The policy areas targeted by LINC involve WTO post-accession issues of government procurement, trade and standards, or matters that go to the heart of Ukraine's standings in the various world-wide competitiveness rankings.
Key activities under this task include:
- Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
- Government Procurement
- National Regulatory Framework
- Land Reform
LINC National Level Activities in October-December 2010
SANITARY AND PHYTOSANITARY MEASURES AND HACCP REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
On October 20, 2010, the National Codex Alimentarius Commission of Ukraine (NCAC) unanimously approved two documents developed by the International Institute for Food Safety and Quality within the framework of USAID LINC. The documents are the Guidelines for Developing and Implementing Food Safety Management Systems Based on HACCP and the Guidelines for Procedures of Conducting Official Inspections (Audits) of HACCP System at Food Production and Traffic Enterprises. The approval, formalized as a NCAC decision, recommends that the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine would approve the guidelines pursuant to the Law of Ukraine -On Food Safety and Quality.
The primary goal of the HACCP System Guidelines is to lay down minimum requirements for the development, implementation, and maintenance of a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system, and create a unified understanding of the extent of steps to be taken by all parties involved, including food producers, supervisory bodies, consumer groups, etc. The HACCP System Guidelines summarize basic HACCP system requirements in accordance with Codex Alimentarius recommendations, answer likely questions that may arise in implementation, and outline a number of private standards for more informed decision-making by producers wishing to implement them.
HACCP is a systematic and preventive approach to food and pharmaceutical safety that addresses physical, chemical, and biological hazards as a means of prevention rather than finished product inspection. The Codex Alimentarius is a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines, and other recommendations relating to foods, food production, and food safety.
The International Institute for Food Safety and Quality developed the first draft of the HACCP System Guidelines under the USAID TIBA project in late 2008, and submitted it to NCAC on March 24, 2009. Thereafter, the elaboration and discussions of the document, as well as its presentation and advocacy at the Commission, went under USAID LINC. The development of the HACCP Audit Procedures Guidelines started in Aug. 2009 as a manual. The manual was presented to the Health Ministry State Sanitary and Epidemiologic Service and the State Veterinary Medicine Committee, and then developed into guidelines to comply with Ukrainian legal instrument nomenclature.
During this reporting period, LINC continued assistance to National Codex Alimentarius Commission in drafting of sanitary norms and rules for dairy products.
LINC continued promoting the adoption of the three Codex drafts dealing respectively with Maximum Residue Limits for veterinary drugs; Maximum Residue Limits for pesticides; and food additives. The Ministry of Health (MoH) insists on adoption of testing methodsprior to adoption of these drafts which is technically and financially impossible. In the interim, a draft Law was prepared and submitted to the Health Committee of Verkhovna Rada for consideration. In case of adoption, this Law encourages Ukraine use of Codex standards which determine MRL and permitted food additives directly without need for adoption of any sanitary norms and rules.
LINC assisted the Civil Service of Ukraine in the preparation of an Order Draft of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (CMU) or of the President of Ukraine regarding reform of the food control system organizational structure. An Order Draft of the MoH regarding registration of food additives and flavorings, which was prepared with LINC assistance, passed all relevant Ministries. The delay with adoption of this document is connected with institutional changes within MoH, and approval of the document is expected.
LINC assisted with revisions to the Law -On baby food? which had originally contradicted Codex standards and EU legislation. The Ukrainian Parliament adopted the Law -On amendments to Law of Ukraine -On baby food? on 02/12/2010. This law harmonizes Ukrainian legislation with Codex and EU legislation.
LINC assisted with the preparation of a Draft Law -On state market surveillance and control of nonfood products? (No. 6694 from July 9, 2010). This draft was adopted as a law on December 2, 2010. This law harmonizes Ukrainian legislation with WTO principles and EU legislation.
A draft law regarding amendments to several pre-existing laws regulating product safety was registered in the Parliament on March 29, 2010, No. 6237, and authored by Parliament member K. Lyapina, was prepared with LINC assistance. Unfortunately, this draft was rejected by Verhovna Rada on November 17, 2010.
Together with other technical assistance projects and donor organizations, LINC continued to assist the Delegation of the European Commission in Ukraine in preparation of terms of reference (ToR) for Reform of Ukrainian Food Control System with a budget of 9 million EUR.
