The importance of the railway industry in the economy of Ukraine cannot be overestimated. No other form of transportation in Ukraine can provide such volumes of traffic flows of products consumed and manufactured in Ukraine. In this regard, we should note an essential dependence of enterprises in the key industries of the Ukrainian economy on the main railway enterprise of the country – Ukrzaliznytsia (UZ). Companies of agricultural and industrial, mining and metallurgical sectors as well as mechanical engineering and power engineering industries plan their development based on the condition of public railway infrastructure, investment and tariff policies of the State in the relevant industries.
This is the reason why the railway industry reform launched in 2012 attracted close attention of both experts and large companies of the real economy.
This industry has accumulated a huge number of problems over the last decades. They include a high level of depreciation of fixed assets, the lack of competition in cargo transportation, access of factors of the natural monopoly to public infrastructure, strict state tariff regulation, huge social pressure, the absence of the state policy governing the investment activity, including investments from private sources. These and other problems should be resolved through implementation of a reform based on the draft Law of Ukraine “On Railway Transport”.
The AGRECA lawyers were actively involved in preparing a balanced draft Law that considers both public interests and interests of the private capital. Within the activities of the European Business Association, the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, the working groups established at the Ministry of Infrastructure, and the Transport Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, we represent the interests of businesses, i. e. industrial enterprises and stevedoring and transportation companies.
The proposals we form for a professional discussion are always based on the real circumstances. In our work, we are constantly monitoring current public regulations, including tariff regulations (regarding reasonability of the established tariffs, conditions of application and cancellation of discounts), problem issues of the railway infrastructure operation (e. g. procedures for the interaction between the access roads of industrial and transportation companies and the general infrastructure of Ukrzaliznytsia, or conditions and rules for implementation of construction projects (mechanisms of private investments into the general infrastructure).
We analyse engineering, financial and economic, legal and other problems in the relations between Ukrzaliznytsia and private enterprises to develop mutually acceptable versions of rules of conduct in the industry. We also monitor the compliance of all updates to the draft Law with the appropriate EU Directives.
The AGRECA lawyers have experience in supporting the investment projects involving large-scale construction of port railway infrastructure. We have been engaged in project business modelling in several major seaports where the planned increase in capacity of marine terminals required investments in both the maritime waters and the port railway. As a result of negotiations with Ukrzaliznytsia and of the analysis of applicable legislation, we have prepared a range of initiatives and proposals to the draft Law of Ukraine “On Railway Transport” where we have proposed to implement a compensation mechanism for private investments in the general railway infrastructure, which is similar to the mechanism already provided by the Law of Ukraine “On Sea Ports of Ukraine”.
As part of legal services in the railway infrastructure, we are ready to support private projects and projects based on the procedures for public-private partnership requiring investments, inter alia in the general railway infrastructure.
We are also ready to render professional legal services regarding support of ongoing business operations of transportation and forwarding companies. In addition to general advising in the application of transport legislation, we develop complex commercial contracts and represent interests in courts in proceedings involving contractors or state executive authorities. We have an extensive experience in the public protection of the interests of transportation companies regarding drafting industry legislation.
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