23 August 2011

New Director of the BBCU

New Director of the BBCU

I'm pleased to announce that we have appointed Mr Peter Burningham as a Director of the BBCU.

Peter Burningham is an MBA qualified,multi-skilled British business professional who has lived in Kyiv for over eight years.Before moving to Ukraine he worked twenty two years for the American Engineering Company Cummins Inc. holding a variety of Executive Director positions in Marketing,Distribution and Aftermarket.The positions he has held in Ukraine are; Sales Director for the leading finance and accounting newspaper "All About Accounting",Sales & Marketing Director for the software development company United Software Corporation,and he has worked for two international recruitment companies Hudson & Clarus.Now he is a private entrepreneur undertaking executive search assignments and business development consultancy.
He has been associated with the BBCU for almost eight years.

We wish him well and we know that Peter will bring new energy and new ideas to the BBCU to continue helping us grow our membership and corporate clients.

I will be working in Sri Lanka during the next few months, so please contact Peter for any BBCU related business in Ukraine.

Tel: Kyiv 2357223 or administrator@bbcu.com.ua

21 August 2011

New Visa System in Ukraine from 11 September 2011

Ukraine is due to introduce a new set of visa regulations that will be simpler and easier to understand than the current system.

PLEASE NOTE: The new system does NOT change the visa free system for citizens from countries already entitled to entry Ukraine under the visa free arrangements for a stay of up to 90 days.

Change of visa types

The new system introduces a new classification of visas depending on the purpose of a visit to Ukraine.

1. Transit visa.

2. Short-term visa (Duration of stay does not exceed 90 days during a 180-day period after the date of first entry).

3. Long-term visa (Authorising a stay exceeding 90 days). Such visa may be valid for up to 3 years.

Visas under the new system may be single-entry, double-entry and multiple-entry. In addition, the new regulations provide that citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Mauritius, El Salvador, the Seychelles and Turkey, who arrive for tourism purposes, shall have the right to obtain a single-entry visa at a State border checkpoint for a term of up to 15 days.

Expanding the categories of foreigners who can be granted temporary residence permits

A temporary residence permit allows foreigners to stay in Ukraine for a period exceeding 90 days without the need to extend their stay with the authorities and gives the right to freely enter Ukraine and leave its territory.

Besides the persons who at present have the right to obtain temporary residence permits (such as foreign employees of Ukrainian companies who obtained employment permits), according to the new visa regulations the following categories of foreigners will also be given the right to obtain a temporary residence permit:

  • Persons who arrive in Ukraine in order to work at a branch, division, representative office or other structural unit of a social (non government) organisation of a foreign state.
  • Persons who arrive in Ukraine in order to work at a foreign business entity's representative office registered in accordance with the established procedures.
  • Persons who arrive in Ukraine in order to work at a foreign bank's branch or representative office registered in accordance with the established procedures.

Timeframe for consideration of visa applications

The new system does not establish a time frame for consideration of visa applications and issuance of visas. In practice, it is expected to take one week. But as with all Ukrainian systems it will vary from one office to another. However the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine declared that the respective authority must make a decision within 15 calendar days after receiving a visa application. The period of consideration may be extended up to 30 calendar days. The procedure and time frame for considering an urgent visa application shall be established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

Fee Tariffs

The fees under the new system will be:

  • Single-entry visa – USD 85
  • Double-entry visa – USD 130
  • Multiple-entry visa – USD 200

Urgent issue of a visa is subject to a double consular fee.


The introduction and implementation of a new visa system in Ukraine will further assist towards the adaptation of visa policies within the EU and will help to increase the efficiency of illegal migration prevention.

The BBCU strongly recommends all British citizens and other foreign nationals who are living and or working on the territory of Ukraine to conform with the immigration requirements of the country.

To obtain further advice please contact the BBCU office in Kyiv: Tel: 2357223


18 August 2011

Ukraine - 20 Years as an Independent Country

Twenty years ago this week, there was an attempted coup to try to stop the reforms of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

The coup failed, but led to the end of the Soviet Union and over 70 years of the Communist empire.

As they say the rest is history. Russia, Ukraine and Belarus became independent states and so did the other 'states' from the former USSR.

Ukraine will mark its Independence Day on 24 August. This year it will 'celebrate' 20 years as an independent state. Maybe 20 years is not so long to assess how a new country has developed? My first daughter was born in 1991 and I can confirm that time seems to pass very quickly. Although she will be 20 years old this year, I still think of her as a baby.

Is Ukraine still a baby nation? Well it has certainly experienced lots of crying and kicking and screaming since 1991. Many people compare Ukraine with Poland. How has Poland managed to become so successful in the same time period and Ukraine is still struggling with a high level of poverty.

Poland was never a fully signed up voluntary member of the USSR. The poles were only too happy to break free and show the rest of the world how they could become an independent country free from the control freaks in Moscow. Today Poland is a member of the EU and is successful in attracting FDI to further develop its economy. A visit to Warsaw will confirm this.

Ukraine on the other hand was always a FULLY signed up member of the USSR. Russia and Ukraine have always been tightly knit together. Most of the USSR missile sites aimed at the rest of the world were based in Ukraine. The majority of armament factories, missiles, rockets and small arms, military equipment production was based in Ukraine. Ukraine was and still is today the home of large steel mills which produced large quantities of steel for the USSR. Moreover, Ukraine was considered the 'soviet breadbasket' with its rich farm lands producing a significant amount of grain for the whole of the USSR.

