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Combating Covid-19 in Ukraine. Overview of the Latest Legislative Changes

Combating Covid-19 in Ukraine. Overview of the Latest Legislative Changes

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GOLAW team is gathering and updating constantly the information on the legal aspects of the combating COVID-19 in Ukraine. Laws and regulations adopted by the central government introduce specific extraordinary measures affecting both businesses and everybody personally. Brief summary of the latest legislation aimed at preventing and combating COVID-19 is laid down below.

Decree of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of 04.05.2020 No. 343 “On amending of some legal acts of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine”  

The Government of Ukraine has extended the duration of the quarantine to May 22, 2020. At the same time a number of restrictive measures are mitigated. From May 11, 2020, the Government of Ukraine has allowed to open:

  • parks, squares, recreation areas;
  • barbershops and beauty salon, manicure salons;
  • summer platform at restaurant and cafes;
  • takeaway catering work;
  • wholesale and retail trade in non-food goods (except for shopping and entertainment centers);
  • consumer services enterprises;
  • museums and libraries;
  • dentistry;
  • the work of lawyers, auditors, notaries;
  • team sports training for professional teams.
  • business entities working with the production of audiovisual works, in particular recording of films and videos in the open air, in vehicles, houses, buildings, premises;
  • rehearsals, trainings and other events in theaters, circuses, concert organizations, artistic groups (up to 50 people and without spectators).

The operation of the mentioned activities will be allowed provided the compliance with the following measures will be ensured:

  • keeping of social distance;
  • use of masks;
  • regular disinfection;
  • compliance with anti-epidemic measures.

Additionally the Government of Ukraine has allowed carrying out planned operations and hospitalization of patients before the end of quarantine.

Moreover, the following measures are continued till May 22, 2020:

  • closing of checkpoints across the state border for international passenger traffic, entry into the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol and prohibition of crossing the state border to enter Ukraine for foreigners and stateless persons;
  • acceptance and departure of aircraft performing passenger transportation;
  • emergency mode throughout Ukraine.

Therefore, the following restrictions continue to apply:

  • working of food courts and entertainment areas in shopping malls, as well as work of cinemas and theaters;
  • operation of the subway and public transport without special passes;
  • work of suburban, intercity, intraregional, interregional transport, as well as regular railway and air connections;
  • work of gyms and fitness centers;
  • studying in universities, schools and kindergartens, as well as holding mass events;
  • moving in groups more than 2 people (except for children);
  • staying in public without a mask or respirator;
  • staying in public without identity documents.

Decree of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of 22.04.2020 No. 291 “On amending of the certain acts of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine”  

The Government of Ukraine has extended the duration of the quarantine and restrictive measures to May 11, 2020.

The Government has permitted:

  • during the quarantine and 30 days thereafter, to engage the employees of the certain professions at the enterprises and organizations, which operations are related to provision of services to the public (designated in the list), that are subject to the mandatory preventive medical examination, without undergoing the preventive medical examination, provided such an examination has been due within the term of the quarantine.
  • persons, who agreed to self-isolation while using the “Dii vdoma” resource before crossing the sate border or ports of entry to/from temporarily occupied territory, not to undergo medical observation (isolation).

Decree of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of 08.04.2020 No. 262 “On amending of the Decree of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 211 as of March 11, 2020”   

The Government of Ukraine has changes some quarantine restrictions.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine updated a list of objects that can work during quarantine.

In particular, the Government additionally allowed the following activities:

  • postal and courier services;
  • construction works;
  • waste collection and storage;
  • trade of building materials;
  • dry-cleaners.

Also, certain categories of 60-year-old citizens were excluded from the list of persons who required self-isolation, namely:

  • persons covered by the Law of Ukraine “On Prevention of Corruption”;
  • servicemen and employees of the Armed Forces, other military entities and law enforcement;
  • persons carrying out activities, related to the non-proliferation of COVID-19;
  • persons that ensure activities of energy, chemical, petrochemical, machine-building industry, mining, metallurgical industry, transport, information, communication technologies, electronic communications, banking and financial sectors and defense industry enterprises, at companies that provide services in areas of centralized water, electricity and gas supply, sewerage, food production, agriculture and health care, etc.

Order of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of 02.04.2020 No. 370-p "On introducing amendments to the Annexes 1 and 2 of Order of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of March 31, 2020 No. 288-p"

Government is tightening restrictions on border to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Starting from April 7, 2020 Ukraine's state border will be allowed to cross only by motor vehicles and exceptionally through 19 checkpoints.

