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The Law on Language

We would like to remind you that on 25 April 2019, the Verkhovna Rada adopted Law No 2704-VIII “On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language” (hereinafter, the Law).

    1. According to the law, Ukrainian is the only state and official language in the country.

It is mandatory for public authorities and public areas throughout the territory of the state. Public humiliation or disregard for the Ukrainian language is grounds for prosecution.

Local authorities are prohibited from interfering in any way with the use of the Ukrainian language.

The attempt to grant official status to any other language will be seen as an act aimed at changing or overthrowing the constitutional order by force.

Deliberate distortion of the Ukrainian language in official documents and texts, creating obstacles and restrictions in the use of the Ukrainian language will also be punished. However, the law does not apply to the field of private communication and religious rituals.

On 16 January 2021, section 30 of the Act comes into force, which means the final transition of services to the national language.

Service providers, regardless of ownership, will be obliged to serve consumers and provide information on goods and services in the Ukrainian language.

The requirement to provide services in the state language does not only apply to trade. It also applies to educational services (including clubs and activities), health care services, social services and the like.

At the customer’s request, the personal service can be provided in another language acceptable to both parties.

Moreover, information in price lists, instructions, technical specifications, labels, tickets, menus, etc. must be provided in Ukrainian. At the same time, information in the state language on goods and services may also be duplicated in other languages.

Fines for violations against the “functioning of the Ukrainian language” will be levied starting 16 July 2022.

If a business entity engaged in economic activities in the territory of Ukraine violates the requirements established by Article 30 of the Act, the Plenipotentiary, its representative shall draw up an act on the results of control over the use of the state language, shall issue a warning to such entity and a requirement to eliminate violations within 30 days from the date of the act, which shall be noted in the act.

For repeated violations within a year, the Plenipotentiary shall impose a fine from three hundred to four hundred untaxed minimum incomes of citizens (5100-6800 UAH) on business entities engaged in economic activity in Ukraine.