Ukraine


Authors: Senior Associates Dmytro Koval, Iurii Gulevatyi and Associate Dmytro Izotov (AGA Partners)
Contact: Email - koval@agalawyers.org, gulevatyi@agalawyers.org, izotov@agalawyers.org; LinkedIn Profiles - Dmytro Koval, Iurii Gulevatyi, Dmytro Izotov

Overview of legal measures as of 10 June 2020 as response to the coronavirus. Please note: Due to the extraordinary situation, the legislation is in continuous evolution and may change very fast.

Introduction

On 11 March 2020, in response to the spread of COVID-19, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted Regulation No. 211 "On the prevention of the spread in Ukraine of acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2". Pursuant to the Regulation No. 211 the quarantine was introduced on the whole territory of Ukraine with various restrictions related both to individuals and companies. Initially, the duration of the quarantine was limited to 22 days, but further it was extended till 22 May 2020.

On 20 May 2020, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted Regulation No. 392 "On the establishment of quarantine in order to prevent the spread of acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Ukraine, and stages of mitigation of anti-epidemic measures" thereby extending the quarantine by 22 June 2020. At the same time the Regulation No. 392 reducted number of restrictive measures implemented earlier by the Regulation No. 211.

Disclaimer

Considering the frequent changes in Ukrainian legislation during the period of quarantine, the below analysis reflects just a high-level description of selected legislative acts regulating the most essential spheres. This analysis shall be used for information purposes only and should not be relied on as a replacement for comprehensive legal advice.


1. INTERVENTIONS AND RESTRICTIONS

1.1 Legal basis

The main act establishing the restrictions implemented in Ukraine to prevent the spread of COVID-19 was Regulation of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 211 "On the prevention of the spread in Ukraine of acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2" dated 11 March 2020.

However, on 20 May 2020, the Regulation No. 392 "On the establishment of quarantine in order to prevent the spread of acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Ukraine, and stages of mitigation of anti-epidemic measures" thereby extending the quarantine by 22 June 2020. At the same time the Regulation No. 392 reducted number of restrictive measures implemented earlier by the Regulation No. 211.

Various restrictions can also be found in other acts of Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers and laws adopted by Ukrainian parliament, namely:


1.2 Border

Border restrictions aimed at the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in Ukraine are envisaged in Decrees of the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers Nos. 288-p dated 13 March 2020 and 287-p dated 14 March 2020.

Pursuant to the above acts for the period of quarantine entry to Ukraine was closed for foreigners and stateless persons.

Exceptions were made for those who are (1) entitled to permanent or temporary residence in Ukraine, (2) spouses or children of Ukrainian citizens, (3) employees of foreign diplomatic missions and consular posts accredited in Ukraine, representative offices of official international missions, organizations accredited in Ukraine and their families, as well as (4) drivers and crew members of cargo vehicles, crew members of air, sea and river vessels, members of the train and locomotive crews of the states, which do not restrict the crossing of their own state border by the Ukrainian citizens of the said categories.

At the same time the latest amendments to Ukrainian legislation provide that local goverment in the respective region of Ukraine can allow:

  • from 22 May 2020 - regular and irregular passenger transportation by road in urban, suburban, intercity, intraregional and international traffic; and

  • from 15 June 2020 - acceptance and departure of aircrafts performing international passenger transfers by air.

These type of passanger transfers can be allowed on the basis of the decision of the regional commission on technogenic and ecological safety and emergencies in the respective region. The comission is entitled to adopt such decision only if:

  • the total number of new cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days per 100 thousand population is less than 12 people per 100 thousand population;

  • bed occupancy in health facilities designated for hospitalization of patients with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is less than 50 percent;

  • the average number of completed COVID-19 tests is more than 12 per 100 thousand population in the last seven days.


1.3 Visas

Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed that in response to the spread of COVID-19 from 14 March 2020 Consular Offices, Consular Departments at International Checkpoints and the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine suspended the issuance of Ukrainian visas.


1.4 Export control

By Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 223 dated 16 March 2020 export of certain anti-epidemic products was prohibited, namely:

  • medical gloves;

  • medical masks;

  • laboratory suits, etc.

By Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 229 dated 23 March 2020 and No. 260 dated 2 April 2020 Ukraine also prohibited export of buckwheat, ethyl alcohol and other distillates.

