Reform Index 218: Customs' Eurointegration and New Rules for Underground Water Protection

Reform Index 218: Customs’ Eurointegration and New Rules for Underground Water Protection

Photo: / kalinovsky
22 September 2023

The Reform Index’s 218th issue covers the period from July 31 to August 13 and incorporates seven reforms. The key reform was the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources decree approving the Rules for the Protection of Underground Waters. It received a rating of +2 points from experts, which, in our opinion, distinguishes significant reforms from less important ones. The overall rating of the Reform Index is +0.7 points on a scale ranging from -5 to +5 (in the previous issue, its value was +0.9 points).

Chart 1. Reform Index Dynamics

Chart 2. Reform Index and its components in the current round

Rules for underground water protection, +2 points

The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources issued an order approving the Rules for the Protection of Underground Waters.

They establish the procedures for drilling, conservation, and decommissioning of wells, requirements for regular reporting by water users, and their submission of well passports to the State Register of Artesian Wells. At the same time, the wells themselves must be constructed in such a way as to facilitate the necessary measurements and water sampling, as well as to carry out repair and restoration work. Water users are also obligated to independently install equipment to monitor underground water’s quantity and quality and carry out such monitoring.

These rules are mandatory for companies engaged in geological exploration, design, construction, and operation of underground water extraction facilities or whose activities may have a negative impact on the condition of these waters. 

While these changes are aimed at preventing groundwater pollution and preserving their ability for natural restoration, experts have raised several concerns regarding this order. They point out that it sometimes duplicates or contradicts the laws of Ukraine, such as the “On Environmental Protection” law, the Water Code, and Ukraine’s Water Strategy.

Information about the Reforms Index project, the list of Index experts and the database of the regulations assessed are available here.

Law on the customs’ Eurointegration, +1.5 points

At the beginning of August, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed a law amending the Customs Code, which harmonizes our rules for determining the country of origin of goods with European ones and ensures the implementation of free trade agreements.

Specifically, the changes establish that countries with which Ukraine has international trade agreements receive the same rights and conditions for imports (non-preferential rules) unless otherwise specified by separate international agreements or national legislation. 

The law also specifies the peculiarities of determining the origin of goods. Specifically, the country of origin is considered to be the one where the goods were either wholly produced or where significant stages of their production took place.

The law establishes a list of documents for confirming the country of origin of goods, as well as the procedure for confirming the country of origin during customs control. 

Chart 3. Value of Reform Index components and number of events

Reform Index from VoxUkraine aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of reform efforts by Ukraine’s authorities. The Index is based on expert assessments of changes in the regulatory environment in six areas: Governance, Public Finance, Monetary system, Business Environment, Energy, Human Capital.



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