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Business is concerned about the situation with the draft law on the inland water transport

01/ 09/ 2020
  According to the meeting schedule of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for the current week, the draft law №1182-1-d is planned to be put to the vote in the second reading on September 4. It is worth noting that the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Transport has repeatedly stated publicly that there will be a meeting with the relevant business representatives before the second reading to discuss the most poignant remarks to the draft law. Besides, on August 21, 2020, the President of Ukraine stressed that the draft law should be agreed with all parties. Thus, the administration of Odesa, Kherson, and Mykolaiv regions should be involved in the discussion with the relevant business representatives. Also, it is obligatorily for the Deputy Prime Minister - Minister for Strategic Industries to participate in this discussion. Please note that today the text of the draft law has not been approved by business representatives. Moreover, it is unknown which text of the draft law will be put to the vote. Besides, as of today, there were no meetings held based on the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Transport. Also, there were no meetings with the participation of the Deputy Prime Minister for Strategic Industries to discuss the text of the draft law submitted for the second reading. Only the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine has shown openness in this matter, and the Association highly appreciates that fact. However, it is not enough in this case given that the draft law is developed by the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Transport. We emphasize that the EBA experts have repeatedly sent comments which contain many critical provisions to the draft law so that the relevant proposals will be considered during the preparation of the draft law for the second reading. Besides, we asked to publish a summary comparative table of the draft law for the second reading and stressed on our readiness to provide expert support and participate in the relevant meetings of the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Transport and Infrastructure. We remind you that the following three aspects raise the most poignant remarks to the draft law: A number of provisions aimed at the regulation of business activities, rather than deregulation: establishing the Register of objects of Inland Waterway Transport Infrastructure as a covert permitting instrument which enable to prohibit the operation of river terminals incomprehensibly; introducing the need to approve all inland waterways construction projects on land and water with another CEB (such approval is also introduced as an additional mechanism to the current urban and land legislation of Ukraine which provides the procedure for the construction and land allocation, including the infrastructure projects) while ignoring proposals for digitalization and electronic data exchange between authorities; other similar non-transparent initiatives pose corruption risks. Financing inland waterways at the expense of port fees (as an additional source) which is not consistent with the established approach to financing inland waterways as an independent sub-sector with its expenditures, revenues, development plans; besides, according to the Law of Ukraine On Seaports of Ukraine, port fees are targeted and used for the development of seaports, not river ports; An initiative to create the State Fund of Inland Waterways as part of a special fund of the State Budget needs a complete revision. Thus, the funding sources are not defined in the draft law, they are indicated only in the explanatory note. Therefore, it is necessary to include these provisions to the draft Law: to predict the percentage of revenues from the excise tax on fuel, which will be deducted for the development of inland waterways; to clearly define the period from which the special fund will start operating, otherwise the current version allows to continue funding inland waterways at the expense of the port fees without any time limits. Business is convinced that Ukraine should strive for quality and constructive reforms that create favorable conditions for business, work, and investments. Therefore, the European Business Association calls to fulfill the Presidents order - to hold this discussion before the second reading of the draft law, scheduled for September 4, and not to put it to a vote for approval by all parties.   Be the first to learn about the latest EBA news with our Telegram-channel – EBAUkraine.

According to the meeting schedule of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for the current week, the draft law №1182-1-d is planned to be put to the vote in the second reading on September 4.

It is worth noting that the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Transport has repeatedly stated publicly that there will be a meeting with the relevant business representatives before the second reading to discuss the most poignant remarks to the draft law.

Besides, on August 21, 2020, the President of Ukraine stressed that the draft law should be agreed with all parties. Thus, the administration of Odesa, Kherson, and Mykolaiv regions should be involved in the discussion with the relevant business representatives. Also, it is obligatorily for the Deputy Prime Minister – Minister for Strategic Industries to participate in this discussion.

Please note that today the text of the draft law has not been approved by business representatives. Moreover, it is unknown which text of the draft law will be put to the vote. Besides, as of today, there were no meetings held based on the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Transport. Also, there were no meetings with the participation of the Deputy Prime Minister for Strategic Industries to discuss the text of the draft law submitted for the second reading. Only the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine has shown openness in this matter, and the Association highly appreciates that fact. However, it is not enough in this case given that the draft law is developed by the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Transport.

We emphasize that the EBA experts have repeatedly sent comments which contain many critical provisions to the draft law so that the relevant proposals will be considered during the preparation of the draft law for the second reading. Besides, we asked to publish a summary comparative table of the draft law for the second reading and stressed on our readiness to provide expert support and participate in the relevant meetings of the Verkhovna Rada Committee for Transport and Infrastructure.

We remind you that the following three aspects raise the most poignant remarks to the draft law:

  • A number of provisions aimed at the regulation of business activities, rather than deregulation: establishing the Register of objects of Inland Waterway Transport Infrastructure as a covert permitting instrument which enable to prohibit the operation of river terminals incomprehensibly; introducing the need to approve all inland waterways construction projects on land and water with another CEB (such approval is also introduced as an additional mechanism to the current urban and land legislation of Ukraine which provides the procedure for the construction and land allocation, including the infrastructure projects) while ignoring proposals for digitalization and electronic data exchange between authorities; other similar non-transparent initiatives pose corruption risks.
  • Financing inland waterways at the expense of port fees (as an additional source) which is not consistent with the established approach to financing inland waterways as an independent sub-sector with its expenditures, revenues, development plans; besides, according to the Law of Ukraine “On Seaports of Ukraine”, port fees are targeted and used for the development of seaports, not river ports;
  • An initiative to create the State Fund of Inland Waterways as part of a special fund of the State Budget needs a complete revision. Thus, the funding sources are not defined in the draft law, they are indicated only in the explanatory note.

Therefore, it is necessary to include these provisions to the draft Law: to predict the percentage of revenues from the excise tax on fuel, which will be deducted for the development of inland waterways; to clearly define the period from which the special fund will start operating, otherwise the current version allows to continue funding inland waterways at the expense of the port fees without any time limits.
Business is convinced that Ukraine should strive for quality and constructive reforms that create favorable conditions for business, work, and investments. Therefore, the European Business Association calls to fulfill the President’s order – to hold this discussion before the second reading of the draft law, scheduled for September 4, and not to put it to a vote for approval by all parties.

 

Be the first to learn about the latest EBA news with our Telegram-channel EBAUkraine.

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