1.5 Prohibition of crowds and Lockdown

Newly adopted Regulation of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 392 dated 20 May 2020 provides the following restrictions. In particular, it is prohibited to:

  • stay in public areas and public transport without wearing any personal protective equipment, including a respirator or protective mask;

  • be on the streets without identity documents;

  • to leave places of self-isolation and observation without respective permission;

  • attend educational institutions by student, except for participation in state examinations, as well as certification of seafarers, training of seafarers, crew members of merchant vessels, including those navigating inland waterways of Ukraine, and training of masters of small vessels;

  • carry out all mass (cultural, entertainment, sports, social, religious, advertising and other) events with more than 10 participants, except for activities necessary to ensure the work of public authorities and local governments, training meetings of athletes of national teams of Ukraine on Olympic, non-Olympic, national sports and sports of persons with disabilities, educational and training process of professional sports clubs.

Regulation No. 392 also prohibits:

  • the work of operation of catering establishments (restaurants, cafes, etc.), shopping and entertainment centers (except for the shops located in them), activities of establishments providing accommodation services, entertainment establishments, fitness centers, cultural establishments. This restriction, however, is not applicable to the following entities and establishments:

  1. entities which carry out catering activities in open (summer) areas, provided that the distance is not less than 1.5 meters between the seats at adjacent tables and such establishment accommodates no more than 4 customers at one table (excluding children under 14 years of age);

  2. entities which carry out activities for the provision of services with targeted delivery of orders and takeaway orders, provided that the business entity that conducts such activities is a food market operator in accordance with the respective laws of Ukraine, and provided that staff are provided with personal protective equipment;

  3. entities which provide accommodation services, where medical workers and persons under observation live, as well as other persons in accordance with the decision of the rescpective public authority;

  4. museums, open-air museums and historical and cultural protected areas in accordance with the proposal of the head of the cultural institution and the decision of the owner (management body) provided that the reception of the visitors is prohibited and stuff of such establishments wears respirators or face masks and all other sanitary and anti-epidemic measures are complied with (the reception of the visitors can be allowed by the specific decision of the owner of such establishments);

  5. business entities related to the production of audiovisual works, in particular the production of film and video shooting in the open air, in vehicles, residential buildings, structures, premises (including premises intended for the shooting of audiovisual works (studios, pavilions), provided that (1) number of persons making film and video recordings in one place is not more than 50 persons and (2) personnel involved in the production of audiovisual works wear respirators or protective masks;

  6. establishments involved in conduct of rehearsals, trainings and other events in theaters, circuses, concert organizations, artistic (artistic) groups by the decision of the governing bodies, provided that (1) number of persons involved in these activities is not more than 50 persons and (2) they wear respirators or protective masks.

  • regular and irregular transfer of passengers by road in urban, suburban, inter-regional traffic shall be prohibited, except for transfers:

  1. by passenger cars with a number of passengers, including a driver, up to 5 persons, excluding persons under 14 years of age or more, provided that they are members of one family;

  2. by service motor vehicles of employees of establishments providing health care, food security and essential public services, energy, water communications and telecommunications, financial and banking services, the functioning of transport infrastructure, defense, law enforcement and civil protection functions, establishments that have a continuous industrial cycle, provided that drivers and passengers of such vehicles are provided with personal protective equipment correlating to the number of seats in the respective vehicle, and solely on traffic routes agreed with the National Police of Ukraine;

  3. of employees of the above establishments and persons who have expressed a desire to be a blood donor, provided that drivers and passengers of such vehicles are provided with personal protective equipment correlating to the number of seats in the respective vehicle.

  • transfers of passengers by subway in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipro and by train within all country shall be prohibited, except for transfers specifically approved by Ministry of Infrastrucure of Ukraine;

  • transfer of passengers by rail in all types of domestic communication (suburban, urban, regional and long-distance). However, JSC "Ukrainian Railways" is allowed to conduct separate passenger flights in the domestic railway service, pursuant to decision of the respective Ukrainian public authorities;

  • visits to social care establishments in which children, senior citizens, persons with disabilities are residing, except for visits to establishments providing emergency services;

  • visits to places of temporary stay of foreigners and stateless persons who are illegally staying in Ukraine, and places of temporary accommodation of refugees, except for persons providing legal assistance to persons staying in such places;

  • acceptance and departure of aircrafts performing international passenger transportation, except for transportation carried out through the state enterprise "Boryspil International Airport" or in case of impossibility of acceptance and departure of aircraft by the state enterprise "Boryspil International Airport" - through the state enterprise "International Airport" "Lviv" as a backup. If it is necessary to meet the state needs, the reception and departure of aircraft performing passenger transportation, as well as transportation of crew members of sea and river vessels heading to/from their place of work, is carried out in agreement with the relevant public authorities, etc.

