On April 25, 2019 the Parliament adopted the Law On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language (the "Law"). The Law has not entered into force yet that allows business to get ready for changes. The Law is expected to enter into force in the middle of July 2019. The transition period for some provisions varies from several months to 2,5 years.
The Law, among other things relevant for business, requires:
- Software: if sold in Ukraine, it shall have interface version in Ukrainian or one of the EU languages.
- Pre-installed software: if pre-installed at products sold in Ukraine, it shall have interface version in Ukrainian.
- Web-sites of UA residents: if used to sell goods/services in Ukraine, the web-site shall have default Ukrainian version.
- Social media pages of UA residents: if used to sell goods/services in Ukraine, the page shall have default Ukrainian version.
- Web-sites of non-residents: if used to sell goods/services in Ukraine, the web-site shall have at least reasonably limited version in Ukrainian.
- Mobile applications: if belong to commercial entities in Ukraine, it shall have its interface version in Ukrainian.
- Goods: if sold in Ukraine, it shall have Ukrainian version of its manuals and other product information.
- Movies and shows: if performed in Ukraine, shall be in Ukrainian.
- Company and employment documents: for Ukrainian residents shall be in Ukrainian.
Violation of the mentioned requirements are subject to penalties, including fines.
What to do?
According to the Law the one and only thing to do is to verify relevant commercial information and make sure it is in Ukrainian and/or one of the EU official languages where applicable.
Given the above, business must be ready to invest time and funds in additional work. On the other hand, it can benefit from the new Law by increasing range of Ukrainian speaking customers.