As part of the Ukrainian Government’s reform measures and anti-corruption drive, as of 01 January 2015, the Ukrainian State Register of Proprietary Rights to Immovable Property (the “State Register”) finally became accessible to all legal entities and natural persons. This major step in transparency of commercial relations means that any person is entitled to access the State Register in order to check the official status of proprietary rights registered with respect to specific immovable property.
Previously access to the State Register was only granted to a limited group of people (for example owners and/or users of immovable property, courts, state authorities etc.). Suppression of the data regarding proprietary rights to immovable property undermined the development of the business environment in Ukraine and fostered corruption and fraud in the Ukrainian real estate market.
The rules of access to the State Register are specified in the “Order of provision of information from the State Register of Proprietary Rights to Immovable Property to natural persons and legal entities”, approved by the Order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No.722 as of 24 December 2014 (the “Order”).
According to the Order, starting from 01 January 2015 any person desiring information from the State Register may either apply in writing to a notary and/or department of the State Registration Service of Ukraine (“Option 1”), or perform an independent online search through the web-site of the State Registration Service of Ukraine (“Option 2”). It is important to note that a person may perform the searches regarding both options only with respect to a specific immovable property. Third persons are still not allowed to perform searches and obtain information about individuals or companies (such as a list of property they might own or use), as authority to perform such searches is granted to the officials of state and/or municipal bodies, courts, law enforcement agencies, prosecution authorities, Security Service of Ukraine, notaries and advocacies in furtherance of their official duties.
The results of the searches shall be provided in the form of an information certificate (the “Certificate”), which contains official data available in the State Register regarding specific immovable property (i.e., registered proprietary rights), except for the personal data of the holders of proprietary rights to immovable property (i.e.; personal identity document and tax details).
In order to provide a clear illustration as to how to utilise Options 1 and 2, we have provided a step-by-step description below.
a person (the “Applicant”) pays the official fee for the searches (currently UAH 34);
the Applicant fills in and submits to the notary and/or department of the State Registration Service in Ukraine (the “Registrar”) the application with required attachments (if any). The Applicant should also submit the document evidencing payment for the searches;
the Registrar verifies the Applicant’s identity (i.e. checks the passport of the Applicant and/or documents confirming the authority of the representative) and registers the application; and
within one (1) working day from the registration of the application, the Registrar performs the searches in the State Register and issues the Certificate in paper form to the Applicant.
a person (the “User”) enters the web-site of State Registration Service of Ukraine (the “State Service Web-Site”) at http://kap.minjust.gov.ua;
the User registers as the customer of the State Service Web-Site. For the purposes of registration, a natural person should provide their full name, tax number and details of a personal identity document (i.e., passport). For the purposes of a legal entity, the following information should be provided: name, tax identification number and full name of the representative of a legal entity who performs the registration;
the User performs the search by using the details of the specific immovable property (i.e., address); and
the User pays online (by means of bank card) the official fee for the searches (which is currently UAH 17) and obtains the Certificate in electronic form.
Although the online searches appear to the better option in terms of time efficiency, since the State Service Web-Site is relatively new and is still being develop we are aware of current technical issues with the State Service Web-Site which do not allow proper performance of the searches. Furthermore, the database of proprietary rights to immovable property located on the State Service Web-Site seems to be incomplete. Therefore, we would recommend using Option 1 until the State Service Web-Site is properly launched, which will hopefully take place in the near future.