Regulation No. 392 provides that certain restriction can be lifted pursuant to the decision of the public authority in the respective region of Ukraine. For more details on this matter, please see para. 6.1 of this Survey.

1.6 Relaxation of the quarantine regime

  1. Criteria for relaxation

Newly adopted Regulation of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 392 dated 20 May 2020 provides that in the territory of regions with a favorable epidemic situation, the relaxation of quarantine regime can be introduced.

Relaxation can be introduced only if respective region simultaneously meets the following characteristics:

  • the total number of new cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days per 100 thousand population is less than 12 people per 100 thousand population;

  • bed occupancy in health facilities designated for hospitalization of patients with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is less than 50 percent;

  • the average number of completed COVID-19 tests is more than 12 per 100 thousand population in the last seven days.

Relaxation can be introduced on the basis of the decision of the regional commission on technogenic and ecological safety and emergencies, which shall take into account the assessment of the epidemic situation. Such decision shall be reviewed at least once every 7 days, taking into account the results of the assessment of the current epidemic situation in the region.

In case of non-compliance of the epidemic situation in the region with the above criteria for 3 consecutive days, the regional commission on technogenic and ecological safety and emergencies shall adopt decision to to cancel the relaxation of anti-epidemic measures based on the assessment of the current epidemic situation.

  1. Reduction of anti-epedemic measures

In regions where the decision on relaxation of quarantine regime was issued it is allowed to:

  • from 22 May 2020:

    • hold sports events without spectators, in which no more than 50 people take part. Sports events involving more than 50 people may be held pursuant to the separate decision of the Ministry of Health based on the results of epidemic risk assessments;

    • carry out religious activities, provided that religious organization ensures (1) physical distance between participants not less than 1,5 meters and (2) stay of not more than one person per 5 sq.m. of building area if a religious event is held indoors;

    • provide hotel activities (except for the operation of restaurants in hotels);

    • conduct regular and irregular passenger transfers by road in urban, suburban, intercity, intraregional and international traffic, provided that passengers are transferred within the number of seats provided by the technical characteristics of the vehicle.

  • from 25 May 2020:

    • transfer the passengers by subways, provided that the carrier ensures the control over the use of personal protective equipment, including respirators or protective masks,

    • visit preschool institutions.

  • from 1 June 2020:

    • attend physical culture and sports institutions, gyms, fitness centers (except for group classes with more than 10 participants);

    • attend classes in groups of not more than 10 people in educational institutions, to conduct professional training and state qualification certification in professional education institutions, preparatory activities for practical training in laboratory work and training, certification of applicants for higher education education and relevant preparatory activities, to obtain documents on professional (technical) and higher education, etc;

    • to transfer the passengers by rail in all types of internal communication (suburban, urban, regional and long-distance) between regions within the number of seats provided by the technical characteristics of the vehicle. In the case of transportation between regions in transit through a region where there is no relaxation of anti-epidemic measures, transportation is allowed within the number of seats provided by the technical characteristics of the vehicle or specified in the registration documents for this vehicle (without the right to board passengers in the transit region) . In the case of transportation to a region where the relaxation of anti-epidemic measures is not applied, transportation is allowed within 50 percent of the number of seats provided by the technical characteristics of the vehicle, provided that passengers has an empty seat nearby;

    • interregional passenger transfers by road between the regions within the number of seats provided for in the technical characteristics of the vehicle. In the case of transportation to a region where the mitigation of anti-epidemic measures is not applied, transportation is allowed within 50 percent of the number of seats provided by the technical characteristics of the vehicle, provided that passengers has an empty seat nearby.

  • from 5 June 2020:

    • accept and conduct departure of aircrafts performing domestic passenger transfers by air;

    • to provide services by catering establishments, in particular reception of visitors in premises, subject to (1) observance of anti-epidemic measures, in particular observance of distance not less than 1,5 meters between places for sitting at the next tables and placement of not more than 4 clients at one table (excluding children under 14 years), and (2) provided that the business entity carrying out such activities is a food market operator in accordance with the laws of Ukraine, (3) personnel are provided with personal protective equipment and (4) visitors, except for the time of eating, wear respirators or protective masks;

    • persons who have reached the age of 60 are allowed not to comply with the obligation to self-isolate;

  • from 10 June 2020:

    • conduct activities by cultural institutions, in particular with the reception of visitors by the decision of the owner (governing body), including cultural events, provided that there is not more than one person per 5 sq.m. of the area where the event is held;

    • conduct activities by institutions that provide accommodation services, except for recreation facilities;

  • from 15 June 2020:

    • accept and conduct departure of aircrafts performing international passenger transportation by air.

