Following the signature of the President on 02 August 2011, of the Law of Ukraine “On the State Land Cadastre” (which was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on 07 July 2011) (the “Cadastre Law”), the new Cadastre Law will come into force as of 01 January 2012.

At long last the Cadastre Law establishes a unified and integral state land cadastre in Ukraine (the “Cadastre”), providing for fundamentally new rules regarding the registration of rights to land.

The Cadastre will contain information on the cadastral number, location, area, designated purpose of land, borders, limitations of use, data on the quantity and quality of the characteristics of land, the land’s monetary value and the distribution of land between owners and users. Moreover, the Cadastre Law provides a detailed procedure for the registration of land plots and information about them, the list of documents required for registration of a land plot and land assessment, the state and regional authorities responsible for upkeeping data on land plots in the Cadastre and the requirements for registration. Timeframes for registration of information regarding land plots should not exceed 14 (fourteen) business days.

Crucially, the Cadastre Law provides that the Cadastre is designed to operate in conjunction with the new registry of rights to land, now under the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, pursuant to the recently adopted Law of Ukraine “On State Registration of Corporeal Rights to Real Estate and Their Encumbrances” (the ”Land Registry Law”).

The two laws taken together will enact changes to what documents evidence ownership title to land. Currently, ownership to land is confirmed by a state act of ownership title to land, but starting from 01 January 2013, ownership title to land will be certified by an excerpt issued by the Ministry of Justice from the State Registry of Corporeal Rights to Immovable Property.

Also starting from 01 January 2013 information included into the Cadastre will be posted on the official web site of the State Land Agency (the “Land Agency”) and will be publicly available free of charge. Thus, any person may view, copy and print data regarding any land plot free of charge, including the following information: cadastral numbers, boundaries, designated purpose, limitations in its use, data regarding the quantity and quality characteristics of land, which are contained in the Cadastre. More detailed information (such as the normative monetary assessment of the value of land, land encumbered by servitude, land that is subleased, etc) will be provided on a fee paying basis.

This will finally create a harmonized and unified system of immovable property registration in Ukraine. However, the local departments of the Land Agency will continue to perform the registration of land plots and record information about them.

The adoption of the Cadastre Law and the Land Registry Law represent a potentially reaching -reform of the land registration and title protection regime in Ukraine. These reforms should help create a competitive land market, increase transparency and strengthen property rights, while decreasing the level of corruption and arbitrariness in the land registration process, thereby hopefully improving the investment climate and reducing the cost and risk of doing business in Ukraine.