On 8 July 2011, the Law of Ukraine on Court Fees (the “Law”) was adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament.
The Law establishes a completely new and more comprehensive system for determining court fees and notably under this new law, court fees will be higher and the admissibility of many more requests to court will depend on the payment of a court fee.
The current court fee system embraces two types of payments: state duty and technical support fee. The state duty is normally calculated as either a percentage of the value of a claim or as a tax free allowance, while the amount of the technical support fee is fixed depending on the substance of the court claim. Both the state duty and the technical support fee are payable only for the filing of a statement of claim or the filing of an appeal and no payment is required for procedural motions, such as applications for interim relief.
The Law abolishes the abovementioned two-fold system, replacing it with the requirement to pay a single court fee. Further, the Law establishes a new system of fee calculation under which the court fee will be calculated as a percentage of either the value of the court claim or the statutory minimum salary.Another important change introduced by the Law is that the scope of instances where a court fee is payable will be significantly expanded. In particular, a court fee will be payable for the filing of an application for interim measures and the filing of an application for issuing a writ of enforcement. Moreover, paying the court fee will now be a pre-requisite to the filing of an appeal or a cassation appeal.
However, in line with the old legislation, the Law establishes privileges for certain classes of applicants, such as a court fee payment exemption. For example, claimants seeking damages caused by mutilation or death shall be released from payment of the court fee. Moreover, the court may reduce the court fee for under-privileged people.
The expected positive impact of the Law is that it will likely deter frivolous applications, as filing unsubstantiated applications will become more expensive. However, whether such expectations will be met remains to be seen.
The Law has already been signed into law by the Ukrainian President and is scheduled to become effective on 1 November 2011.
Law: Law of Ukraine “On Court Fees” dated 8 July 2011 N3674-VI.