Draft law on payment services passes first hurdle
The Ukrainian Parliament adopted Draft Law No. 4364 On Payment Services in its first reading, which defines the specifics of regulation of the payment market.
The Draft Law proposes to expand the range of payment service providers and harmonize their activities in the payment market, to establish rules for the provision of payment services in Ukraine and requirements for suppliers.
The following services will be deemed financial payment services:
Ч services for crediting cash to user accounts, as well as all services related to opening, maintaining, and closing accounts (except for electronic wallets);
Ч services for withdrawing cash from user accounts, as well as all services related to opening, maintaining, and closing accounts (except for electronic wallets);
Ч services for the execution of payment transactions with the userТs own funds from/to the userТs account (except for payment transactions involving electronic money), including carrying out a credit transfer, debit transfer, and other payment transactions;
Ч services for performing payment transactions from/to the userТs account (except for payment transactions involving electronic money), given that the funds for the payment transaction are provided to the user via the payment service provider on credit terms (including the carrying out of a credit transfer, debit transfer, other payment transaction, including the same using payment instruments);
Ч services for issuing payment instruments and/or acquiring payment instruments;
Ч money transfer services without opening an account;
Ч services for the issuance and execution of payment transactions with electronic money, including opening and maintaining electronic wallets.
The new regulation of the payment market assumes the following key changes in the payment services market:
Ч requirements for the authorization of payment service providers and implementation will be set, in particular, related to the possibility of creating and operating small payment institutions with simplified requirements for these;
Ч non-bank financial institutions will be allowed to carry out payment transactions without mandatory participation in payment systems;
Ч not only will banks be allowed to issue electronic money and payment cards but other providers of payment services subject to receipt of the appropriate license too;
Ч accounts that payment service providers can open to carry out payment transactions will be determined, in particular, it will be allowed to open and maintain payment accounts by non-bank payment service providers;
Ч requirements for payment transactions security will increase, in particular regarding the need for payment service providers to use enhanced user authentication in certain cases.
Draft law on energy efficiency adopted in first reading
On 4 March the Verkhovna Rada adopted Draft Law No. 4507 On Energy Efficiency in the first reading. In particular, it defines the main state policy measures in the field of ensuring energy efficiency, including:
Ч preference for energy efficiency measures that reduce energy demand when developing regulations and strategic documents;
Ч popularization and use of high-performance technologies, energy management systems, energy consumption monitoring systems;
Ч encouraging consumers to use energy generated by renewable energy sources;
Ч legislative introduction of financial and tax mechanisms to stimulate the implementation of energy efficiency measures;
Ч promoting the development of efficient centralized heat supply and highly-efficient cogeneration, facilitating access to the energy system from highly-efficient cogeneration.
When conducting public procurement of energy-consuming products by public authorities, the energy efficiency class of such products (goods) will have to correspond to the maximum energy efficiency class.
A target will be set for annual energy consumption reduction to ensure sustainable improvements in energy efficiency with regard to final energy consumption.
A National Energy Saving Monitoring and Verification System will also be created.
The proposed legislative changes are aimed at the creation of a Strategy for Thermal Modernization of Buildings until 2050, which will be applicable to residential and non-residential buildings of all forms of ownership, and will contain long-term and intermediate goals to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Draft law on certification of electricity transmission system operator adopted
On 19 February Parliament adopted Draft law No. 3364-1-d On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Regarding Certification of the Transmission System
Operator in the first reading.
The document regulates issues on certification of the electricity transmission system operator in accordance with the ISO branch model, which provides that the transmission system operator uses the property, which ensures the integrity of the unified energy system of Ukraine and dispatch (operational) management, main and interstate electrical networks Ч while the specified property remains in state ownership.
Thus, the Draft introduces amendments to the Law of Ukraine On the Electricity Market, which define:
Ч special separation requirements and independence of the transmission system operator under the ISO branch model;
Ч the responsibilities of the regulator, transmission system operator and transmission system owner under the ISO branch model;
Ч requirements for the independence of the transmission system owner and the TSO obligations in terms of developing and implementing a compliance program, which defines measures to avoid discriminatory actions on the part of the transmission system operator and monitoring the implementation of such measures.