On 4 November 2023, the Law of Ukraine No. 3424-IX "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine to Clarify the Obligations of Parties to a Court Case" came into force, which confirms that foreign legal entities are not obligated to register electronic accounts in the Unified Judicial Information and Telecommunication System.
On 29 June 2023, the Ukrainian parliament adopted Law of Ukraine No. 3200-IX "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Concerning Mandatory Registration and Use of Electronic Accounts in the Unified Judicial Information and Telecommunication System or its Separate Subsystem (Module) Enabling Document Exchange". Under this law, all private entrepreneurs and legal entities were obliged to register their electronic accounts in the Unified Judicial Information and Telecommunication System within prescribed time frames.
As a reminder, Ukrainian legal entities’ duty to register the electronic accounts for the purposes of commercial proceedings came into force on 18 October 2023. For the purposes of civil and administrative proceedings, the duty will become effective on 20 February 2024.
Failure to register the electronic accounts will result in the following negative procedural consequences:
- inability of the unregistered party to receive both digital and paper copies of procedural documents submitted by the opposing party;
- putting on hold/returning/leaving without consideration of procedural documents filed by the unregistered party with the court;
- consideration of the case by the court based on the available documents in case the statement of defence is filed by the party, which did not register the electronic account and did not furnish any justifying grounds for its failure.
In its initial version, Law No. 3200-IX prescribed that all legal entities had to register the electronic accounts without specifying whether this duty and the consequences of the failure to discharge it are applicable to foreign legal entities. In practice, foreign legal entities do not have the technical possibility to register electronic accounts since they are not registered under the laws of Ukraine and have no EDRPOU code required to complete the registration. Due to such legislative uncertainty, foreign legal entities were risking the consequences listed above.
To fill these gaps, on 19 October 2023, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted Law of Ukraine No. 3424-IX "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine to Clarify the Obligations of Parties to a Court Case", which came into force on 4 November. This law clarifies that the obligation to register electronic accounts applies only to legal entities registered under the laws of Ukraine. Hence, foreign legal entities are not under the obligation to register electronic accounts and the above consequences for failure to register will not apply to them.
Another important innovation of the Law No. 3424-IX relates to the court’s duty to serve all case documents electronically to the parties with registered electronic accounts via such accounts. Law No. 3424-IX eases this duty and establishes that while the martial law or state of emergency is effective in Ukraine, in case blackouts or other force-majeure circumstances disrupt the functioning of the Unified Judicial Information and Telecommunication System, courts are empowered to serve paper copies of case documents to parties, even if such parties have electronic accounts.
For more information regarding the registration of the electronic accounts in the Unified Judicial Information and Telecommunication System in Ukraine, reach out to your usual CMS advisor or local CMS experts: Olga Shenk, Maria Orlyk.