The Ukrainian Parliament has adopted a law to mitigate the impact on business of anti-epidemic measures

02 April 2020

The Law was signed by the President on 1 April and will become effective after it is published (which is expected to happen imminently).

The most notable changes for business are:

  • Extension, for the whole period of quarantine, of:
    • most types of statutes of limitations;
    • most procedural terms (e.g. terms for the review of the case by the court, terms for the provision of an appeal, a cassation appeal, a statement of defence, etc.); 
    • term upon the expiry of which Ukrainian law-governed suretyships terminate.
  • Prohibition to increase interest rates under loan agreements during the period of implementation of the anti-epidemic measures in Ukraine. It is not entirely clear how the timing of this period will be determined. This prohibition should apply only to Ukrainian law-governed agreements.
  • Release of tenants and lessors from lease payments for the period of the quarantine. This apply to movable and immovable property leases; however, it should not apply to finance leases and operational leases. Although it is not clear from the law, it is most probable that, in order to rely on this provision, the tenant (lessor) will need to prove that it is not able to use the leased property because of the quarantine restrictions.
  • The requirement that annual meetings of shareholders of joint stock companies should be held by 30 April shall not apply. Such meetings can be held within three months after the official termination of the quarantine. At the option of the company, the meeting can also be held in a 'remote' format during the quarantine period. The procedure of holding shareholders’ meetings in 'remote' format will be developed by the National Securities Commission.
  • The rescheduling of annual meetings of participants of limited liability companies due to quarantine is possible only if such companies are securities issuers.
  • The terms for disclosure of the annual statutory required information by securities issuers were extended. The securities issuer should disclose the information within five Business Days after holding the rescheduled (as described in 4 and 5 above) general shareholders' (participants’) meeting.
  • Changes in the Labour Code which regulate remote working and flexible work schedules.

You can read more about the tax benefits provided by the Ukrainian legislature in connection with the COVID-19 quarantine here.

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