1.7 Isolation

Self-Isolation

By Regulation No. 392 dated 20 May 2020 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted Procedure for Conducting Anti-Epidemic Measures Related to Self-isolation of Persons ("Procedure on Self-Isolation").

Procedure on Self-Isolation provides that self-isolation is implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ukraine and to reduce the number of patients with serious cases of COVID-19.

Procedure on Self-Isolation established the list of persons who are obliged to isolate themselves:

  • persons who had a contact with a patient with a confirmed COVID-19 case, except for persons who had a contact with such patients while performing their professional duties and used personal protective equipment;

  • persons suspected of being infected by COVID-19 or persons with a confirmed COVID-19 case of mild form which does not require hospitalization;

  • persons who have consented to self-isolation with the use of the electronic application “Act at home” before crossing the state border or checkpoints of entry into and exit from the temporarily occupied territory;

  • persons at the age of 60 and above, except for civil servants and employees of state and local self-government bodies, members of Ukrainian Parliament, deputies of local councils, judges, military servicemen and employees of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other military entities and law enforcement bodies, as well as persons carrying out activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19, ensure the normal activities of enterprises, institutions and organizations, regardless of ownership, which:

  1. are engaged and provide services in the fields of energy, chemical industry, transport, information and communication technologies, electronic communications, banking and financial sectors, defense industry;

  2. provide services in the fields of life-sustaining, including centralized water supply, sewerage, electricity and gas supply, food production, agriculture, health care;

  3. are communal, emergency and rescue agencies;

  4. are included in the list of state-owned objects of strategic importance for the economy and security of the state;

  5. are objects of potentially dangerous technologies and industries.

The term for the self-isolation shall be:

  • for a patient with a confirmed COVID-19 case or a person suspected of being infected with COVID-19 - determined by the respective doctor on the basis of standards in the field of health care;

  • for other categories of persons - 14 days.

The obligation to self-isolate is terminated automatically upon the expiration of the self-isolation period.

Procedure for Self-Isolation provides the following rules:

  • The above catergories of persons are obliged to stay permanently at their designated places of self-isolation,

  • They have to refrain from any contacts with persons other than those with whom they reside.

Control over a person's stay in a place of self-isolation is carried out at the choice of the person in one of the following ways:

  • personal visits of representatives of law enforcment bodies, the Ministry of Health or authorized local self-government bodies;

  • contol via the specifically designed mobile app.

Social protection bodies shall provide social support for persons with confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Persons who are required to self-isolate (except for persons with confirmed COVID-19 cases) and (1) who do no have possibility to obtain social support or (2) who is monitored via specifically designed mobile app, are allowed to:

  • walk pets twice a day for no more than one hour a day, provided that they wear respirators or medical masks;

  • visit places to buy food, hygiene products, medicines, medical devices, provided that these places are not more than 2 kilometers away from the place of self-isolation, for two hours a day, wearing respirators or medical masks.

Movement of persons under the age of 14, is allowed only with parents, relatives and other legal guardians.

Mandatory Observation

Regulation No. 392 also provides the list of persons who shall be hospitalized to the special places of observation:

  • persons who have voluntary consented to hospitalization to the observation place due to their inability to comply with the requirements of self-isolation;

  • persons who have violated the requirements of self-isolation twice (except for persons who were self-isolated solely in connection with their age);

  • persons who had a contact with a patients with a confirmed COVID-19 case or a person suspected of being infected with COVID-19 and who refused to undergo a medical examination;

  • persons crossing the state border (except for employees of diplomatic missions and consular posts of foreign countries, representative offices of official international missions, organizations accredited in Ukraine, and their families, drivers and crew members of cargo vehicles, members of air and marine crews, crews of river vessels, train and locomotive crews, unless there is reason to believe that they were in contact with a COVID-19 patient);

  • persons entering from temporarily occupied territories in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol (except for members of the Mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross of Ukraine, members of the Red Cross Committee diplomatic missions, unless there is reason to believe that they were in contact with a COVID-19 patient).

The observation period is 14 days.

The stay of persons in the place of observation, except for food expenses, is free.

