Ukraine is preparing to launch a land market: how to adjust the work of public authorities

Украина готовится к запуску рынка земли: как настроить работу государственных органов

The land market in Ukraine will open in 2020. This statement was made by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky during the business forum in Istanbul, where he flew to a meeting with the head of Turkey Erdogan. Thus, land reform must be conducted in 2019.

However, according to the adviser of Deputy head of the Office of the President Dennis Maluski, the final model of the land market is still not developed. In particular, there is no common position on how to provide access to credit to farmers wishing to purchase land.

In addition, according to a member of the presidential team, need to develop a fuse from an agrarian takeover.

“We suspect, if you leave everything as it is, the launch of the land market would mean a substantial increase in seizures, illegal activities,” said Maluska during a panel discussion organized by the Civic coalition for the cancellation of the land moratorium.

The Association of farmers and private landowners of Ukraine have concluded: the problem of insecurity of ownership rights already acquired the chronic form. But the problem is not the raiding, confident farmers.

“Of raiding we have in Ukraine at all. There are the usual banditry is banditry] with elements of fraud,” – said the President of the Association Mykola Strizhak.

He added that the source of the problem were the so-called “black” loggers, who for a bribe to change information about the owners of the property.

The Ministry of justice answer: know about the problem and are working on a solution. According to Vladyslav Vlasyuk, Director of the Department for registration and notariate of the Ministry of justice, the recent complaints on this matter became less. In particular, due to the fact that was revoked access to registers “black” rejestratora, were also abolished accreditation a hundred utility companies with a bad reputation. So in the next few months is expected to reduce the number of attacks, sure Vlasyuk.

Critical evaluation from experts and Gosgeokadastr. In particular, due to the low update rate, and incompleteness of data in the sphere of land relations.

“On the website of the state cadastre statistics about managing gassense updated 2 months ago. The details about 400 thousand hectares goszemel leased only during the existence of directly Gosgeokadastra. And the other? In this database they are not represented”, – said the Deputy Director of the Ukrainian club of agrarian business Roman Hornbeam.

Before the launch of the land market is extremely important to achieve transparency of service, added to the Ukrainian club of agrarian business (ASTP).

“If to speak about interaction of business and government, there must be transparency of all operations. There appears corruption, where you cannot see the citizen what happened. Everything should go to digitization, digitalization, then every citizen can access any information on transactions with land plots, who bought, who sold and for how much, who paid the taxes,” said Hornbeam.

In turn, the state service for geodesy, cartography and cadastre answer: on the data availability working. According to the Deputy head of the service Alexander Krasnolutsky, is the digitization of documentation of land management. Also, the process of land inventory – this year is expected to “audit” another 1.5 million hectares of land with/x destination.

“At the time in registry mistakes were made, – explained the official. – In the 90-ies, when they started the free privatization [of land], many documents were actually compiled without coordinates. Work on these errors conducted.”

Continuing and transfer goszemel within settlements to local authorities. In the Association village and settlement councils consider it necessary to extend the influence of the municipalities in and adjacent to settlements of land. As explained, this will improve the spatial planning areas.

“Part of the land outside settlements handed over to the communities, partly remain in state ownership and managed by the Gosgeokadastr. [We need] to local population through local authorities, which are closest to him, ruled the land not only for agricultural purposes, and all other that are not in the use of strategic state-owned enterprises and the defense Ministry”, – said the Deputy head of the Association Ivan Fursenko.

Thus, to run the land market is necessary, on the one hand, organize all the information about the land in the country, to make it available to a wider audience, and to strengthen the Institute of property rights in Ukraine.

Take a sample and apply a model of global experience in Ukraine will not work, says David Egiashvili, program coordinator of the world Bank and the EU “Support transparent land management in Ukraine”. But to use already tested in other countries, the principles for launching an effective land market can be.

For example, you need to consolidate databases under a single management. In Ukraine, says the expert, the site recorded in the Goszemkadastr and ownership rights for the land plot in the State register of rights to immovable property and encumbrances (Ministry of justice).

“In one institution, in one registry, must register the land, real estate, building rights and limitations. The organization, which is engaged in the registration, shall not engage in land management”, – the expert believes.

To integrate the logical registers on the basis of Goszemkadastr adds senior project Manager office of reforms of the Cabinet Andrew Martin. To control a single array of data easier, which will contribute to the fight against raiding, experts say.

“Goszemkadastr logical to transform into a full-fledged real estate cadastre, where should be recorded not only land, but also buildings and structures that they are in,” he said.

Also, in the opinion of Martyn, and the service itself – the Gosgeokadastr – needs to be transformed.

“We have a conflict of interest when the same Agency register, managing transfers the right of ownership and controls all processes of acquisition and implementation of land rights. The country needs the service Department which would be engaged in technical issues,” he said.

In addition, the expert continues, it is necessary to streamline the legislative framework governing the land sector.

“Our problem – imperfect land laws. There are about 1000 of regulatory documents, legislative acts that govern the purchase and sale of land rights is a big discomfort for those who take part in land relations,” said Andrew Martyn.

At the same time, the land issue needs to be exclusively in the competence of local self-government bodies, stress in the Office reforms.

“Now the elected local authorities control only 12% of the territory, 88% – manage assigned with Kiev officials. The recipe is simple – the state-owned land outside settlements should be handed over by law to the municipal property, except land, where state-owned enterprises, institutions, organizations”, – consider in Office of reforms.

Amid other things, a big problem remains corruption and the culture that one digitalization will not solve.

“From the end 90-x years, in fact, all the licensing procedures, examination, coordination, approval is not so much a way to control the quality of documentation of land management as a tool to retrieve corrupt rents through, for example, a lock on approval of documentation or decision-making. This culture must be eradicated,” – said the expert.

We will remind, a moratorium on the sale of land with/x destination was introduced in 2001, and since 2002, the ban came into force as a temporary measure to create a land market infrastructure. Since it is annually renewable. The last time the law on the extension of the moratorium was signed by the fifth President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in February-2019 (it is valid till February 2020).

If the Parliament decides to lift the moratorium, the situation does not change, as the Parliament should consider and adopt the law “On land turnover”, which would have settled all aspects of the sale of the plots. Now this law is only at the stage of development and discussion.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky during a visit to Turkey announced that the land market in Ukraine will be created in the near future.

Eugene Davydenko