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New language requirements for customer service will come into force in a month

17/ 12/ 2020
  On January 16, 2021, Article 30 of the Law №2704-VIII on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the State Language will come into force, which regulates the peculiarities of the use of the Ukrainian language in the field of customer service. This was discussed at a meeting of the EBA members with Taras Kremen, State Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language, and his team, as well as the representatives of the State Food and Consumer Service of Ukraine. Thus, the Article notes that the Ukrainian language is the language of customer service in our country. Therefore, representatives of companies that serve consumers, such as shops, restaurants, salons, etc., should provide services to consumers and provide them with information about goods in the state language. At the same time, the consumer or customer has the right to request to be served in any other language acceptable to the parties (for example, Russian, English, etc.). Besides, from January 16, 2021, the Ukrainian language should also be used in the field of e-commerce and product labeling. At the same time, the Law allows the use of words, abbreviations, and acronyms in English or with the use of Latin letters when providing information about the goods in Ukrainian. Also, during the meeting, business representatives had the opportunity to draw the Commissioners attention to some problematic issues with the application of certain provisions of the Law. This included, for example, the requirement to indicate the full address of the foreign manufacturer in Ukrainian, or the requirement to have a Ukrainian version of the user interface on the equipment, which will come into force in 2022. At the same time, some of these requirements are technically impossible to fulfill, for example, to add the Ukrainian interface in a segment display or an inexpensive gadget with limited memory. Besides, some of them do not make practical sense, such as the requirement to indicate the Ukrainian name of the street and district in a foreign country. After all, if the consumer decides to send a letter to the manufacturers factory, he needs to know how the address sounds and looks in a foreign language. The parties agreed that the European Business Association will finalize and submit proposals from businesses regarding specific amendments and clarifications to the above Law. Also, Svitlana Mykhailovska, EBA Deputy Director for Advocacy, commented that business has some fears that inspection authorities may subjectively interpret certain unclear rules and suggested informing the Office of the Commissioner if such cases occur in the context of using the Ukrainian language in the customer service and the provision of information about goods. The EBA thanks the Commissioner for his willingness to communicate with the business and we hope for further fruitful cooperation.

On January 16, 2021, Article 30 of the Law №2704-VIII on ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the State Language will come into force, which regulates the peculiarities of the use of the Ukrainian language in the field of customer service. This was discussed at a meeting of the EBA members with Taras Kremen, State Commissioner for the Protection of the State Language, and his team, as well as the representatives of the State Food and Consumer Service of Ukraine.

Thus, the Article notes that the Ukrainian language is the language of customer service in our country. Therefore, representatives of companies that serve consumers, such as shops, restaurants, salons, etc., should provide services to consumers and provide them with information about goods in the state language. At the same time, the consumer or customer has the right to request to be served in any other language acceptable to the parties (for example, Russian, English, etc.).

Besides, from January 16, 2021, the Ukrainian language should also be used in the field of e-commerce and product labeling. At the same time, the Law allows the use of words, abbreviations, and acronyms in English or with the use of Latin letters when providing information about the goods in Ukrainian.

Also, during the meeting, business representatives had the opportunity to draw the Commissioner’s attention to some problematic issues with the application of certain provisions of the Law. This included, for example, the requirement to indicate the full address of the foreign manufacturer in Ukrainian, or the requirement to have a Ukrainian version of the user interface on the equipment, which will come into force in 2022.

At the same time, some of these requirements are technically impossible to fulfill, for example, to add the Ukrainian interface in a segment display or an inexpensive gadget with limited memory. Besides, some of them do not make practical sense, such as the requirement to indicate the Ukrainian name of the street and district in a foreign country. After all, if the consumer decides to send a letter to the manufacturer’s factory, he needs to know how the address sounds and looks in a foreign language.

The parties agreed that the European Business Association will finalize and submit proposals from businesses regarding specific amendments and clarifications to the above Law.

Also, Svitlana Mykhailovska, EBA Deputy Director for Advocacy, commented that business has some fears that inspection authorities may subjectively interpret certain unclear rules and suggested informing the Office of the Commissioner if such cases occur in the context of using the Ukrainian language in the customer service and the provision of information about goods.

The EBA thanks the Commissioner for his willingness to communicate with the business and we hope for further fruitful cooperation.

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