Ukraine wants to introduce new eco-audit rules: analysis of the draft law

Ukraine wants to introduce new eco-audit rules: analysis of the draft law

Katerina Belousova

The bill is designed to create a transparent eco-audit mechanism

On Friday, May 5, the Verkhovna Rada's Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature Management will consider draft law No. 6349 "On improving the procedure for conducting an environmental audit." The document offers a number of positive changes, but also contains negative norms. In particular, it proposes to oblige individual entrepreneurs to undergo an eco-audit.

EcoPolitic analyzed the document to assess what changes to expect.

The purpose of draft law No. 6349 is to bring the Law of Ukraine "On Environmental Audit" into compliance with other laws, in particular "On Environmental Impact Assessment". After all, the Law "On Environmental Impact Assessment" of 2017 essentially removed the concept of "conducting environmental expertise" from Ukrainian legislation.

The draft law reintroduces this concept into Ukrainian legislation and outlines the basic principles of conducting such an examination. It also determines which enterprises fall under the concept of objects that pose an increased environmental hazard, i.e. are subject to a mandatory eco-audit.

The document expands the grounds for conducting a mandatory eco-audit for activities subject to the EIA procedure in the following cases:

  • bankruptcy;
  • privatization, concession transfer, except for the cases specified by law;
  • transfer or acquisition into state or communal ownership;
  • transfer of state or communal property for long-term lease;
  • formation of joint enterprises on the basis of objects of state or communal ownership;
  • environmental insurance of facilities;
  • termination of the product distribution agreement in accordance with the law;
  • liquidation or decommissioning of enterprises, institutions or organizations, their structural subdivisions;
  • termination of business activities of the PIF;
  • in other cases provided by law.

Also, the document is designed to create a transparent one eco-audit mechanism.

Bill No. 6349 provides for the following changes:

  • elimination of existing gaps in the legislation regarding the implementation of a mandatory environmental audit for objects and types of activities that may have a significant impact on the environment and are subject to EIA;
  • regulation of the procedure for carrying out a mandatory environmental audit in the event of the liquidation or decommissioning of enterprises, institutions or organizations, their structural subdivisions, which carry out activities that may have a significant impact on the environment and are subject to EIA;
  • extracting the conclusion of the environmental audit from the results of the environmental audit and determining its content;
  • ensuring the publication of the conclusions of the mandatory environmental audit on the official websites of the customers of the ecoaudit and the central executive body that implements the state policy in the field of environmental protection;
  • the need to carry out a mandatory environmental audit on the basis of a court decision establishing the existence of violations of the requirements of the environmental protection legislation of Ukraine;
  • replacement of the concept of "statute of a legal entity" with "constitutional documents of a legal entity".

Draft Law No. 6349 establishes a clear list of requirements for the content of the eco-audit conclusion and obliges it to be submitted to the head of the enterprise where the audit took place.

However, expanding the grounds for conducting a mandatory eco-audit, in particular for PIFs, may lead to corruption risks, i.e. the demand for bribes or delays in operations.

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