Ukraine passes law on electronic communications

Ukraine

On 30 September 2020, the Ukrainian parliament passed the Law on Electronic Communications, which replaces the current out-dated legal framework governing electronic communications, and brings Ukraine closer to European standards in this field and integration into the EU Digital Single Market.

In business, the Law introduces the following:

  • the principle of technological neutrality (i.e. non-discrimination of any technology, giving businesses and customers the freedom to adopt whatever technology is most appropriate);

  • a unified and transparent approach to access and sharing of telecommunication networks and infrastructure;

  • conditions for effective competition in the market (i.e. analysis of the respective markets by the regulator, the National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatisation, based on European principles, and application of regulatory measures to those companies with significant market power, etc.);

  • reduction of regulatory pressure (i.e. limits grounds for inspections by state authorities);

  • significant increase in fines for non-compliance with regulatory requirements, and for violating the rights of end customers.

For customers, the new law:

  • provides for a possibility to select a separate communication service (i.e. eliminating the need to subscribe to a package of services);

  • ensures accessible and affordable universal electronic communication services (i.e. Internet and voice communication);

  • secures access to information (i.e. the right to receive comprehensive and clear information about a service before entering into a contract);

  • introduces the mechanism for extrajudicial settlement of disputes between consumers and service providers (i.e. claims will be considered by the regulator);

  • introduces mandatory consent for the end user to receive information and provides the possibility to unsubscribe.

Expected to come into force on 1 January 2022 after being signed by Ukraine's President, the Law is viewed as a complex new legal framework setting out significant changes in the Ukrainian telecom sector. During its first year of enforcement, CMS will prepare a more detailed guidance on the new rules the law introduces for each telecom sub-sector.

For more information on this law and the Ukrainian communications industry, contact your local CMS advisor or local CMS experts: Olga Belyakova and Anna Pogrebna.