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Business is concerned about proposals to give the AMCU extended powers

13/ 07/ 2021
  The EBA business community expressed its concerns in a recent address to Matti Maasikas, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. Entrepreneurs believe that the provisions of draft law №5431, approved by the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Economic Development, can lead to violations of human rights and freedoms. The EBA experts categorically do not support the draft law №5431 due to a range of problematic norms that are not adequate and justified. Thus, the draft law proposes to give the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine uncharacteristic powers, in particular: The right to inspect the premises of individuals by court decision. However, the text of the draft law does not specify whether this applies only to authorized persons of companies or any employee. Moreover, the AMCU will effectively establish the procedure and specific grounds for conducting business inspections on its own, which opens up space for potential abuse and pressure on the business. The right of the AMCU to seize property, objects, documents, other media at any time of the day. The right to determine the priority and categories of cases for which applications are to be left without consideration. Business representatives point out that manual control of the list of objects of investigation creates artificial obstacles to the protection of citizens rights and contradicts the principle of the rule of law and equality before the law. The right of access to all automated registers, databases, other systems of collection, storage, processing, and retrieval of information and data hold or administered by state bodies or local authorities. In fact, this provision gives AMCU unlimited rights to access information, including confidential information, without duly justifying the need for such access. The EBA is concerned about the proposals to give the AMCU such uncharacteristic powers. This will create additional pressure on businesses and citizens of Ukraine. And the lack of a legally defined procedure for inspections, collection, and evaluation of evidence in this draft law may encourage AMCU officials to act at their own discretion, which threatens corruption risks and possible human rights violations. Experts of the Association believe that the draft law only selectively solves the problems of the AMCU, but does not fully take into account aspects of ensuring the rights of business entities involved in the investigation. Besides, empowering the AMCU to initiate inspections at any time of the day could lead to a wave of appeals to the judiciary for protection, which could negatively affect Ukraines image as a country that upholds European values. The European Business Association has already addressed the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with a request to revise draft law №5431 and to exclude norms that could potentially violate human rights and freedoms and the principle of the rule of law. The EBA urges the Ambassador to pay attention to the listed negative aspects of the draft law and to support the need to revise this legislative initiative.

The EBA business community expressed its concerns in a recent address to Matti Maasikas, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. Entrepreneurs believe that the provisions of draft law №5431, approved by the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Economic Development, can lead to violations of human rights and freedoms.

The EBA experts categorically do not support the draft law №5431 due to a range of problematic norms that are not adequate and justified. Thus, the draft law proposes to give the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine uncharacteristic powers, in particular:

  • The right to inspect the premises of individuals by court decision. However, the text of the draft law does not specify whether this applies only to authorized persons of companies or any employee. Moreover, the AMCU will effectively establish the procedure and specific grounds for conducting business inspections on its own, which opens up space for potential abuse and pressure on the business.
  • The right of the AMCU to seize property, objects, documents, other media at any time of the day.
  • The right to determine the priority and categories of cases for which applications are to be left without consideration. Business representatives point out that manual control of the list of objects of investigation creates artificial obstacles to the protection of citizens’ rights and contradicts the principle of the rule of law and equality before the law.
  • The right of access to all automated registers, databases, other systems of collection, storage, processing, and retrieval of information and data hold or administered by state bodies or local authorities. In fact, this provision gives AMCU unlimited rights to access information, including confidential information, without duly justifying the need for such access.

The EBA is concerned about the proposals to give the AMCU such uncharacteristic powers. This will create additional pressure on businesses and citizens of Ukraine. And the lack of a legally defined procedure for inspections, collection, and evaluation of evidence in this draft law may encourage AMCU officials to act at their own discretion, which threatens corruption risks and possible human rights violations.

Experts of the Association believe that the draft law only selectively solves the problems of the AMCU, but does not fully take into account aspects of ensuring the rights of business entities involved in the investigation. Besides, empowering the AMCU to initiate inspections at any time of the day could lead to a wave of appeals to the judiciary for protection, which could negatively affect Ukraine’s image as a country that upholds European values.

The European Business Association has already addressed the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with a request to revise draft law №5431 and to exclude norms that could potentially violate human rights and freedoms and the principle of the rule of law. The EBA urges the Ambassador to pay attention to the listed negative aspects of the draft law and to support the need to revise this legislative initiative.

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