A number of draft laws currently exist on establishing the National Bureau of Financial Security of Ukraine — No. 8157, introduced by a group of MPs headed by Nina Yuzhanina; No. 8157-1, introduced by MP Andriy Zhurzhii, and No. 8157-2, introduced by MP Tatyana Ostrikova and others. Which of these initiatives meet the needs of both business and the state in the most balanced way?

As in most cases of drafts on the formation of the state apparatus, the main deal breaker for a number of draft laws on the National Bureau of Financial Security (Financial Police) is the issue of the subordination of the new body and the procedure for appointment of its officials.

At the same time, in most cases Ukrainian business does not care who and how will form this authority. The main demand made by society is that the National Bureau or the Financial Police work efficiently and do not violate the principles of freedom of business activity.

From this point of view, it is important as to whether the new state agency should be part of law-enforcement and have the right to weapons and use of special tools during an investigation.
So, the Draft Law submitted by Tatyana Ostrikova No. 8152-2 prescribes that the financial police will not be a law-enforcement body and its powers will be limited to paper and analytical work. Nevertheless, in this case, the financial police will be able to conduct criminal investigations, which are related to their responsibility. Draft Laws No. 8152 and
No. 8152-1 provide, on the contrary, the National Bureau of Financial Security with powers to apply force.

There is currently strong resistance in Ukrainian society to the setting up of yet another law-enforcement authority. However, world practice generally follows the path of broader powers for the tax police. For example, in the UK (HMRC), United States (IRS) and France (DGFiP), special agents have powers, similar to those of the police.

As for the rest, these draft laws are quite similar to each other, differing only in some details. Therefore, the best solution would be to create a single draft that would unite the best sides of all the proposals mentioned above and enable a truly effective authority of financial and tax investigations to be established in Ukraine.

Sergii Papernyk, Head of Banking & Finance and FinTech, exclusively for Ukrainian Law Firms 2018: a Handbook for Foreign Clients, 05.05.2018