According to the changes, 115 checkpoints will be temporarily closed, and at 28 checkpoints pedestrian traffic will be temporarily suspended.

The Customs Service has updated an online map and marked all checkpoints – those already closed and those to be closed from April 07, as well as open - for both passenger and freight services.

Decree of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of 02.04.2020 No. 255 "On amending of Decree of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 211 as of March 11, 2020"

            The Government has amended the Decree of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 211 as of March 11, 2020 by restating it in whole and has imposed restrictive measures that are more stringent. Restated restrictions provide for the following:

Quarantine shall be effective from March 12 to April 24, 2020;

Until April 24, 2020 it is prohibited:

  • to stay in the public space without wearing a mask or respirator (starting from April 6, 2020);
  • to move in groups by more than 2 persons except for the instances of professional necessity and accompanying of children under 14 years old (starting from April 6, 2020);
  • to stay in public places for persons under 14 years old without parents or relatives accompanying thereof;
  • to attend educational institutions by students;
  • to visit parks, square parks, recreational areas, forest park and coastal zones, except for walking of pets by one person or in case of professional necessity;
  • to visit sport and children's playgrounds;
  • to hold all mass events (cultural, entertaining, sport, social, religious, promotional, etc.), except for the events necessary for ensuring activity of the central governmental bodies and local governmental bodies, etc.;
  • to carry out activities by businesses implying visitation of customers, including activity of public food services (restaurants, cafes, etc.), shopping malls and entertainment complexes, other entertainment establishments, gyms, cultural institutions, public trading and amenity services providers;
  • scheduled and chartered transportation of passengers by automobile transport, except for transportation by personal vehicles or company car;
  • transportation of passengers by railway transport, within all kinds of internal routes, except for individually approved passenger hauls within internal railway routes;
  • visitation of the institutions and establishments providing palliative care;
  • to visit centers of temporary stay for foreigners and stateless persons who stay illegally in Ukraine;
  • to stay in streets without identity documents confirming citizenship or special status;
  • to leave places of observation (isolation) unauthorized.

However subject to provision of personal protection equipment to the personnel and visitors the activity of the following establishments is allowed:

  • retail sale of the groceries, patrol (gas stations), hygiene products, medicines and products of medical purpose
  • sale of means of communication, including mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, laptops;
  • sale of veterinary medication, feeds, pesticides and agricultural chemicals, seeds and seeding products, day growing poultry;
  • financial institutions, banking and insurance business;
  • medical and veterinary practice;
  • address delivery of the meals subject to provision of personal protection equipment to the personnel and visitors;
  • operations of accommodation facilities where medical personnel and persons under observation live, as well as where live other persons designated pursuant to the decision of the State commission of technogenic and ecological security and emergencies;
  • operations of sale, lease and repair of vehicles, etc.

Private Entrepreneurs and self-employed persons are allowed during the quarantine to account income and expenses without maintenance of the book for accounting income and expenses;

The legal status of the "persons requiring self-isolation" is defined, along with rights and obligations thereof as well as administrative and criminal liability for violations of self-isolation regime. Also the list of personal data of such persons is determined that upon consent of the person will be entered into relevant informational systems;

The list of the persons, who are subjects to mandatory hospitalization to observation (isolation) facilities for 14 days term, is designated as follows:

  • persons who declared voluntary hospitalization;
  • persons who violated conditions for self-isolations two times;
  • persons who have been in contact with COVID-19 patients or those with symptoms of COVID-19 subject to the instruction of treating doctor;
  • persons crossing the state border;
  • persons entering from the temporarily occupied territories;

Children under 12 years old shall be hospitalized to observation (isolation) facilities together with of the parents or other persons in accordance with the law.

