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New legislative initiative establishes the Crimea Free Economic Zone
On June 19 2014 Parliament adopted on first reading the Law on Taxation and Customs Control in the Free Economic Zone of Crimea and on Peculiarities of Conducting Business on the Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine (4032a).
The law establishes the Free Economic Zone in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol. The Crimea Free Economic Zone does not extend to the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone of Ukraine or the territory of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
The Free Economic Zone will be established for 10 years from the date of the law's entry into force (ie, the law's promulgation date). The duration of the Free Economic Zone will not depend on the duration of Crimea's temporary occupation, and may be prolonged by subsequent laws. The Free Economic Zone may also be dissolved by a subsequent Ukrainian law, but the suspension will not take effect until at least 12 months after adoption of such a law.
The law cancels state taxes in the Free Economic Zone. However, taxpayers are still obliged to pay local taxes and duties. The Free Economic Zone Management Company (the establishment, functions and authority of which are stipulated in the law) is authorised to cancel local taxes and duties and change respective tax rates, as well as to administer local taxes and duties. Other special tax regimes may be introduced in the Free Economic Zone.
Legal entities and individuals that are registered and taxed in Crimea will be considered non-resident for tax purposes. Double taxation treaties do not apply to the income of such legal entities and individuals.
Residents' expenses for goods, works and services supplied by legal entities that are registered in the Free Economic Zone should be considered for tax purposes in the amounts defined for offshore companies.
Transactions between entities and individuals registered in the Free Economic Zone and those in the mainland of Ukraine will be subject to transfer pricing rules.
Financial penalties and fines will not apply to violations related to the administration and payment of local taxes and duties.
Taxes and duties levied on the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea will not change the amount of taxes and duties levied on other territories of Ukraine.
Customs matters and trading with temporarily occupied territory
The law establishes the administrative border of the Crimea Free Economic Zone, which corresponds to that of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol. The supply of goods and the provision of services across the administrative border will be considered import/export transactions, and will be subject to both full import duties and tariff and non-tariff barriers.
While Crimea is temporarily occupied, goods and services that originate from the mainland of Ukraine should be supplied to the Free Economic Zone only on the condition of pre-payment of all costs and charges for delivery, packing, reloading and other mandatory payments under Incoterms.
Goods and services supplied from the Free Economic Zone to the mainland of Ukraine are subject to state sanitary-epidemiologic, veterinary-sanitary, phyto-sanitary, ecological and radiological control, as well as to temporary customs control.
For the purposes of the Ukraine Customs Code and the World Trade Organisation rules of origin, goods and services produced or provisioned in the Free Economic Zone will not be treated as originating from Ukraine. Such goods and services may be supplied to the mainland of Ukraine subject to guaranteed payment of customs duties.
The supply of goods from foreign customs territories to the Free Economic Zone and vice versa will be excluded from Ukrainian custom regulations.