LINC made amendments to a draft of sanitary norms for flavorings in accordance with additional requirements of the National Codex Alimentarius Commission. The delay with adoption of this document is connected with institutional changes within MoH, and approval of the document is expected.
LINC developed written -Guidance for Evaluating the Equivalence of Foreign Sanitary-Phytosanitary Regulatory Control Systems.? This document provides an overview of the activities involved in making equivalence determinations of sanitary and /or phytosanitary systems and measures. The procedures are based upon the requirements set forth in the -World Trade Organization Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures? and related documents prepared by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, Office International des Epizooties, and the International Plant Protection Convention. Also included are examples of equivalence agreements, determinations, and tools for making equivalence determinations. This information is intended to be used as an aid in developing more detailed guidance for Ukrainian government officials as they go about implementing procedures designed to evaluate the safety of imported food, animal and plant products.
LINC experts continued discussions with the State Plant Quarantine Service (SPQS) on the draft Order on Free of Hazardous Organisms (FHO) site (pest-free area/pest -ree production area) based on ISPMs 4, 10, and 29, and on the draft Order on Export Certificate (covering sampling and inspection) based on ISPMs 7, 12, and 23.
LINC experts continued assistance in preparing the draft Order on fumigation for SPQS based on elements of the USDA Fumigation Manual and Ukrainian practice and legislation. The draft was further expanded to include provisions covering warehouses, fruits and vegetables, auto transport, and elevators. A draft has been published officially on the Web site of the State Plant Quarantine Service for receiving comments from all interested parties.
The Order on Risk analysis has been submitted for approval by the Ministry of Agriculture. LINC experts organized the seminar on Fumigation December 7-9 2010 for approximately 65 participants, including representatives of the SPQS, private fumigation companies, and the Ministry of Agriculture. During the seminar, the following topics were highlighted: Ukrainian Draft Fumigation, USDA Ship fumigation, Sealing Concrete Silos, Sealing Steel Bins, and PH3 Damage (Safety). During October and November, work on the fumigation order continued. The order is currently being finalized taking into account comments from all interested bodies.
LINC continued discussions with the State Customs Service (SCS) and other relevant stakeholders (including the private sector and VR Committee on Finance) regarding recommendations to bring the Draft Customs Code in-line with World Trade Organization (WTO) customs-related agreements, the World Customs Organization (WCO) Revised Kyoto Convention, and the EU Modernized Customs Code. Follow-up meetings were held with the SCS. LINC has been invited to participate in the working group established by Deputy Prime Minister Tihipko to revise the Draft Customs Code. The working group considered many of the recommendations provided by LINC in the detailed analysis of the Draft Customs Code prepared in 2009. LINC's local lawyer has been actively participating in this effort.
USAID LINC experts continued to provide ad hoc assistance in reviewing and providing recommendations based on international best practices to draft legislation on government procurement, including on several versions of the draft amendments to the procurement law, and current operating procedures for handling complaints.
LINC assisted in developing handbook which will provide practical explanation of the steps involved in considering complaints submitted to the Anti-monopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU). The provisions will be the basis for establishing a repetoire of practice of the AMCU in this important new role that it is taking on, which can be updated periodically and as the review procedure evolves in Ukraine.
In December, USAID LINC hosted a roundtable on the issues of complaint administration under the Public Procurement Law and co-organized another one on the subject in conjunction with ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) Ukraine and the Association of Exporters and Importers -ZED. Both events featured a presentation made by a USAID LINC expert. The event in the project's office was to follow up the brainstorming session held on December 15, 2010, to discuss the complaint administration procedure and its importance for developing civil society monitoring of public procurement practices. In the office of ICC Ukraine, the focus was on practical lessons learned from the implementation of the new complaint administration system, and acknowledgement of legislative gaps that need to be fixed.
On December 15, USAID LINC hosted a meeting of about 30 representatives from NGOs, USAID projects and the media to brainstorm how civil society can effectively monitor public procurement practices. The participants discussed a range of related issues, such as government transparency and freedom of information, and tried to answer key issues: Is it civil society's job to monitor public procurement practices? Which civil society actors have an interest in monitoring public procurement practices? How can civil society monitoring be effectively accomplished? The meeting also identified next steps to be done to implement civil society monitoring of public procurements. The Creative Union -TORO?, a Kirovohrad-based NGO, undertook drafting a concept of public procurement civil society monitoring, which they promised to present in January 2011.
|"In establishing the complaint administration procedures, Ukraine is actually following the example of many countries that have taken this step as part of modernizing their procurement systems. Ukraine can be commended for taking this step" Simeon Sahaydachny, USAID LINC expert in public procurement|
This quarter, USAID LINC provided training to the staff of Bid Appeal Unit at the AMCU on best international practices and shared with them experiences of other relevant countries. LINC also assisted in developing awareness materials about the process and required forms and documents, periods, fees, etc. to be made available for AMCU Web site and published in mass media in order to educate stakeholders, particularly private sector.
