On 9 April 2014, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted the law which significantly reduced the number of mandatory permits previously required for conducting business activity in various sectors of the Ukrainian economy (the “Law”).
Amongst other issues, the Law addresses telecommunications and will specifically impact producers and distributors of telecommunication equipment. The main changes are summarized below:
- Import and sale in Ukraine of radio-electronic facilities (REF) and emitting devices (ED) of general use shall become permit-free. Previously they were subject to a separate permit issued by the National Commission for the State Regulation of Communication and Information (NCCR), which required a lengthy and complicated procedure.
- Import and sale in Ukraine of REFs and EDs of special use (i.e. those which are to be used by special governmental institutions like the Ministry of Defence, Security Service of Ukraine, Ministry of Internal Affairs, etc.) will still be subject to governmental permits. Further analysis in this article applies to REFs and EDs of general use only.
- The grounds for allowance of the relevant REF or ED in Ukraine have changed:
- Previously the NCCR held the Register of REFs and EDs allowed for use in Ukraine (Old Register). The equipment could only be imported to and used in Ukraine if it was included in the Old Register. If not, the importer had to pass a time-consuming procedure for the equipment to appear in the Old Register and only then start obtaining permitting documents (if needed). In addition, the importers had to present a certificate of conformity when undergoing customs clearance.
- Now the NCCR will be required to hold the Register of those REFs and EDs that are prohibited for import and use in Ukraine (New Register). This aims to simplify the process for importers and distributors as they will not be concerned about including the relevant equipment into the register, but will instead have to check whether or not their REF or EM is under prohibition in Ukraine. So, under the new rules, in order to import REFs and/or EDs, producers or distributors of the relevant equipment will only have to present the declaration of conformity when passing through the customs clearance procedures (provided the relevant equipment is not listed in the New Register).
- Exploitation of REFs and EDs (both of general and special use) will still be subject to permits being obtained by the business players. The list of REFs and EDs, use of which is subject to permit shall be defined by the NCCR (currently the situation is the opposite – there is a list of REFs and EDs, use of which is permit-free, and sometimes it is difficult to identify whether certain equipment falls under the list or not)).
Unlike other sectors, the telecommunication-related part of the Law shall become effective from 26 July 2014. This is due to the NCCR being required to switch from the Old Register to the New Register, and make amendments to the relevant secondary legislation.
Law: Law of Ukraine on Amendment of Certain Laws of Ukraine Regarding Reduction of the Number of Permitting Documents”