Use of agricultural land under martial law

On 24 March 2022, the Parliament of Ukraine approved the Law "On amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine concerning the creation of conditions for ensuring food security under martial law".

The Law establishes the following special regulation of land relations in respect to agricultural land during martial law:

1. Agreements for the use of agricultural land (lease, sublease, emphyteusis, superficies, land easement), which expired after the imposition of martial law, are renewed for one year without the will of the parties and without entering relevant information in the State register of real property rights.

2. Land plots of state/communal property may be provided for use only for the management of commercial agricultural production.

3. The lease for up to one year of agricultural land of state/communal ownership, unallocated and unclaimed land plots and land shares (units), as well as land plots remaining in collective ownership, is implemented on the following terms:

  • the amount of rent does not exceed 8% of the normative monetary valuation (NMV) of the land plot, determined from the average NMV of a unit of arable land area in the region
  • the lessee has no right to renew the agreement, the preemptive right to enter into an agreement for a new term or purchase of land in case of sale, sublease, change of grounds and intended purpose, construction of real estate on the plot, establishing a land easement, etc.
  • exclusively electronic form of the agreement with its certification by electronic signatures of the parties
  • land auctions for the lease of land plots are not being held
  • the lease agreement cannot be renewed, concluded for a new term, and is terminated upon expiration of the term for which it was concluded

The Law also stipulates that formation of a land plot for lease is performed without entering information into the State Land Cadastre and assigning a cadastral number, but on the basis of technical documentation on land management for land inventory, which is an annex to the lease agreement. Such technical documentation is developed and approved by the decision of the body authorized to provide the land plot for lease.

The right to lease agricultural land is not subject to state registration in state registers. At the same time, land lease agreements must be registered by district military administrations in the Book of registration of land tenure and land use under martial law. A copy of the land lease agreement shall be sent by e-mail to the State Service of Ukraine for Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre or its territorial bodies within three working days.

4. Lessee/sublessee of agricultural land plots of all forms of ownership may pass their lease/sublease right to another person for up to one year for the use of land for the intended purpose.

Within the framework of this procedure, a new type of agreement has been introduced - an agreement on the transfer of land use rights, concluded between the land user and the transferee.

The conclusion of such an agreement does not require the consent of the landowner. However, the person who transferred the lease/sublease right shall notify the lessor/lessee (in case of sublease right transfer) in writing within five days from the date of state registration of such an agreement.

5. The law also authorizes the lease for up to one year of agricultural land plots of state/communal ownership (in whole or in part), which are in permanent use or emphyteusis. In this case the right of permanent use is not terminated.

6. The responsibility for non-use of a land plot is canceled.

7. During martial law, the following are prohibited:

  • free provision of state/communal lands to private ownership; formation of land plots (except for the above-mentioned cases of lease for the management of commercial agricultural production)
  • land auctions on the rights of lease, emphyteusis, superficies regarding agricultural land plots of state/communal property

At the same time, the right of lease and emphyteusis for land plots of state/communal property, which were put up for land auction, but the winner was not determined, are subject to lease with the above specific rules.

Land auctions that have not been completed are considered canceled. Announcement of new land auctions for the respective land plots is prohibited.

8. A special form of registration of agreements, its amendments and termination is introduced, namely the Book of Registration of Land Tenure and Land Use in Martial Law, which is maintained by the district military administration in paper and electronic forms.

The following agreements are registered in the Book:

  • lease of agricultural land leased out by executive branch authorities/local governments
  • lease of agricultural land plots leased out by permanent users and emphyteuta
  • on the transfer of land use rights
  • on amendments to the above agreements and their termination

In addition, the Law provides an exhaustive list of information contained in the Book, as well as the procedure and deadlines for registration of relevant agreements.

The law entered into force on 7 April 2022.

For more information, please contact Asters` Counsel Anzhelika Livitska or Associate Victoria Kurus.

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