Agro News Digest. February – April 2016

Transfer of Powers regarding the Management of State-Owned Lands

On 19 April 2016 the Draft Law “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine concerning Extension of the Powers of Local Self-Government Bodies in the Field of Land Management and Toughening of State Control over the Land use and Protection” (No.4355)|1| was adopted as a basis by the Parliament of Ukraine (the “Draft Law”).

The Draft Law provides for:

(1) the transfer of the state-owned lands located beyond the localities’ borders in the ownership of the respective local communities, united according to the law, and defines the procedure thereof;

(2) the transfer to the local city councils the right to manage the state-owned lands located beyond the localities’ borders as delegated powers (except for defense lands, lands of nature reserve funds, etc.);

(3) the transfer to the community bodies of the powers to change of the designated purpose of privately-owned land plots, etc.

The Draft Law envisages the amendments to the Land Code of Ukraine, the Forestry Code of Ukraine, the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offences as well as to the several Laws of Ukraine such as the Law “On Local Self-Government in Ukraine”, “On State Land Cadaster”, “On Farming  Enterprise”, “On Land Management”, etc.

State Service of Ukraine on Safety of Foodstuffs and Consumer Protection is launched

The State Service of Ukraine on Safety of Foodstuffs and Consumer Protection (the Food Safety State Service”) is the single competent authority implementing the state policy in the field of food safety. Volodymyr Lapa has been appointed as the Head of the Food Safety State Service on 24 February 2016.

According to the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No.667 dated 2 September 2015, the Food Safety State Service shall implement the policy in the following spheres:

  • Safety and certain requirements to the quality of foodstuffs;
  • Veterinary medicine;
  • Quarantine and plant protection;
  • Identification and registration of animals;
  • Sanitary legislation;
  • Prevention and minimization of the use of tobacco and its adverse effect on public health;
  • Metrological control;
  • Market control, within its responsibility, of the seeding industry and seedling production (in the part of certification of seeds and seedling material, protection of plant breeders’ rights);
  • State control of compliance with the consumer protection and advertising legislation in this sphere.

On 6 April 2016, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has adopted the Regulation On the issue of the State Service of Ukraine on Safety of Foodstuffs and Consumer Protection”, thereby the functioning of the Food Safety State Service is officially launched.|2|

Ukraine Commences a Large-Scale Deregulation in the Fisheries Industry

On 31 December 2015, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed the Law of Ukraine On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine regarding Deregulation in Agriculture” (No.2558a)|3| that canceled seven permits and administrative  services of the State Fisheries Agency of Ukraine in the fisheries industry,|4| which are as follows:

  • cancellation of licenses for fishing enterprises (except those engaged in fishing in the waters outside the jurisdiction of Ukraine and which need a license upon the requirement of the international regulatory organizations);
  • limitation of the permit procedures for fishing in the waters of Ukraine to the procedure of issuing permit, which would only provide information about the basin, fishing gear and species of fish available for fishing;
  • reduction of  the period from 30 to 10 days for issuing permits for special use of water bioresources within fishery water objects (or parts thereof) in the territory of Ukraine as well as outside the jurisdiction of Ukraine for vessels engaged in ocean fisheries;
  • reduction of the list of grounds for refusal to issue such a permit;
  • cancellation of a separate register of hydro technical fishery water objects and its inclusion into the State Electronic Register of Fishery Water Objects, which will be established in Ukraine in 2016 and will contain publicly available information on water objects and available possibilities of use thereof.|5|

The State Fisheries Agency of Ukraine initiates reduction of the price for the water fund resources to 3 per cent  of the normative assessment of land compared to previous 3-12 per cent by introducing the respective draft law in the Parliament of  Ukraine.|6| In addition, Ukraine is interested in deepening the cooperation with Estonia in the fisheries industry. |7| In particular, Ukraine and Estonia will jointly work on establishment of the electronic monitoring of the fisheries industry.|8|

Establishment of Family Farming Enterprises

On 31 March 2016, the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Regarding the Stimulation of Establishment and Activity of Family Farming Enterprises” (the “Law”)|9| that stipulates amendments to the Laws “On Farming  Enterprise” and “On  Individual Agricultural Enterprise” was adopted.

The Law envisages a streamlined process for:

  • the transformation of personal agricultural households into family farming enterprises;
  • the registration and establishment of business activity of family farming enterprises;
  • the receipt of  permits.

According to the Law, the farming enterprises can be established with or without registering a legal entity. The special forms of the farming enterprises shall be an individual farming enterprise or a  family farming enterprise. The Law also envisages a number of additional measures of state support for the establishment and development of family farming enterprises.

The aim of the Law is to remove the taxbarriers that negatively affect thesale of products, grown by agricultural enterprises as well as to motivate producers to move from the shadow economy to declared economy.

Improvement of Food Safety Control System in Ukraine

On 12 April 2016 the Committee of the Parliament of Ukraine on Agrarian Policy and Land Relations decided to recommend for the second reading the Draft Law “On state control aimed to verify the compliance of the legislation on foodstuffs and feed safety, animal health and welfare” (No.0906) (“Draft Law”).|10|

The Draft Law is designed to harmonize the legislation of Ukraine on state supervision with the EU Regulations No 854/2004, No 882/2004, No 669/2009 and EU Directive Nor 97/78/EC.

This Draft Law is an important step towards the implementation of food safety control system “from fram to fork in Ukraine. In particular, it sets the requirements for the execution of state control over foodstuffs, feed and animals by the single supervisory authority – competent body.

Draft Law on Information for Consumers on the Foodstuffs

In March 2016, the Draft Law “On information for consumers on the foodstuffs” (No.4126-1)|11|, developed by the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine was registered in the Parliament of Ukraine registered (the “Draft Law”).

The Draft Law is designed to unify the rules on providing information to consumers as to foodstuffs. In particular, the Draft Law introduces the EU standards on labeling (size, height of letters, the specifics of labeling of the term for end use of products, the necessity for labeling of allergen-containing products and the country of origin of raw materials).

Exports of Dairy Products to the Foreign Markets

In April 2016, a group of enterprises “Milk Alliance placed its products on the EU market. The first country importing Ukrainian dairy products became Bulgaria. The first supply aims to study the demand and preferences of EU consumers and includes cheese brands “Pyriatyn and “Slavia , UHT Milk TM “Yagotynske , milk UHT vitamin-enriched milk for children TM “Yagotynske for children , dairy butter TM “Zlatokrai .|12|

In addition, since the end of 2015 the Ukrainian companies have started exporting dairy products to the Peoples Republic of China. In particular, this includes milk powder, whey and cheese.|13|

The First Stage of Grain Terminal is opened in the Illichivsk Port

In March 2016, the first grain terminal of Swiss company was opened in Illichivsk port. According to Mr Oleksiy Pavlenko, the grain terminal comprises a unit for single storage of 30 thousand tons of grain, equipped with motor discharge, which allows to unload about 120 cars per day. It is expected that the capacity of the storage unit will constitute 700 thousand tons of grain per year.|14|

The Government Approved the Closure of Kerch and Sevastopol Sea Fishing Ports

Due to the impossibility to carry out the service of vessels and passengers, freight, transportation, expedition activities as well as other related economic activities in the sea fishing ports located within the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and in Sevastopol, the Government approved the closure of Kerch Sevastopol Sea Fishing Ports within the respective waters. The relevant decision was adopted in accordance with the CMU Resolution No.263 dated 6 April 2016.|15|

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