Persons the place of observation may receive personal belongings, food (except for alcoholic beverages and prohibited items) and are obliged to follow the rules established by the administration of the the place of observation.

Transportation of persons from the place of observation to the places of residence is carried out at the expense of such persons.

1.8 Shareholder's meetings and other meetings of companies

On 30 March 2020 Ukrainian Parliament adopted Law of Ukraine "On amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine aimed at providing additional social and economic safeguards in connection with the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)" No. 540-IX.

The said Law established a temporary procedure for convening and holding a general meeting of shareholders of joint-stock companies for the period of quarantine in Ukraine. It, among other things, provides that if the quarantine prevents holding the meeting of shareholders in accordance with the Law on Joint Stock Company, the meeting may be held remotely.

1.9 Supply of essential medical goods

Law of Ukraine No. 530-IX dated 17 March 2020 adopted certain rules with respect to supply of medical goods. In particular:

  • for 3 months starting from the date of publication of the said Law (17 March 2020), the state must ensure a 100 percent advanced payment for medicine and related works and services that are procured with the purpose of combating COVID-19;

  • for 3 months starting from the date of publication of the said Law (17 March 2020), operations related to the procurement of necessary medicines, medical devices, and equipment will be free of VAT and customs duty

  • The Ukrainian Government will execute control over the prices for medical goods and socially important goods.

Export restrictions on medical supplies were covered in para. 1.4 of this Survey (Export Control).

1.10 Provision of medical care

Regulation of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 392 dated 20 May 2020 provides that for the period of quarantine health care facilities are prohibited from conducting planned hospitalization measures and planned medical operations, except for:

  • provision of medical care in regions where the occupancy of beds in health care facilities designated for hospitalization of patients with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is less than 50 percent;

  • provision of medical care with respect to the complicated course of pregnancy;

  • provision of medical care to pregnant women, mothers, postpartum women, newborns;

  • provision of medical care in specialized departments of health care facilities for patients with cancer;

  • providing palliative care in certain settings;

  • carrying out other urgent measures for hospitalization and planned operations, if as a result of their transfer (postponement) there is a significant risk to life


1.11 Sanctions

Law of Ukraine No. 530-IX dated 17 March 2020 adopted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ukraine provided for the administrative and criminal liability for the persons who violated quarantine measures. In particular:

  1. Violation of the rules of quarantine, sanitary-hygienic, sanitary-anti-epidemic rules and norms on combating infectious diseases stipulated by the Ukrainian legislation or decisions of local self-government bodies:

  • entails the administrative liability in the form of a fine in the amount of UAH 17,000-34,000 (aprox. EUR 580-1,160), and for public authorities in the amount of UAH 34,000-170,000 (aprox. EUR 1,160-5,800).

  1. Violation of the rules and regulations established to prevent and control epidemic and other infectious diseases, if such actions have caused or could have surely caused the spread of these diseases:

    • entails the criminal liability in the form of (1) fine in the amount of UAH 17,000-51,000 (aprox. EUR 580-1740) or (2) arrest for a term up to 6 months, or (3) restriction of liberty for a term up to 3 years, or (4) imprisonment for 3 years.

    • the same actions, if they caused death of person or other grave consequences, entails the criminal liability in the form of imprisonment for a term of 5 to 8 years.

2. SUPPORT OF BUSINESSES AND JOB MARKET

2.2 Support measures

Support of Business

Laws No. 533-IX dated 17 March 2020 and No. 540-IX dated 30 March 2020 mainly offer tax and customs related support measures. In particular, they provide that:

  • medicines and medical products purchased to combat COVID-19 (according to the list defined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine) should be exempted from import duties and VAT;

  • fines for violation of the tax legislation committed from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2020 should not be imposed (subject to certain exemptions, such as alienation of property under the tax lien or breach of accounting rules etc.);

  • taxpayers should not be subject to late payment interest for the period from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2020. The accrued but unpaid late payment interest will be written-off;

  • documentary and factual tax audits should be under a moratorium (i) with respect to taxation for the period from 18 March 2020 to 31 May 2020, and (ii) with respect to payment of the unified social contribution for the period from 18 March 2020 to 18 May 2020. However, the moratorium should not cover unscheduled documentary audits with respect to the claimed VAT refund;

  • the period for filling of tax returns on personal income tax should be extended until 1 July 2020 (instead of 1 May 2020). An individual must pay the declared amount until 1 October 2020 (instead of 1 August 2020);

