On May 22, 2015, the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine) enacted the Law1 substantially increasing the court fees and making other amendments to the court fee payment procedure. The Law was passed to meet the requirements of the International Monetary Fund within the framework of the Memorandum of Economic Cooperation. It is expected that the novelties introduced by the Law will enable the government to increase the state budget revenues by charging the increased court fees and will help unburden the judiciary.
One of the main changes proposed by the Law is the change in the rates of court fees for filing property claims to the commercial court. Pursuant to the Law, the court fee charged for such disputes will be equal to 1.5% of the amount claimed, but no less than 1 minimum wage and no more than 150 minimum wages. It should be noted that the court fee for such disputes is currently charged at the rate of 2% of the amount claimed, but no less than 60 minimum wages. The key trends of changes in the court fees for such claims are shown in the diagram below.
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Thus, the court fee will be slightly reduced for property disputes where the amount of claim is less than or equal to UAH 5 million and will be significantly increased for disputes involving claims of over UAH 5 million. The maximum amount of the court fee will increase from UAH 73,800 to UAH 182,700.
Furthermore, the Law does not specify any maximum amount of the court fee for filing an administrative property claim to the administrative court, stipulating, however, that the fee rate for such disputes will be equal to 1.5% of the amount claimed, but no less than 1 minimum wage. Therefore, to file a claim against government authorities will be an expensive pleasure.
The Law also provides for increases in the court fee rates in other cases. Thus, the court fee for filing an appeal will now be charged at the rate of 110% (previously, 50%) of the court fee paid at the first instance court, for filing a cassation appeal at the rate of 120% (previously, 70%), and for filing an application for revision of a judgment by the Supreme Court of Ukraine at the rate of 130% (previously, 70%). The court fee for filing a bankruptcy petition will rise from 5 (UAH 6,090) to 10 (UAH 12,180) minimum wages. The court fee for filing creditors' claims in bankruptcy cases will also double to 2 minimum wages (UAH 2,436). The court fees calculated in hryvnas are actual until December 31, 2015 and may be changed starting January 01, 2016 due to minimum wage changes.
It should be mentioned that the Law cancels the preferential terms previously set for payment of court fees by government authorities, including prosecution authorities, bodies of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, etc. These authorities will now pay their court fees on common terms.
The Law is now being prepared to be signed by the President of Ukraine. It is expected to come into force on September 01, 2015.