Experts worked out a draft law that legalizes freelance services in Ukraine


Kyiv, April 11, 2016. Experts have worked out a draft law on eliminating administrative barriers to export services. It provides for an opportunity to conclude foreign trade contracts in soft copies, by exchanging letters, accepting a public offer or invoicing. The document is intended to simplify the business for Ukrainian entities when they provide services abroad – to non-residents of Ukraine. Currently, under the Ukrainian law in order to make payments for provided services it is required to submit a contract in hard copy with an official stamp to the bank and to wait until it accepts it. “This initiative will make it possible to waste no time and money and will make our market more attractive for investments,” noted MP Victoriya Ptashnyk at a briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

According to Vladyslav Golub, MP from Poroshenko Bloc, now an invoice will become a primary document and will replace a contract as such. Another innovation of the draft law is to ban banks from demanding translation of documents into Ukrainian. A document can be signed either personally or with electronic stamp. According to Andriy Savarets, expert at USAID Program “Leadership in economic governance,” the draft law abolishes currency control on exporting services. “The banks will only identify that such currency earnings are from the export of services,” he noted, explaining that in this way such an export will be distinguished from the export of goods.

Kateryna Bozhkova, head of international freelance platform Upwork in Ukraine, is convinced that adoption of the law will legalize freelance in Ukraine and increase the number of freelancers. And as a result – the foreign currency inflow will increase in Ukraine. Viktor Valyeyev, director of “Ukrainian IT Association” reminded that the Parliament has already held hearings on the development of the IT industry that demonstrate MPs willingness to to support the draft law. There is also a government order that provides for the development of such a draft law. “None of the normal governments, based on previous experience of the Parliament, will ignore a good idea,” noted Mr. Valyeyev. He also believes that the next step should be the possibility for exporters to legally open accounts abroad.

Currently the work on the finishing touches of the document and public consultations persist. It is planned to agree the document with the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) in terms of the removal of currency control. This draft law will be registered in the Verkhovna Rada this or next week.

Last year the export of services from Ukraine decreased by $ 2 billion. But Ukraine remains among the top five freelance markets in the world. IT business contribution is 85 percent. Design, translation and other service are also among the leaders. As of 2015, there are 123 thousand freelancers in Ukraine.