To protect small business, including winemakers and brewers (PHOTOS)

The head of the Transcarpathian Regional Administration Vasyl Hubal initiates the appeal to the Verkhovna Rada and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on amendments to the legislation which would protect small business – in particular, winemakers and brewers

On Friday, July 3, the head of the Transcarpathian Regional Administration Vasyl Hubal visited Beregovo district. The program of the visit included meetings with the manufacturers of traditional Transcarpathian product – wine. He also asked about the fate of one of the so-called "small" breweries (which was especially important in the context of the recent changes to the legislation under which the license fee of half a million hryvnia was introduced for beer producers irrespective of the volume).

The first address for a visit is wine cellar of Vasyl Nagy, a descendant of the renowned family of winemakers, whose business is now continued by his son. The output is measured in hundreds of liters of wine. However, he can sell the product only during tastings and festivals. The license for wholesale is 500,000 UAH. That is, the same as for the producer that sells millions of bottles annually.

Such amounts are produced at the leading winery of the region. The General Director of the JV "Iceberg" Ltd. (brand name "Chizay"), Gennady Arnholdt says that they produce 5.6 million bottles of wine per year for the Ukrainian market alone, plus the exported product. The 500,000 UAH price of the license for them is affordable because it is close to a tax of 10 kopiykas for each bottle. 

Meanwhile, the mood at on one of the 11 regional "small" breweries is far from good. The first trial brewing at the "Europa 2014" company took place in April this year, and now the production, that just began, has stopped because of the license requirment. During this time, the brewery has produced hundred thousand liters of drink and paid 180,000 UAH of taxes, more than 130,000 of the excise tax, in addition to other payments on wages. They planned to employ more than a hundred people, So, Beregovo is losing jobs and contributions to the budget. The director of the company Bailo Varga complains: the license fee is the same for his brewery, which produces tens of thousands of liters a month, and for his colleague from the mountainous region, that produces hundreds of liters, and for the giant plant, whose output is measured by millions decaliters.

There should be logical and fair rules – Vasyl Hubal summs up what he has seen and heard from manufacturers. The head of the RSA said: "I see that it is necessary to change the legislation. The legislators must support small business. The licensing requirements currently in force should not be applied to small manufacturers. So I will initiate an appeal to the deputies of the Regional Council and the Parliament with the proposition to draft legislation that would set fair rules of the game in this area. By the way, I know that our Transcarpathian deputies are already drafting such a document."

The head of the RSA, said: "Also I want to arrange a visit of the parliamentary committee on agriculture to Transcarpathia. They should probe deep into the matters of our farmers and such small manufacturers, see our vineyards, and the lands, where vineyards used to be once and can be tomorrow, but now are bare," – Vasyl Hubal said.



So, Transcarpathia can become Ukrainian Provence or Tokaj – it all depends on the legislators. The people are ready.

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