Almost two decades of moratorium on the sale of agricultural lands in Ukraine will end soon. The first phase of agricultural land market liberalization will commence on July 1, 2021, when Ukrainian citizens (individuals) will attain the right to acquire up to 100 hectares of agricultural land. During the next phase, starting on 1 January 2024, the purchase of agricultural land by Ukrainian legal entities will also become possible and the ownership limit will increase to 10000 hectares. There will be limitations on sale of state-owned farming lands and ownership by foreigners, which can potentially be waived via national referendum at a later date.
The Ukrainian parliament has recently also adopted a number of other novelties related to the land market regulation framework.
Municipalities set to gain more competence in land issues
As part of the land reform package, on 27 May 2021, the Law No.1423-IX (earlier – the Draft Law No.2194) has entered into force. This law transfers a lion’s share of competence in land sphere (including disposal of land plots outside settlements) from the respective local State administrations and State Agency of Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre to local municipalities.
Among other changes, the Law cancels or simplifies а number of approval procedures and streamlines land documentation design and development. This part of the land reform is expected to bring more transparency and efficiency in the sector.
Land auctions go online
On May 18, a law introducing online land auctions was passed by Parliament (Draft Law № 2195). Online auctions will be required for the disposal of rights (freehold, leasehold, and easements) to all state and municipal lands, save for several exceptions. Auctions will be run in English format (price increase) on a state-owned e-platform. All documents related to the land plot shall be made publicly available online after the auction is announced. Non-residents are generally eligible to take part in auctions, if acquisition of rights to the relevant land plot is allowed by applicable legislation, provided due payment of registration and guarantee fees.
After being signed by the President, the Draft Law will come into force 5 days after the opening of the agricultural land market as described above.