On July 21, the Chamber Working Group on International Trade held its regular meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine who presented 5 Draft Laws devoted to reform of the current legislation on trade defense instruments.
At the very beginning, Igor Dankov, Chamber Customs Committee Co-Chair, EY and Anzhela Makhinova, Leader of the Chamber WG on International Trade, Sayenko Kharenko made a brief overview of the current status of trade defense instruments’ application in Ukraine. Specifically, the following issues were discussed: (1) current legislation was adopted in 1998 and thus, as of today it does not take into account new rules and jurisprudence of the WTO, best practices of the other WTO members allowing to address all challenges of new economic situation etc.; (2) absence of the duly regulated investigation procedure with relevant stages, deadlines, documents to be issued etc.; (3) lack of transparency; (4) absence of regulation how decisions of the Ukrainian courts and recommendations of the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO shall be implemented etc.
Then, Nataliya Sydoruk, Director of Trade Defense Department of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine described in details the main purposes for adoption of new legislation. In her view, the biggest problem is that unfortunately Ukrainian business does not know/understand trade defense instruments and, thus, Ukraine does not apply them efficiently to protect its internal market as compared with other WTO members. Therefore, the Ministry would like to adopt business-friendly legislation to encourage Ukrainian business to apply trade defense remedies.
Thereafter, Serhii Zinkovskyi, Deputy Director of Trade Defense Department of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, explained in details which major amendments will be implemented, to name but a few: (a) the investigation procedure will be described in very detailed manner with indication of strict deadlines for each stage; (b) the investigation will be more transparent i.e. the preliminary and definitive reports (non-confidential versions) will be disclosed on the web-site of the Ministry; the Ministry will set up an electronic document management system, in which all documents related to investigation (i.e. non-confidential versions) will be disclosed; notices will be more detailed etc.; (c) some provisions will be amended to be fully in compliance with the WTO agreements e.g. definition of subsidy; (d) anti-circumvention investigations and reviews are improved etc.
At the end of the meeting the participants discussed that it is very important to amend the current legislation. Moreover, it is vital to engage business to comment on the Draft Laws because it is expected that the trade defense instruments will be applied often in near future and, thus, it is crucial for business to participate in the legislative process in order to fully understand the purpose of the trade defense instruments and how to protect rights in the course of the relevant procedures.