  • the land tax should not be accrued and paid for the period from 1 March to 31 March 2020 for the land plots used in the commercial activity;

  • non-residential property should not be subject to real estate tax for the period from 1 March to 31 March 2020;

  • it is prohibited to increase interest rates on loans during the quarantine period;

  • tenants may be exempt from rent payments if they cannot use the leased property during the quarantine period;

  • some further programs for support of the economy must be elaborated, in particular:

    1. the Ukrainian government and the National Bank of Ukraine (the “NBU”) should elaborate and adopt a national program of specific purpose loans to sustain a salary fund by 2 May 2020; and

    2. the Ukrainian government should elaborate program for stimulating the economy to overcome the negative consequences of COVID-19 in Ukraine by 2 May 2020.

Further, the NBU recommended the Ukrainian banks to initiate the restructuring of loans extended to the borrowers affected by the quarantine measures resulting from COVID-19 outbreak. To proceed with such restructuring, the NBU provided some guidelines to the Ukrainian banks. In particular, the restructuring procedures can be initiated by both the banks and the clients, who can provide evidence of the significant income decrease or temporary termination of the business activities.

The restructuring of loans of the medium and large-scale businesses should be negotiated on individual basis. The Ukrainian banks should analyse the (i) latest financial statements, (ii) ongoing financial conditions and (iii) vulnerability of the businesses to the current economic situation. In addition, the NBU amended rules for the determination of the credit risk resulting from the active banking transactions. In particular, the Amendments allow not to apply certain default features to the loans which existed as of 1 March 2020 and will be restructured by the end of September 2020.

Law No. 530-IX dated 17 March 2020 also provides for the following support measures with respect to employment matters:

  • the companies have the right to introduce remote work as well as the right to grant unpaid vacations for employees for the entire term of the quarantine; and

  • owners of businesses and/or executives of Ukrainian companies are able to rearrange their businesses' work schedules.

3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

3.1 Legal basis

Considering numerous restrictions related to introduction of quarantine on the whole territroy of Ukraine, Ukrainian Parliament in Law of Ukraine "On amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine aimed at providing additional social and economic safeguards in connection with the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)" No. 540-IX dated 30 March 2020 decided to amend the procedure of conduct of court proceedings in order to maintain effective resoulution of the disputes.

Some of amendments with respect to provision of administrative services and state contol are also enshrined in Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine aimed at Preventing the Occurrence and Spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)" No. 530-IX dated 17 March 2020.

3.2 Measures

Court Proceedings

Law No. 540-IX dated 30 March 2020 provides the following amendments to existent court procedures.

In civil, commercial and administrative litigation:

  • wherever possible, litigation can be conducted without participation of the parties;

  • for the period of quarantine parties can participate in a court proceedings via videoconference using their own technical devices;

  • confirmation of the identity of person involved in the court proceedings shall be made using an electronic signature;

  • all procedural terms shall continue for the duration of the quarantine.

In civil, commercial and criminal litigation:

  • the court may decide to restrict non-litigants' access to a court hearing during a quarantine, if their participation in a court hearing constitutes a threat to a person's life or health.

[Administrative services and state control]

Law No. 530-IX dated 17 March 2020 also provides the following amendments to existent procedure for provision of administrative services and exercising state control:

  • the term for consideration of all applications for receiving administrative services is suspended;

  • foreigners and stateless persons who failed to exit Ukraine in time (i.e., who stay for more than 90 days cumulatively within a 180-day term without holding Ukrainian residency permit) are exempt from liability for exceeding the term of stay in Ukraine;

  • conduct of regular audits by state regulatory bodies is prohibited, except for the following types of state audits:

      1. those aimed at securing the sanitary and epidemiological security of the population;

      2. state audits of businesses that rank as high risk as per the established criteria;

      3. state audits regarding the fulfillment of requirements for forming, establishing, and applying the administrated prices.

Law No. 530-IX dated 17 March 2020 also establishes certain other measures, for example:

  • the protection of interests of refugees, and internally displaced persons;

  • exemption of individuals from liability for delays in payment for utilities.



3.3 Force Majeure

Law No. 530-IX dated 17 March 2020 also introduced certain amendments simplifying the procedure for obtaining the confirmation of force majeure events by companies and individuals.

In particular, it was directly envisaged that the quarantine introduced by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine can be recognized as an event of force majeure. The certification of force majeure events in Ukraine is conducted by the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and regional chambers of commerce and industry (empowered by the former).