The Law1 substantially increasing court fees and making other amendments to the court fee payment procedure will become effective on September 1, 2015. This Law has been passed to meet the requirements of the International Monetary Fund within the framework of the Memorandum of Economic Cooperation. The novelties introduced by the Law are expected to enable the government to increase the state budget revenues by charging the increased court fees and will help unburden the judiciary.
The key changes introduced by the Law include the differentiation of the court fee rates depending on the fee payers. The court fees charged for property claims filed by legal entities to general and administrative courts have been increased by 50% compared to those charged for similar claims filed by individuals.
The Law has also canceled a maximum amount of the court fee for property claims filed by legal entities to the general and administrative courts. The fee rate for such claims will be equal to 1.5% of the amount claimed, but no less than 1 minimum wage. By way of comparison, the court fee currently charged for filing property claims to general courts is 1% of the amount claimed, but no less than 0.2 time and no more than 3 times the minimum wage, and the court fee now charged for claims brought before administrative courts is 2% of the amount claimed but no less than 1.5 times and no more than 4 times the minimum wage. Therefore, to file a claim against government authorities will be an expensive pleasure.
On top of that, the Law has increased the maximum amount of the court fee for filing a property claim to a commercial court. Such court fee will be equal to 1.5% of the amount claimed, but no less than 1 minimum wage and no more than 150 minimum wages. In contrast, at present the court fee in such cases is equal to 2% of the amount claimed, but no less than 1.5 minimum wages and no more than 60 minimum wages. 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. The key trends of changes in the court fee rates for such claims are shown in the diagram below.
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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 hryvnias will remain relevant until December 31, 2015 and may be changed starting from 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, appeal and cassation appeal fees on common terms.