Ban on single-use plastics, toll roads, and protection of domestic producers

30 September 2021
Ban on single-use plastics, toll roads, and protection of domestic producers
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Last week MPs submitted many draft bills that can have a serious impact on the lives of Ukrainian citizens and the balance of power. The most important ones are the following: an attempt to protect the environment, a proposal on where to find funding for road repairs and construction, and a plan on how to protect domestic producers.

Ban on the production and usage of single-use plastics (6077)

Cosponsors: 52 MPs from different factions and groups with Oleh Bondarenko (Servant of the People faction, the Chairperson of the Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature) as the first signatory.

Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, businesses, government bodies, and local governments.

Summary of the bill:

  • bans the production, importation, and circulation of the following single-use plastic products:
    • wadding sticks, sipping straws, and cocktail sticks
    • cutlery and plates
    • oxo-degradable plastic
  • the bill does not ban wet napkins, personal hygiene products, diapers, tobacco products with filters, and filters for tobacco products
  • defines the requirements for single-use plastic products’ marking:
    • to include information that the product contains plastic and the negative environmental impact of plastic
    • to include directions on how to properly utilize the product
  • introduces fines for violations of the provisions of this law.

What is right: the state is trying to decrease the amount of waste, in particular plastic waste.

What is wrong:

  • to actually change the situation with plastic waste, the bill has to be more specific and complex, the ban on single-use plastic products should not be just enforced by law. The state has to provide an alternative for businesses and citizens or at least investigate what will be the consequences of such a ban and change its policy accordingly to mitigate the negative effects
  • the explanatory note does not contain information about possible losses and consequences neither for businesses nor for citizens. 

Fees for the use of roads by trucks (6087)

Sponsor: the Cabinet.

Who is affected: drivers, businesses, the National Police, government bodies, local governments, and Ukrainian citizens.

Summary of the bill:

  • the bill proposes to introduce a fee for the use of state public roads by vehicles of 12 tonnes and more (except for busses)
  • fees will be paid to the government budget
  • a list of vehicles exempted from paying for the use of public roads and the size of the fee will be approved by the Cabinet
  • drivers of heavy trucks will have to install tracking devices in order to report the direction they ride and the distance of the route
  • the law will be enforced by the National Police.

What is right:

  • the bill adapts Directive 1999/62/EC provisioned by the European Union—Ukraine Association Agreement
  • additional revenue for the government budget could be spent on repairs and development of the road infrastructure. According to the explanatory note, depending on the tariff (from 1 to 3 hryvnias per km), additional revenue will be up to ₴9 billion.

“Protection” for domestic producers (6099)

Cosponsors: 19 MPs of the Servant of the People faction and Trust group with Dmytro Solomchuk as the first signatory.

Who is affected: Ukrainian citizens, domestic and foreign producers, government bodies, local governments, and the Cabinet.

Summary of the bill:

  • defines the following terms:
    • domestically produced goods
    • domestically produced works
    • domestically produced services
  • procedure to recognize goods, works, and services as domestic for Ukraine will be defined by the Ministry of Economy
  • government bodies and local governments will be allowed to procure domestic goods, works, and services without using the ProZorro system if the total cost is less than ₴100 thousand
  • for tenders procuring domestic goods, works, and services, it will be enough to have just one participant.

What is wrong:

  • the bill violates Ukrainian obligations to the European Union and the World Trade Organization
  • the bill does not provide any criteria for recognizing goods, works, and services as domestic. This can result in corruption, losses for the government budget, and discrimination of foreign producers

changes to tender procedures undermine the public procurement reform and create mechanisms allowing the misuse of public funds. Special procedures for domestic products and discretion granted to the Ministry of Economy unbalance the system of public procurements.