It was difficult for Ukraine to break away from the 'Moscow Influence'. Indeed, many would say, why would Ukraine want to break way? The Kyiv mentality was pretty much the same as the Moscow mentality.

But why has Ukraine not developed along the same lines as other former USSR countries like the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania?

Ukraine is a very difficult country to try to understand. I must admit one of my favourite mottos is 'In Ukraine do not try to understand everything', knowing full well it will drive anyone crazy who really does try to understand how this country ticks. The editor of Forbes magazine recently produced an article showing Ukraine to be amongst the worst economies in the world.

See: http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2011/07/05/the-worlds-worst-economies/

But any visitor to the capital city of Ukraine - Kyiv, is always amazed by the display of wealth on the streets including expensive cars, designer shops, expensive restaurants and the desire for the 'new rich' in Ukraine to display their wealth pretty much like the Arabs.
Unfortunately, visitors to Ukraine will eventually discover the massive differences between the have's and have nots in the country. Approximately just 2% of the population of the country control the vast amount of wealth generated since 1991. The majority of Ukrainians still live in poverty. The so called 'middle class' are small in number and live to serve the 2% elite class.
Many of the 'middle class', highly educated and multilingual still look towards western Europe and further to seek their opportunities in life. They do not see their long term futures in Ukraine.

Ironically, there are a few 'foreigners', myself included, who came to Ukraine, because we identified the great business opportunities in a 'developing country' without too much competition on the ground. During the boom days 1999-2009, both foreigners and Ukrainians enjoyed the incremental growth in the economy, particularly in the property sector.
Unfortunately those days are over.

Many would say there are still new opportunities in Ukraine and I'm sure they are right.
But many Ukrainians still think that the country as a whole has missed many opportunities.
Corruption amongst government employees and members of the government are still major hurdles that will not be overcome for many years. Currently the country is facing a few tests which will have major implications for how it sees out 2011 and welcomes 2012.
The UEFA 2012 Football Championships in Ukraine will be a major test, plus the on going 'trial' of former prime-minister Yulia Tymosheno will be perhaps the biggest test for Ukraine in 2011.

Perhaps the one good thing that the people of Ukraine can celebrate on 24 August is the fact that they do live in an independent country free from the control freaks in Moscow...maybe.


Simplification of employment regime for Foreigners of Ukrainian origin

News just in from PWC

Simplification of employment regime for Foreigners of Ukrainian origin

Parliament have introduced a Law that will simplify (if adopted) the employment regime of foreigners of Ukrainian origin (i.e., the Law will allow foreigners of Ukrainian origin to be effectively employed in Ukraine without work permits).

Considering that a work permit is required foreign nationals to apply for a temporary residence permit, if the Law is enacted it will need to be clarified whether foreigners of Ukrainian origin will be able to obtain a temporary residence permit or its equivalent without a work permit. Currently the principal benefit for foreigners of Ukrainian origin is a multi-entry private visa for 5 years.

Now that is a good move. Lets hope it works to attract more people into helping Ukraine develop further.

17 August 2011

Ukraine President will publishing book in English

President Yanukovych has announced that he will publish a book on the 20th anniversary of Ukraine independence day. The book 'Ukraine - land of opportunities' will be first published in English.

"Many even hardly realize that our country is probably one of the best places for investment in the modern world. As the president, I wanted to deliver this truth about it to as many Europeans, Americans and Canadians as possible. To all those business and energetic people who are looking for new markets to invest their business ideas, initiatives and enterprises. And naturally, their finances," the president said.

The book is released in English. Very soon it will also be published in German, Ukrainian and Russian, Yanukovych said.

15 August 2011

A 25 Year Old Judge?

We always try to focus on business, but its difficult these days to avoid commenting on some of the information that arrives in the inbox.

The case against Yevhen Korniychuk

Everyone is focusing on the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko. But there are others who are being investigated.

Yevhen Korniychuk is a lawyer by profession, specialising in international finance and business law. He was elected to Parliament and became in 2006 chairman of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party, following his father in law Vasyl Onopenko, a judge by profession who was elected president of the Ukrainian Supreme Court. From 2007 -2010 he was First Deputy Minister of Justice in the Yulia Timoshenko government.

He is charged with violation of art. 365, paragraph 3, of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (excess of authority or official powers that caused grave consequences) for in his capacity of First Deputy Minister of Justice having issued a legal opinion or law interpretation about the possible use of a single-source public procurement procedure. It concerned the procurement by the National Joint Venture Company “Naftogaz” of legal assistance to be provided by the legal firm Magisters, at which Mr. Korniychuk used to be a senior partner, however at that time had no longer financial or business contact. The formal permission to use this procedure was given by the Ministry of Economy and the contract was signed by Naftogaz. He is also charged with having violated Article 366, paragraph 2 (forgery in office that caused grave consequences) as the mentioned document was not properly filed in the Ministry of Justice. His actions are claimed to have brought losses to the state as other legal firms could have supplied the legal assistance at a lower cost.

Here is the rub. The judge dealing with his case is a 25 year old woman.

A 25 year old judge is dealing with one of the most important ‘political’ cases in Ukraine.

Forgive me but I doubt if a 25 year old has enough training and legal background to deal with a case like this. If fact I'm not aware of any other 25 year old judges in 'civilised countries'

How on earth can other countries be expected to take Ukraine seriously?