- enterprises, institutions and organizations during the quarantine are advised to ensure:

  • shift system of work for employees and/or if possible remote work regime via Internet;
  • keeping distance not less than 1,5 meters between visitors awaiting permission to enter premises;
  • twenty-four-hour and/or extended work regime (schedule) for legal persons and private entrepreneurs carrying out business permitted under the Decree No. 255 (without need to approve any particular regime (schedule));

Upon the order of the CMU regional and Kyiv state city administration shall impose special regime for entry/exit to/from the territory of the regions by citizens and vehicles, including by creating control check point, organizing monitoring of the health condition of the travelers via contactless measuring of temperature and in case of deterioration of epidemiological situation by restricting the movement between the regions;

Law No. 540-IX On Amending of certain legislative acts to provide additional social and economic guarantees in relation to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

In effect from April 02, 2020

            At an extraordinary session, the Parliament has approved the draft law No. 3275, which provides support for business, medicine and local communities during quarantine. The draft law prescribes, inter alia, the following amendments:

           Limits of income for taxpayers of 1st, 2nd and 3rd group of simplified tax system was increased:

o          1st group – 1 000 000 000 UAH;

o          2nd group – 5 000 000 000 UAH;

o          3rd group – 7 000 000 000 UAH.

           Relief from VAT and import duty of goods necessary for combating COVID-19;

           Documentary and factual tax audits inspections for the period from March 18 to May 31, 2020 are prohibited (moratorium), except those related to cases of VAT or negative VAT more than UAH 100 thousand reimbursement;

           From March 1, 2020 to March 31, 2020 land tax shall not be accrued and paid (earlier the period of relief was until April 30).

           From March 1 to May 31, 2020 the fines and interests for not paying Unified Social Contribution shall not be imposed and accrued.

           Moratorium for Unified Social Contribution inspections established from March 1 to May 31, 2020, already initiated inspections shall be suspended for the mentioned period;

           Raising of the interest rate on the loan agreement is forbidden during spread of COVID-19;

           The law directly establishes that the quarantine is a circumstance out of control of the tenant. Thus, tenants may be relieved from rent payments for lease of property the were hindered to use due to quarantine on the basis of para 6 Article 762 of the Civil Code of Ukraine;

           Persons liable for submission and publication of financial statements shall be relieved from liability for delayed publication of financial statements for 2019 or consolidated financial statements for 2019 with auditor report in case such statements will be published during quarantine or within 90 days after its end but in any case not later than December 31, 2020;

           Due to quarantine and restrictive measures requirements regarding conduction of general meeting of shareholders of joint stock companies and limited liability companies-emitters of stock certificates temporary shall not apply;

           Possibility to arrange distance work (flexible work time) was introduced to Labor Code of Ukraine;

           If employing persons for distance work adhering of written form of employment contract is compulsory. In its turn it is allowed during quarantine to establish distance work for employees who are already employed by issuing respective order;

           Idle time of the enterprise’s work not attributable to the employee’s fault shall be paid in amount not less than 2/3 of wage;

           Within the period of anti-COVID-19 measures the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine is entitled to temporary suspend issuance of work permits to foreigners.

           All the scheduled inspections of business are restricted until June 30, 2020 (except: business rated with high level of risk; inspections in relation to adhering of regulated prices; sanitary and epidemiologic inspections).

Also the law prescribes peculiarities for work of court system during quarantine and social help measures during unemployment.

On March 26, 2020 the President of Ukraine informed citizens on border closure

During daily address to the citizens the President of Ukraine informed that by the end of Friday, March 27, the state border will be closed and all passenger traffic will be suspended.

Those who will not be able to return within the next two days will be assisted by our diplomatic missions and Ukrainian communities abroad.

Decree of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of March 25, 2020 No. 239 on amending of certain decisions of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (No. 211, 228, 287 , 291)

The Government has extended until April 24, 2020 the quarantine and other restrictive measures period, namely:

- border checkpoints for passengers transportation, including border with occupied territory of Crimea for citizens of Ukraine are closed until April 24, 2020;

- border for foreigners is closed until April 24, 2020. The restriction does not refer to foreigners who have permanent or temporary residence permit, spouses or children of Ukrainian citizens; spouses or children of Ukrainian citizens, employees (and their families) of diplomatic (consular) missions, international missions and organizations; drivers and service personnel of freight vehicles, crew members;

- arrival and departure of aircrafts with passengers who travel for touristic purposes is prohibited until April 24, 2020;

- departure and arrival of aircrafts to airports of Ukraine is prohibited until April 24, 2020. Departure and arrival of aircrafts allowed only via Boryspil International Airport or, in case of non-availability of Boryspil, over Lviv International Airport Danyla Halytskoho as a reserve airport.

Also, the Government eased some restrictive measures, in particular has expanded the list of allowed activities during quarantine:

         -  the ban on wholesale of food, trade of veterinary goods, veterinary practice, sale of forages, pesticides and agrochemicals, seeds and planting materials, as well as some other activities was cancelled;

       -  requirements to passenger transportation that is undertaken by enterprises for productive purposes were eased.

