The MIA has taken on board the UHHRU s calls for a simpler procedure for registering cars
On 20 July 2006 the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union addressed an appeal to the Ministry of Internal Affairs pointing out infringements of rights and liberties in the existing system for registering vehicles. The text stated:
“In accordance with the Rules for state registration and records of cars, buses and automated machines constructed on car chasses, motorcycles of all types, marks and models, trailers, semi-trailers and cycle-cars, approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers from 7 September 1998 No. 1388, the state registration of vehicles, and accordingly the issue of number plates is carried out solely on the basis of ones place of permanent or temporary registration (p. 27).
The Constitution of Ukraine stipulates that citizens enjoy equal constitutional rights and freedoms, and there cannot therefore be privileges or restrictions, including on the grounds of place of residence (Article 24).
Furthermore, the Constitutional Court in its Ruling No. 15-rn from 14.11.2001 on the constitutional submission from 48 State Deputies asking about the conformity with the Constitution of Ukraine (constitutionality) of the provision of sub-point 1of point 4 of the Provision on the Passport Service of International Affairs agencies approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers (the case on registration [“propiska”] declared that freedom of movement and choice of ones place of residence are a vital safeguard to the freedom of the individual and a condition of his or her professional and psychological development. This right, like all other human rights and freedoms, is inalienable and inviolable (Article 21 of the Constitution of Ukraine). At the same time this right is not absolute. Freedom of movement and free choice of ones place of residence, the right to leave Ukraine, as with limitations on the exercise of any rights and freedoms of all those legally present in Ukraine according to their place of residence may be restricted solely by law (Article 33 of the Constitution of Ukraine)
The Law of Ukraine “On freedom of movement and freedom to choose ones place of residence” stipulates that registration of ones place of residence or place where one is staying, or lack of such registration, cannot be the condition for the enjoyment of any of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, laws and Ukraines international commitments, nor may it form the grounds for their restriction. Furthermore, the law specifies the concept of not only place of residence but also the place where someone is staying.
In view of this, the individuals enjoyment of the right to freely use his or her property – a car – has been placed directly contingent upon ones place of registration, this contravening the law on freedom of movement and freedom to choose ones place of residence. Moreover individuals who are temporarily not registered at any particular address are deprived of the right to freely use their property since they are unable to register their car. Yet the law allows a person to not registration at a new address for at least a month. This means that the given Provision unlawfully deprives such individuals of the rights enshrined in the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.
One would also note that limitations of rights and freedoms, for example, property rights or the right to freely chose ones place of residence may only be imposed through the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, and through no other normative legal acts.
In the light of the above, we would ask you to review the principle of registration of vehicles based on place of residence and introduce a system which will not create restrictions on the enjoyment of citizens rights and freedoms on the basis of their place of residence. We would suggest, for example, for a transitional period to consider the possibility of such registration at the place of sale or purchase of the vehicle at the individuals own choice.
UHHRU would ask the MIA to consider simplifying the procedure for registration of vehicles, namely by introducing European standards in this area.”
Shortly afterwards, on 21 August 2005 the MIA informed UHHRU that it had studied the latters appeal. It was also stated that “in order to improve the quality of service to individuals when registering vehicles, the MIA back on 30 June of this year issued Instruction No. 556 on running an experience connected with providing registration services to individuals living in any regions of Ukraine directly in the premises of the trading outlets (car salons) which sell new vehicles, as a result of which appropriate suggestions will be made on introducing amendments to the Rules for state registration and records of cars, buses and automated machines constructed on car chasses, motorcycles of all types, marks and models, trailers, semi-trailers and cycle-cars, approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers from 7 September 1998 No. 1388”.
UHHRU welcomes this experiment and will continue to monitor the process of reforming the system of car registration.