Verkhovna Rada extends moratorium on sale of agricultural land



On Tuesday the Verkhovna Rada again passed a Law on Amendments to the Transitional Provisions of the Land Code, this prohibiting sale of agricultural land.

The law bans (extends the current ban) until 1 January 2013 of sale of agricultural land in State or municipal ownership, except in cases of appropriation (buying up) of such land for public needs; sale or other means of appropriation (buying up) land plots and change of the purpose (use) of land plots which are owned by individuals or legal entities except by leaving it to somebody, exchanging it for another land plot, or in cases of appropriation (buying up).

The law also prohibits until 1 January 2013 placing the right to a land plot (share) to the statutory funds of business companies.

Worth noting the comments made in Human Rights in Ukraine – 2007,  regarding the land moratorium. “The moratorium on the sale of agricultural land imposed until legislation is passed regulating relations on the land market continues. Yet the situation deteriorates with every year and the rights of those people who have ownership rights on land are being significantly restricted. The owners of the land are effectively deprived of the possibility of disposing of their property. Moreover there are shadow set ups for selling or changing the designated purpose of the land on the land market. All of this leaves the owners without protection from legislation.

Over the years since independence, Ukraine has still not managed to create legislation regulating the land market, and laws “On the Land Cadastre”, “On the land market” and others have not been passed. One feels that this moratorium is never-ending, and therefore there is no end to violations of the rights of those owning pieces of agricultural land.

This all results in a shadow market flourishing in rural areas, or, quite simply, a free-for-all. Rural residents sell their land shares for cheap; they fall victims to firms involved in land raiding which, under the protection of the courts, buy up the deeds to their land; local councils change the designated purpose of hundreds of hectares of land in order to then sell them, etc.”

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