For carrying out the abovementioned activities, as well as during passenger transportation the appropriate personnel, drivers and passengers must be provide  with personal protective equipment and be compliance with appropriate sanitary and anti-epidemic measures.

The rest of restrictive measures introduced by Decree No. 211 with amendments made by Decree 215 remain in force until April 24, 2020.

Order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of March 25, 2020 No. 338-р

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has introduced a 30-day emergency situation regime in the entire territory of Ukraine until April 24, 2020.

The emergency regime does entail any restrictions for business, as well as not limit the rights of citizens, but only consolidates efforts to overcome the threat.

For the most part, regime of emergency situation introduces a special procedure of operation for authorities and civil protection systems, which will work intensely for the duration of an emergency situation.

In fact, the legal emergency regime is aimed at enhancing the coordination of central, local authorities and civil protection system - all services and bodies involved against the spread of the coronavirus.

Among the measures to be taken during an emergency situation are the following:

  •  strengthening of public order;
  •  informing citizens;
  •  disinfection of objects and territories;
  •  sanitary-hygienic anti-epidemic measures.

Decree of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of March 23, 2020 No. 228

It is prohibited starting from 12:00 March 24 to April 03, 2020:

  •  arrival and departure of aircrafts with passengers who travel for touristic purposes;
  •  to perform departure and arrival of aircrafts to airports of Ukraine. Departure and arrival of aircrafts allowed only via Boryspil International Airport or, in case of non-availability of Boryspil, over Lviv International Airport Danyla Halytskoho as a reserve airport.

Order of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of March 23, 2020 No. 333-р            

Emergency situation regime declared in Donetsk, Ternopil and Cherkasy regions.

Emergency situation does not result in suspension of activity of all enterprises automatically and do not entail restriction of rights of businesses and public. Emergency situation regime generally imposes special mode of work for sate bodies and system of civil protection.

Minutes No. 16 of Permanent commission of techno genic ecologic security and emergencies "On prevention of spreading of severe respiratory disease COVID-19, caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, and implementation of additional restrictive measures on the territory of Kyiv"   •          Internal transportation by surface transport is restricted.

Starting 22.03.2020 transportation will be conducted via specially designed routes exclusively of people working in city's vital public services, who have appropriate special tickets, identity documents and means of personal protection.

  • Grocery stores and drug stores chains starting 25.03.2020 will allow stay of customers in premises only in a number of 1 person per 10 sq.m and will have to ensure measures of sanitary safety.

Orders No. 320-p as of March 16, 2020, No. 321-p as of March 18, 2020, No. 322-p, 323-p, 324-p as of March 20, 2020 of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On establishing an emergency situation regime”       

Emergency situation regime declared in Kyiv City, Kyiv, Dnipro, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Zhytomyr regions.

Emergency situation does not result in suspension of activity of all enterprises automatically and do not entail restriction of rights of businesses and public. Emergency situation regime generally imposes special mode of work for sate bodies and system of civil protection.

Law of Ukraine 533-IX "On amending the Tax Code of Ukraine and other laws of Ukraine as to assistance of taxpayers during the period of effecting measures aimed at prevention and combating of outbreak and spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)"

  • From March 18 to May 31, 2020 all scheduled documentation and office tax inspections shall be prohibited, except for:

           high risk enterprises;

           in the state pricing area of activity;

           in the area of sanitary and epidemiological security of the public.

  • Since March 18 to May 31, 2020 fines for violation of the tax law shall not be imposed, except for penalties for:

           violations of the provisions set for contracts of long term life insurance or insurance agreements in providing non-state pensions, particularly for insurance of the additional pension;

           alienation of the property under tax lien without consent of the tax authorities;

           violations of the rules of recording, production and turnover of the patrol and ethyl spirit at the excise warehouses, which are used under the regular circumstances;

           violations of the accrual, declaring and payment of the VAT, excise duty, rent payments.

  • From March 1 to March 31 and from April 1 to April 30, 2020 payment of Unified social contribution (USC) is temporarily cancelled for certain categories of taxpayers, namely:

           Private Entrepreneurs, including ones who have chosen simplified tax system;

           Sole Practitioners in Professional Fields (i.e. attorneys, notaries, etc.);

           Members of Farming households.

