Parliamentary committee supports abolition of notarization of religious organizations’ charters

8 September 2017, 10:32 | Legislation | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

The Committee on Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship recommends that Ukraine’s Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) adopts Bill No. 6642, which envisages the abolition of the requirement for notarization of the signatures as an unnecessary intermediate link in the process of registering the charters of religious organizations.

The decision was adopted by the Committee at a meeting on Thursday, September 7, with the participation of representatives of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, reports the Institute of Religious Freedom.

 “The authenticity of signatures on the constituent documents of a public association, a religious organization or a charitable organization is notarized only if there is such a requirement in the constituent documents of the relevant public association, religious organization or charitable organization,” the draft law states.

The same supplement applies to the protocols of the general meeting of the religious organization, which approves amendments to the charter, as well as to the transfer act (in the case of merger, accession, transformation) and the distributive balance (in case of separation) of a religious organization as a legal entity. These documents also cancel the requirement of notarization of signatures of the religious organizations’ representatives.

Thus, the authors of the initiative propose to abolish the introduction of a law known as anti-raider law, adopted in October 2016. In relation to religious organizations, it complicated their two-step registration procedure by another intermediate stage, which is the notarial certification of documents already registered by the authorities. In case of acceptance of changes, the simplified procedure of state registration will be extended to religious organizations, as it now is used by public associations and charitable organizations.

In addition, the bill stipulates that the administrative fee, which is currently 460 UAH, will not be levied for state registration of changes in the information about religious organizations in the Unified State Register. At the moment, religious organizations are equated with the payment of administrative fees to commercial enterprises.

Bill No. 6642 was submitted to the parliament by a group of MPs from different factions. The project was developed with the assistance of the Ministry of Justice and with the participation of the Institute of Religious Freedom and representatives of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations.

As reported by the IRS, in August 2015, general re-registrations of non-profit organizations significantly complicated the activities of religious organizations, for which this procedure is a long-term, bureaucratic and expensive one.

In this regard, the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations proposes, at the legislative level, to establish a special non-profit status of religious organizations in order to avoid inappropriate and burdensome re-registration, which only duplicates the existing legislative norms in the charters. The said initiative was supported by parliamentarians and leaders of a number of factions, which jointly registered in the parliament Bill No. 6696.

Recall that the deadline for the re-registration of religious organizations ends January 1, 2018, and public associations, charitable organizations and other non-profitable ones - already on July 1, 2017.

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