News (#3 March 2020)

Law digest

Parliament cut rental fee for mining amber

The Verkhovna Rada adopted Draft Law No. 2441 in the second reading on establishing a rental fee for amber production by reducing the fee from 25% to 10%.

The law also establishes a transition period until the end of 2020, during which the production cost will come to 5% of the value of extracted amber, and not 10%. By the end of 2021, the rental fee will be 8%.

Penalties for violating labor law reduced

President Volodymyr Zelensky signed Draft law No. 1233 into law, which commutes penalties for employers violating the Labor Code. The law introduces amendments to Article 265 of the Labor Code of Ukraine. Thus, instead of imposing a fine on employers who hired an employee without a labor contract, registered an employee as a part-time one when he/she actually was working full-time, or paid wages without accruing and paying a Unified Contribution for Compulsory State Social Insurance and taxes, the issuing of a written warning is proposed.

If the same violation is repeated within one year, then such an employer will be subject to a fine of four times the minimum wage established by the law at the time of discovery of the violation for each employee in relation to whom the violation is committed.

Fines for refusing to pay the minimum wage to employees called up for military service are also reduced. The relevant fine will be double the minimum wage.

If the employer does not allow an inspection related to fulfillment of labor law requirements to be carried out, it is proposed to impose a fine in the amount of eight times the minimum wage.

All other violations of labor law requirements will be subject to a written warning issued for employers. If within a year from the date of discovery of a violation such a violation is repeated, then the employer will be fined the sum of the minimum wage.

Cabinet of Ministers approved Regulations on Financial Supervision Office

The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the Regulations on the Financial Supervision Office, which defines the main tasks, functions and powers of the new body.

It is noted that the Financial Supervision Office will, among other things, carry out monitoring activities inside ministries, other executive authorities, state funds, compulsory state social insurance funds, state-financed institutions and public sector economic entities.

Its powers will also cover enterprises, institutions and organizations that receive (received) funds from budgets of all levels, state funds and compulsory state social insurance funds, or that use (used) state or communal property.

Monitoring activities will also be conducted for economic entities regardless of their form of incorporation following adoption of a court ruling in criminal proceedings.

In particular, the Financial Supervision Office will be responsible for inspecting the following:

Ч use and saving of public financial resources, fixed and other assets, including targeted, efficient and effective use of state and local budget funds;

Ч compliance with legislation at all stages of budget processes related to state and local budgets;

Ч compliance with procurement legislation;

Ч intended use and timely repayment of loans (credits) obtained under state (local) guarantees;

Ч implementation of investment projects and other projects (programs) supported by international organizations;

Ч rightfulness and appropriateness of costs incurred by the beneficiaries (partners) within the framework of implementation of joint operational programs on border and cross-border cooperation;

Ч status and reliability of accounting and financial reporting.

The Regulations also envisage the establishment of the Institute of Financial Analytics. Its remit will be to conduct risk analysis in relation to management of state resources followed by delivery of monitoring activities on high-risk transactions, to make it possible to move to the automation of processes and data processing in the information and analytical systems of the Financial Supervision Office.

National Bank allowed banks not to disclose all data on services for another 3 months

The National Bank of Ukraine took into account proposals put forward by banks and established an additional three month period of adoption to the new requirements for disclosure of information on services on websites and in advertising. Requirements of banks will come in force from 2 June 2020 (earlier, requirements for websites were due to take effect from 2 March 2020).

The main change to be introduced to the websites of banks and advertising is to provide consumers with reliable, truthful, up-to-date and sufficient information about services, full cost, terms of payment and risks. In February-May 2020 the NBU will, in unison with banks, to ensure that from June onwards consumers can easily get comprehensive information about banking services from financial institutions. From 2 June 2020, the National Bank dedicated unit, the Financial Services Consumer Protection Office, will start daily monitoring of websites of banks and advertising, as well as monitoring compliance with information disclosure requirements.

President signed law on single legal entity for Customs and Tax Services

President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a law establishing a new mode of operation for the State Customs and State Tax Services as a single legal entity, following which their territorial bodies will operate not as legal entities but as separate units.

The document also establishes the transfer of customs officers to contractual positions, disclosure of impersonal customs information, the possibility of automated customs clearance, and increasing resources to combat smuggling via post.

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