Please note that according to the abovementioned the USC shall not be accrued for and paid by these taxpayers for themselves only, i.e. the accrual and payment of USC is not cancelled in respect of employees of abovementioned categories of taxpayers.

It should be noted, however, that USC for the foregoing period may be paid voluntarily by the taxpayers.

  • From March 1 to May 31, 2020 the interest on the amount of tax charged by tax authorities as a result of tax inspection will not be accrued, and accrued but not payed interest for that term shall be written off.
  • Ban for documental inspections of correctness of unified social tax accrual, calculation and payment for the period from March 18 to May 18, 2020.
  • From March 1 to March 31 and from April 1 to April 30, 2020 the fines and interests for not paying Unified Social Contribution shall not be imposed and accrued.
  • From March 1, 2020 to April 30, 2020 land tax shall not be accrued and paid.
  • From March 1 to April 30, 2020 real estate property in ownership of the natural and legal persons is not subject to the real estate tax.
  • From March 1 to April 30, 2020 consumers of credits are excepted from liability for delay in performance of obligations under the contracts, i.e. obligations to pay the creditor a default penalty (interest, fine) and other payments prescribed by the contracts of the consumer's credit.
  • Personal income tax payment is postponed. It is allowed to taxpayers-natural persons to defer the submission of the Tax Annual Report for the 2019 by the July 1, 2020. Correspondingly, the personal income tax inferred from the Tax Annual Report shall be paid by the October 1, 2020.

Law of Ukraine 530-IX "On amending certain legislation of Ukraine, aimed at prevention and combating of outbreak and spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)”

  • Amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences:

           fines for the breach of the quarantine rules by the citizens amounting to UAH 17 000 - UAH 34 000 and for officials (officers) - UAH 34 000 - UAH 170 000;

           breach of special public procurement rules set be the law for the period of combating COVID-19 disease will entail penalties.

  • Amendments to the Criminal Code of Ukraine:

           breach of the rules and regulations for prevention of the coronavirus has been listed among offences that entail criminal liability by imposing fines and by imprisonment.

  • Import of medicines and personal protections for combating COVID-19 disease has been relieved of VAT payment.
  • Import of medicines and personal protections for combating COVID-19 disease has been relieved of import duty and cleared first ahead of the line.
  • Quarantine in connection with COVID-19 can be recognized as force majeure (act of god).
  • Public procurement procedures shall not apply to goods, works and services necessary for performing measures aimed to prevent occurrence and spread, localization and liquidation of epidemics, pandemics of COVID-19. The list of such a goods, services and works to be developed by the government.
  • The time of unpaid vacation during quarantine is unlimited. Thus, the unpaid vacation may last form more than 15 days.
  • During the quarantine an employer may arrange distance work or grant vacation to employees.
  • From the first day of quarantine time limits for appliance for administrative services or other services shall be suspended;
  • During the quarantine all the scheduled inspections of business is restricted.

Directive of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of March 16, 2020 No. 290-р "On amending Directive of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of March 16 2020 No. 287"

  • From March 17 2020 to April 3 2020 border points for international passenger railway, air and automobile (for buses) transportation are temporarily closed.

Decree of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of March 14, 2020 No. 291-р

  • Temporary from March 16th, 2020 till April 03rd , 2020 close of border with occupied territory of Crimea for citizens of Ukraine.

Decree of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of March 14, 2020 No. 287-р (AMENDED)

To close temporary from March 16th, 2020 till April 03rd, 2020 border checkpoints for passengers transportation.

To close temporary from March 16th, 2020 till April 03rd, 2020 border for foreigners. The restriction does not refer to:

  • ­           foreigners who have permanent or temporary residence permit, spouses or children of Ukrainian citizens.
  • ­           spouses or children of Ukrainian citizens, employees (and their families) of diplomatic (consular) missions, international missions and organizations;
  • ­           drivers and service personnel of freight vehicles, crew members.

Еntry into Ukraine of other categories of foreigners upon agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Decree of Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine as of March 13, 2020 No. 288-р

  • Temporarily closed checkpoints and checkpoints across the state border according to the list.
  • Suspended pedestrian traffic at border crossings at the state border according to the list.

By Max Lebedev, Partner, Oleksandr Melnyk, Associate, and Andrii Oliinyk, Junior Associate, GOLAW

Ukraine Knowledge Partner

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