1. Assisted in developing the essential principles for setting qualification requirements for appointment to Tender Committees;
2. Developed a Tender Committee Capacity-building Program, including a list of training courses and procedures for an ongoing training and certification program for Tender Committee members as well and Procurement Units/Departments in procuring entities that support the work of Tender Committees.
In November, USAID LINC and the PDP II project jointly organized a roundtable entitled, -The Public Procurement Law and the Parliamentary Oversight,? for staffers of the Verkhovna Rada. USAID LINC Trade Facilitation Specialist Oleksandr Kravchenko prepared an analysis of the Public Procurement Law, and USAID LINC Legal and Public Procurement Expert Simeon Sahaydachny focused on the role of parliamentary oversight in public procurement system development.
USAID LINC experts participated at the International Conference -Current Challenges for Public Procurement System in Ukraine? organized by the GTZ Project -Harmonization of the Competition and Public Procurement Systems in Ukraine with the EU Standards in Kyiv.? The topic of LINC's presentation was main steps to be made to further the Ukrainian public procurement system.
NATIONAL REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
On November 30, 2010, the Verkhovna Rada (VR) of Ukraine approved in the first reading amendments to the Law "On Permit System in the Sphere of Economic Activity" to ensure that the processes of issuing, re-executing, duplicating and cancelling permitting documents will go only through state administrators. USAID LINC assisted the State Committee of Ukraine for Regulatory Policy and Entrepreneurship in elaboration of this draft law.
Today, clients of permit-issuing one-stop shops (OSS) have two alternative ways of applying for and receiving a permit: either through the state administrator (an OSS officer who acts as an "intermediary" between applicant and permitting bodies), or by directly contacting representatives of permitting bodies in the OSS. The bill in question, the Draft Law "On Amending the Law of Ukraine 'On Permit System in the Sphere of Economic Activity'", is going to disqualify the latter option. Eliminating the option of bypassing state administrators in the permit system will indeed allow for minimizing instances of corruption and protraction in the permitting system. The effective date of January 1, 2013, as envisaged by the draft law, provides enough time for lawmakers to adjust permit legislation to requirements of the Law "On Permit System in the Sphere of Economic Activity" and for permit-issuing bodies to prepare for implementation of new procedures.
On July 7, 2010, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a bill to amend the Law "On Permit System in the Sphere of Economic Activity," which came into force on July 29, 2010. The new law allows businesses to carry out any lawful activity upon submission of declaration hereof rather than obtaining of a permit hereto, except for activities listed by the CMU as those that cannot be carried out based on a declaration. On August 25, 2010, the CMU approved Resolution No.725, which includes 94 types of activities that cannot be conducted on the basis of the declarative principle in permit system. Under Tasks 1-c and 3-a, USAID LINC continues working with partner municipalities and raions to properly implement the declarative principle through permit-issuing OSS. However, according to experts, de facto the law will work only after amending the legislation that regulates issuance of every individual type of permits.
On October 19, 2010, the Verkhovna Rada passed the draft Law "On Accelerated Review of Regulatory Acts Adopted by Local Government Bodies and Officials." The bill aims at improving the regulatory environment and bringing local regulations in line with the principles of the state regulatory policy for business. The draft law uses the fast deregulation methodology suggested by a USAID project and implemented in Ukraine in June 2005. At that time, the methodology was applied primarily to regulations issued by executive agencies and helped guillotine over 5,000 acts that restrained enterprise development.
On November 10, 2010, the President of Ukraine vetoed the bill due to newly amended Law -On the Capital of Ukraine - the Hero-city of Kyiv?. The raion radas in Kyiv were eliminated under this Law but they were specified under the bill.
On December 14, 2010, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed the draft Law "On Accelerated Review of Regulatory Acts Adopted by Local Government Bodies and Officials" taking into account the President's proposals to the bill. On December 21, 2010, the draft law was submitted to the President of Ukraine for signature.