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Ukraine Again Amends Land Use Legislation to Meet War Challenges

On 9 June 2022, the Law of Ukraine 2247-IX, dated 12 May 2022, "On the Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Regarding Peculiarities of Land Regulation During Martial Law" came into force. The law continues the deregulation of land use and construction for the period of martial law.

The law extends the list of state and municipal land plots exempted from mandatory auction by adding the following cases:

  1. the construction of enterprises, including of strategic importance to the economy and security of the state, relocated from the areas of military actions. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine must adopt the relevant procedure to select such enterprises;
  2. river ports on the Danube River and multimodal logistics centres – ports and centres to be defined by the Ministry of Infrastructure;
  3. the construction of the critical infrastructure of power supply, gas distribution and transmission, water, heat, and sewage networks;
  4. seaports;
  5. commercial agricultural commodity production facilities.

The law sets forth additional entitlements for the gas transmission system operator, gas distribution system operators, the gas storage operator, the transmission system operator, distribution system operators, drinking water supply companies, centralised drainage companies, heat generation, heat transportation, and heat supply companies, and electronic communications operators regarding the use of land.

To prevent breakdowns or to conduct repairs on critical-infrastructure objects, the law allows these service companies, subject to three-days notice, access all land plots without owner or user consent. In these cases, the network operators are also released from obligations to reimburse damages (e.g. soil deterioration), pay for the use of lands, develop the documentation on reclamation and improve lands. However, these companies must at least rehabilitate disturbed land plots to a condition that allows their designated utilisation.

Companies from the energy infrastructure sector that use private land plots can postpone their rent or other land-related payments until the end of the sixth month after the cancellation of martial law. This rule applies to fees for land plots under use based on the lease, sublease, easement, or superficies title that became due during martial law.

In items 1 to 3 above cases, changing the designated purpose of land does not require developing land-management documentation. Thus, it can be conducted under a significantly simplified procedure, which envisages the issuance of a conclusion on the possibility of changing the designated purpose by local authorities. Furthermore, the law in such cases exempts developers from the need to reimburse agricultural and forestry losses, if any.

Finally, the law introduces several provisions that regulate the activities of land surveyors during martial law. It sets forth an obligation for certified land surveyors to obtain a permit from the Security Service of Ukraine if they want to carry out land surveying or geodetic works. In addition, the surveyors are exempted from statutory professional liability insurance and the obligation to pass certification training.

Legislation: The Law of Ukraine "On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Regarding Peculiarities of Land Regulation During Martial Law”.

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