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Business highlights 8 key areas for the newly elected Parliament

23/ 07/ 2019

Business highlights 8 key areas for the newly elected Parliament

The European Business Association appeals to the newly elected Parliament to focus on 8 priorities that will help to create better conditions for business and improve the investment climate in Ukraine. They concern counteracting the shadow economy, continuation of harmonization of Ukrainian legislation with EU norms, tax regulation, customs, infrastructure, advanced technologies, human and natural resources.

“Parliament plays a key role in creating healthy regulation. So, we have developed a list of issues that require priority intervention and will help business to develop and the country to move forward. By the way, most of them already have ready-made pointers – registered bills “, – said Svetlana Mikhailovskaya, deputy director of the European Business Association.

In the context of counteracting the shadow economy, focus areas include: total fiscal consolidation, the introduction of the newest technologies of the settlement operations registrar, protection of intellectual property rights, increased liability for the non-receipt of fiscal checks, cashless promotion, digitalization of communications between business and government, creation of a civilized e-commerce market, the fight against counterfeiting, in particular, regarding food products.

One of the priorities should also be the fight against the gray grain market, which, according to various estimates, reaches 40% of the total grain market. At the same time, it is possible to restore fair conditions of taxation and fair competition in agriculture through the abolition of “soy-rapeseed amendments”, as stipulated by bill №10027 or alternative №10027-1.

In addition, ensuring clear identification of the seller on the Internet would help to pass draft law N 6754. However, in parallel, it is necessary to work towards the creation of clear rules of commerce on the Internet, for example, introducing a single register of sites that carry out the sale of alcoholic beverages, restrictions on the transfer of goods, etc.

The next block of issues is the continuation of harmonization of Ukrainian legislation with EU norms. The next step should be taken towards an industrial visa-free regime and resolving market surveillance issues (bills N 5450-1 and № 10222), introducing European waste management through the adoption of the draft law “On Waste” and finally elaborate a bill “On Veterinary Medicine”. At the same time, to prevent the abolition of the protection of intellectual property rights for plant protection products through the introduction of the mechanism of the so-called “experimental exclusion”, which, under the guise of harmonization, is prescribed in the draft law N 9385 (in order to prevent uncontrolled import of pesticides with unproven safety under the guise of research parties to Ukraine).

In the context of access to innovation technologies it is worthwhile to provide access to the most modern crop protection technologies by the draft law N 6606. In addition, to lift some restrictions on clinical trials, which will provide an inflow of investment to the territory of Ukraine and the possibility of patient access to the newest medicines. To eliminate the conflict in the field of clinical research is possible by adopting bill N 4036. In addition, decriminalize clinical research by abolishing Article 321-2 of the Criminal Code in order to ensure the proportionality of legal liability to the offender.

Special attention is also needed for customs. In order to accelerate the customs clearance of goods during the implementation of export-import operations, along with the “one-stop shop”, it is necessary to ensure the functioning of the Institute of Authorized Economic Operator – to pass the bill N 7473. In parallel, to introduce a new computerized transit system (NCTS) by adopting the bill N 9532, which will ensure traceability when goods are moved by the customs territory of Ukraine.

Among the tax issues and for the reduction of fiscal pressure on business is the need to abolish penalties for late registration / non-registration of the tax bill and the calculation of the adjustment to the VAT payer, as well as the cancellation of fines for self-refining reports on controlled transactions. At the same time, the need to return the “old” VAT sums that were formed before February 1, 2016, to determine a clear mechanism for rounding up amounts in checks, to specify the wording of the use of penalties for the sale of alcoholic beverages (for example, at retail prices), to resolve the problem of introducing a new system for administering excise duty tax on fuel and exemption from VAT transactions for the supply of medicines, medical products, etc., which are allowed to be used in clinical trials.

It should be noted separately about the development of infrastructure. Thus, in order to attract private investment in the field of logistics, it is necessary to introduce one of the most common forms of public-private partnership in the world – concessions (the idea was laid down in the draft law N 8125, taking into account the proposals of the Association), at the same time, to create a commission on transport regulation. In addition, the rail freight market should be reformed, and the Bill N 9512 would create opportunities for the transportation of goods by own locomotives of private companies and deprive Ukrzaliznytsa of monopoly on the provision of locomotive thrust services.

Equally important is the development of human resources and the adoption of more modern labor legislation – the Labor Code (Draft Law N 1658), as well as the settlement of problems with the employment of foreigners. In addition, it is worthwhile to talk about comfortable conditions for employees, for example, by allowing them to choose a bank for servicing and receiving wages independently (through the support of the bill N 2287a).

At the same time, we must promote the development of natural resources. Business does not see a strategic state policy on forestry development. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce a national forest policy, to legislate the implementation of wood for processors (oriented to provide raw materials of domestic wood processing enterprises, stimulate in-depth processing of wood and effective use of forest resources), introduce a single state forest logging system that will be obligatory for all permanent forest users. In addition, the issue of energy and sustainable use of natural resources is extremely important, here it is worth emphasizing the need to develop a new Code on mineral resources on the basis of the best international practices. Besides, land is an important resource of the country, therefore, a clear regulation of rules and the launch of a civilized system of market relations with land resources is also necessary.

Of course, this is far from an exhaustive list of proposals, as much remains to be done in the context of fighting against corruption, reforming the judiciary and law enforcement agencies. The European Business Association hopes the newly elected Verkhovna Rada will listen to the voice of a transparent and law-abiding business and begin to interact effectively with its representatives from the first days of its work.

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