The parliamentary committee on transport has approved two draft laws aimed at facilitating development of transportation on Ukrainian rivers and recommended that the parliament adopt both documents as the basis for the final document. The press service of the Administration of Seaports of Ukraine (ASU) announced this in a statement.

The draft law No. 2712 provides for amendment of the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine and the draft law No. 2713 provides for amendment of the Customs Code.

"These draft laws will save Ukrainian roads from overloaded trucks and promote the use one of the most ecological modes of transport – river transport – in Ukraine," Parliamentary Deputy Oleksandr Urbanskyi said during presentation of the draft laws. According to him, the draft laws will help attract new investment and increase the transport potential of the country.

Article 32 of the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine stipulates that a ship that is owned by the state or owned by a Ukrainian citizen or legal entity that is 100% owned by residents of Ukraine has the right to operate under the national flag of Ukraine. Article 131 of the code establishes restrictions on inland transport by vessels operating under foreign flags: subject to permission from the Ministry of Infrastructure.

Such rules are not in line with international practice, create a serious barrier for foreign investors, and limit the ability of Ukrainian ship owners, who are often interested in full or partial involvement of foreign partners.

The draft law proposes granting foreign vessels the right to perform domestic transport operations without special permission from a central executive government agency.

The other draft law also proposes amending the Customs Code in support of these innovations.

The director of the department of maritime and river transport, Andrii Zatulko, who attended the meeting of the transport committee, supported these draft laws and explained that Ukraine has great potential in terms of use of river vessels: "Rivers account for 23% of transportation in Germany and only 1% in Ukraine. The river is the most economically convenient means of transport. I have said this many times."