-Ukraine correspondent has reported that the bill was backed by 263 MPs on Thursday.
“The Verkhovna Rada today adopted bill No. 1055-1, which will finally allow creating fair competition and fully opening up this market. Perhaps the story is familiar to many city dwellers: no one knows who and for what money, what “matchmakers” and “godfathers” rent premises in the middle of the city for UAH 1, to whom the high-rise complex of a plant is rented. All this is now a thing of the past,” First Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture Pavlo Kukhta said on his Facebook page, commenting on the adoption of the bill.
He said that according to the document, state-owned and municipal property should be leased according to the results of electronic auctions to those who offered the highest price.
In addition, a unified database of state-owned and municipal property leased will be created.
“By October 1, 2020, all existing lease contracts, even those that were concluded under the old law, will be entered to the electronic trading system @ProZorro.Sales with free access to data,” he added.

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UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES GAMBLING BILL

A bill which legalizes gambling in Ukraine was approved by the national government on September 29, according to a statement posted on the government’s website.
According to the bill, “gambling will be allowed exclusively on hotel premises through use of gambling equipment and software that comply with international standards.”
Seeking “de-criminalization of the economy,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tasked the government and the parliamentary majority with elaborating and adopting before December 1, 2019, laws legitimizing the gambling industry and amber production.

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EUROPEAN BUSINESS ASSOCIATION IN UKRAINE ASKS PARLIAMENT TO BACK TAXI MARKET REFORM BILL

The European Business Association (EBA) has asked Head of the Verkhovna Rada committee for transport and infrastructure Yuriy Kysyl to support a bill proposing new legislation for the taxi market, the press service of the EBA said on Friday. “The adoption of a new model for regulating the taxi market is a significant step in introducing European standards into the life of Ukrainians. We hope that the new law on taxis will allow us to remove transportation from the shadows, get rid of outdated regulations and instead introduce clear and equal rules of the game for market players. For the first time, Ukraine has approached the reform of the taxi services market in such a comprehensive and professional manner that it is undoubtedly a positive signal,” the press service said, citing Advocacy Team Leader at the EBA Igor Gotsyk.
According to the report, the bill proposes the cancellation of obtaining a license for the domestic transportation of passengers by taxi, while at the same time the obligation is introduced to notify the State Service of Ukraine for Transport Safety, which also provides the functions of the public register of road carriers.
In addition, according to the document, an individual road carrier is not required to register as private entrepreneur. He also does not need to draw up a contract on transportation for each service in paper. He can only draw up a contract in electronic form.
“Given the thoroughness of the above-mentioned provisions and the importance of their adoption in order to increase the transparency of operations by carriers who operate road passenger transport services, we expect fruitful cooperation and hope that the bill will be adopted this autumn,” the EBA said.

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FARMLAND TURNOVER BILL REGISTERED IN UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT

Government’s bill No. 2178 about the turnover of farmland has been submitted to Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada and sent to the profile committee.
According to information on the parliament’s website, the bill was registered on September 25. It provides for the abolition of the ban on sale of farmland of all forms of ownership from October 1, 2020.
According to the document, citizens and legal entities of Ukraine, territorial communities, and the state can buy farmland.
At the same time, the bill proposes to deprive individuals and legal entities, foreign states that are subject to the sanctions law, of the right to purchase land.
“Foreigners and stateless persons may obtain ownership rights to farmland by succession prescribed in the law, but are required to sell them within one year from the date of obtaining ownership rights,” the government said in the document.
The bill sets the minimum starting price for the sale of land plots in public and communal property at land tenders at a level not lower than the standard monetary value, ensures the right of citizens to buy back land for farming, owned by them on a permanent use right basis and inherited tenure rights in installments paid during up to five years at a price equal to the standard monetary value of such land plots.
The document provides the tenant’s pre-emptive right to purchase a land plot, provides for the obligation of the state registrar to place information on the price (value) of property rights, including use rights, in the register of ownership rights.
The total area of farmland owned by a citizen or a legal entity of Ukraine, taking into account affiliated persons: within one region should not exceed 15% of farmland of such an area and 0.5% of farmland of Ukraine, according to the bill.
In addition, in order to obtain data on the total area of farmland owned by one person and affiliated persons, the software of the State Land Cadastre must provide information interaction with the public register of ownership rights to real estate and the unified public register of legal entities, individual entrepreneurs and public organizations.

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NEW PARLIAMENT PASSES AT FIRST READING OWNERSHIP RIGHTS PROTECTION BILL IN UKRAINE

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has passed at first reading bill No. 1056-1 on protection of ownership rights, ceasing activities of accredited entities in the sphere of public registration of ownership rights. As an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reported, bill No. 1056-1 at the plenary meeting on September 12 was supported by 327 MPs.

“The bill is aimed at providing additional guarantees for the protection of ownership rights in Ukraine, and provides for the removal from the market of the so-called accredited entities – nongovernmental organizations that regularly, unfortunately, performed the functions of “black registrars” and were one of the elements of criminal schemes,” one of the initiators of the bill, MP Olena Shuliak (the Servant of the People parliamentary faction) said.

The document also introduces the principle of simultaneous notarization of a legal act and public registration of emerging rights, and obliges to notarize certificates on disposing corporate rights.

In addition, the bill provides for increased liability for violations of registration procedures.

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