Transport is one of the most important sectors of the national economy. That is why the state pays close attention to regulation of this industry. The transport branch develops quickly in Ukraine. The same quick development may be observed in the transport legislation. Recently adopted Air Code and Customs Code give evidence to the complexity of this regulated area and confirm the necessity of a thorough and diversified approach.  

The transport infrastructure and shipbuilding belong to the key practices in our firm. Ukraine has vast possibilities in this area thank to the transit potential and shipbuilding traditions that explains the high demand for legal services in this sphere.   

Our lawyers provide legal services in all matters of the transport law of Ukraine and the international transport law.



Transport Law in Ukraine


Automobile transport

Automobile transport legislation of Ukraine includes the Law of Ukraine “On Automobile Transport” No. 2344-III dd. 05.04.01, the Laws of Ukraine “On Transport” No. 232-94-ВР dd. 10.11.1994, “On Road Traffic” No. 3353-XII dd. 30.06.93, international treaties ratified by Ukraine and other regulatory legal acts in the sphere of transport by road, including still effective Charter of the Automobile Transport of the USSR 1969.

In order to bring Ukrainian legislation in line with the international road transport standards, Ukraine has become a member of a number of international treaties designed to make the international road transport easier and to improve road safety, in particular through implementation of uniform traffic regulations, road signs and signals. Moreover, Ukraine has ratified two Vienna Conventions: Convention on Road Traffic with amendments as of 3.03.1993, Convention on Road Signs and Signals as of 6.06.1978, European Agreement Concerning Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road as of 30.03.1957, Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road, European Agreement on Main International Traffic Arteries as of 15.11.1975 and Convention on International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnets as of 1975.

Our services in this area include, in particular:

  • consulting on automobile transport issues, taxation, customs clearance;
  • drafting automobile carriage contracts;
  • representation in courts or arbitration cases, including international and contractual disputes, disputes with customs or tax authorities.

Railway Transport

Ukraine has the one of the world’s largest railway networks – after USA, Russia and Canada it is the fourth longest (23 thousand kilometers) railway. It is responsible for 40-50% of cargo transport; as to passenger turnover it is the unquestionable leader taking 50-70% of the general traffic volume. The transport volume of the Ukrainian railway is almost as large as the transport volume of railways in the EU countries all together.

The legal regulation of this transport sector is based on the Law of Ukraine “On Railway Transport” as of 04.07.1996 No.273/96-VR and a number of by-laws, in particular, the Railway Regulations.

As to international carriage, in 2003 Ukraine ratified the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail as of 09.05.1980 (COTIF) which sets the general rules for international carriage of cargos and passengers.

We offer our clients:

  • legal support for sale and purchase transactions as to the rolling stock;
  • consulting on taxation and tariff policy issues, liability of carriers and cargo owners;
  • representation in courts, the Antimonopoly Committee, and other governmental institutions.

Aviation Transport

The main source of regulation for this transport sector is the Air Code of Ukraine that sets forth legal, organizational and economic basis for aviation and is designed to secure unified state economic, scientific and technical, tariff, financial, insurance, investment and social policy in the sphere of aviation management and regulation taking into account the international air law. The new version of the Air Code of Ukraine came into force on May 19, 2011 and, for the first time, has anchored the division into civil and state aviation.

We provide services both on support of the activity of air carriers and in the sphere of PPP as to reconstruction of airports and other aviation infrastructure.

We consult, in particular, foreign airlines as to activity of their representations in Ukraine, successfully represent interests of foreign airlines in disputes with tax authorities, support damage claims of passengers and cargo owners, support investment projects in Ukrainian airports.

Sea Transport

The main regulatory legal act regulating legal relations in this sphere is the Merchant Marine Code of Ukraine containing general rules for vessel registration and arrest, legal status of the crew and the ship master, legal status and functions of the marine fleet, procedure for conclusion and fulfillment of charter contracts, cargo and passenger carriage by sea etc.

Last year Ukraine has joined the 1952 International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules on the Arrest of Sea-Going Vessels, known as Brussels Convention (1952). The Law of Ukraine No. 4190-VI passed in December 2011 has amended the Civil Code of Ukraine and the Economic Procedural Code of Ukraine with special provisions on jurisdiction of courts to arrest vessels in order to secure a maritime claim (а) at the location of the maritime port of Ukraine where a vessel lies, or (b) at the port of vessel’s registration.

On May 17, 2012 during the plenary session of the Parliament of Ukraine the Law of Ukraine “On Maritime Ports” (No.4709-VI) was adopted. The Law shall come into force as of June 16, 2013.

Key provisions:

  • A sea port is not a state-owned enterprise (as per the existing wording of the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine), but land and water areas, i.e. the legal concept of the port has turned into a geographical one;
  • The existing sea ports shall be reorganized, and their property shall be privatized or transferred in concession, respectively, lease of berths is admissible;  
  • The Administration of Sea Ports of Ukraine, which will have a branch in each port, shall perform public administration of the sea ports to ensure the safety of navigation and management of state property that is not subject to privatization.

We provide legal services on the following:

  • Consulting on maritime and port law, taxation of sea transport companies, customs clearance and free practice;
  • Drafting and analysis of contracts for:
    • charter;
    • maritime transport;
    • forwarding;
    • storage of cargos in ports.
  • Representation in courts, other governmental authorities, international court and arbitration institutions  

We also provide legal support in the sphere of transport and logistics on issues of financing, construction of regulatory requirements, state policy, mergers and acquisitions (including privatization), environmental requirements, labour law issues, equipment lease, licensing and technical equipment provisions, carriage and forwarding contracts, customs broker contracts.

Our lawyers have vast experience in all maritime law issues, including:

  • cargo loss;
  • rescue, insurance coverage, vessel sale and purchase;
  • collective agreements (charter contracts);
  • maiming, vessel collision;
  • disputes concerning transport by road and sea.

Due to passing of the new law “On Sea Ports of Ukraine” we provide services and advise on issues of port privatization, construction of port terminals. We also provide exhaustive information on issues of the public private partnership in this sphere, in particular, as to concession of the state owned property in sea ports.   

Our lawyers represent interest in court disputes on charter parties, bills of lading, lay times and demurrage, CMR/CIM contracts, sea and other transport insurance, transport loss/damage of goods.



Privatization of Ukrainian ports. New opportunities for investments



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