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News

17 March 2020, 16:45

Speaker promptly inks legal instruments geared towards fighting COVID-19

( Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat )

The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada signs a range of laws aimed to combat the spread of coronavirus in Ukraine

The speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Dmytro Razumkov has urgently signed an array of legislative acts (registered under Nos. 3219, 3220, 2538 and 2539) adopted on March 17 at the extraordinary parliamentary session, all aimed at combating the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus disease in the territory of Ukraine. These laws have already been handed over to the President of Ukraine for signature. All of them will take effect upon official promulgation.


Distilled essence of the statutes


The Law of Ukraine “On amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine aimed to prevent the occurrence and spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)” (bill No.3219) provides for:

  • expedited purchases of goods, works and services needful for combating the COVID-19 virus through the agency of a simplified purchase procedure – without resorting to electronic tenders lasting over fifteen days. Reporting on such dealings through the ProZorro e-system remains none the less in force;

  • all pharmaceuticals imported to fight the COVID-19 disease are customs and VAT exempts;

  • front-line medical workers immediately engaged in combating the virus will have a reward of double wages;

  • employees might either switch over to remote working or get a quarantine-long unpaid leave if agreed by their employers;

  • protection of rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) – during the quarantine period and thirty days after its revocation there is a ban on cancelling IDP registration certificates; it is also prohibited to freeze IDP state aid programmes during the quarantine;

  • fines and penalties for non-payment of housing and communal services will not be charged during the quarantine period; non-payment or partial payment of the above services can in no way restrain their provision; forced evictions through non-payment for utilities services are also prohibited;

  • the quarantine is to be lawfully treated as force majeure circumstances;

  • the law establishes administrative responsibility for unauthorized leaving of observation locations – a fine of 1,000 to 2,000 non-taxable minimum incomes, as well as 2,000 to 10,000 ones for government officials; the law also provides for restriction of liberty up to 3 years or prison time up to 3 years for violating the rules set to prevent the epidemic and other infectious diseases, if such actions entailed, or could entail, the spread of these diseases. Such actions also entail a fine amounting from 1,000 to 3,000 non-taxable minimum incomes, if same actions inflicted death or other grave consequences they are punishable by imprisonment from 5 to 8 years;

  • PEPs, officials are allowed to file their e-declarations until June 1 this year.


The Law of Ukraine “On amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine and other legislative acts of Ukraine aimed to support taxpayers during the period of taking measures against the occurrence and spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)” (bill No.3220) provides for no punitive penalties for tax offenses committed within the period from March 1 till April 30, 2020; no revisions/inspections within the period from March 18 till April 30, 2020; the filing period for annual property and income declarations is extended until July 1, 2020; land use fees are not to be charged and levied within the period from March 1 till April 30; the deadline for mandatory introduction of cash registers for solopreneurs is extended until January 1, 2021 (and even April 1, 2021 in certain cases), and some other relief measures.


The Law of Ukraine “On amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine aimed to increase availability of medications, healthcare products and other goods bought by a person entitled to make purchases in the field of health care” (bill No.2538) contains some novelties as follows:

  • the health ministry is to give birth to a new self-dependent public legal entity set to purchase drugs at the expense of public funds (The Purchasing organization);

  • all the purchases will be fully transparent and compliant with the law;

  • the Purchasing organization is allowed to directly buy drugs from domestic and overseas suppliers;

  • a simplified drug registration procedure will be applied to medicines on the EU books;

  • innovative drugs will be bought through a new tool of access-to-medicines contracts widely used throughout the developed world.


The Law of Ukraine “On amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine aimed to increase availability of medications, healthcare products and their auxiliaries bought at the expense of public funds, and facilitate healthcare purchases at the expense of public funds” (bill No.2539) stipulates that all medicines bought by the Purchasing organization are deemed to be VAT-exempt until December 31, 2022. If these medicines prove to be mis-utilized, officials involved will be brought to justice and the VAT is then to be paid at large, without erosion.