A growing number of new private enforcement officers is a significant milestone since the adoption of a package of laws in June 2016, whereby Ukraine decided to gradually privatise the system of enforcement of court decisions. As indicated in the recently published activity report of the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the number of enforced court decisions in civil and commercial process has already tripled from 6% to 18%, to compare with last year.
Since 2015, the EU Project “Support to Justice Sector Reforms in Ukraine” has been involved in designing the reform policy and supporting its implementation. Among other activities, the Project is now assisting the Ministry of Justice in the selection process of private enforcement officers, improvement of enforcement business processes and information services.
“Four tranches of candidates participated in 11 qualification exams. As a result, 101 people have been licensed, and 70 private enforcement officers (PEOs) are already providing their services,” – says Serhiy Shklyar, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine for Enforcement Service.
New Ukrainian PEOs have already opened 500 cases since August 2017. Out of this number, more than 70 court decisions were successfully enforced.
One of the most successful stories was provided by private enforcement officer Andriy Avtorgov. UAH 3.5 million of debt was collected in the interest of one legitimate creditor on 12 October 2017.
“The EU Project has been one of the driving forces of enforcement reform in Ukraine, – says Andriy Avtorgov, – “The role of the Project team in promoting the institution of private enforcement officers can hardly be overestimated”.
Ukraine is implementing the so-called mixed system of enforcement whereby both state enforcement service and private enforcement officers will compete in the market. Similar systems exist in Bulgaria (since 2005), Georgia (since 2009) and Serbia (2012). Most other new European democracies already have fully private enforcement service.
A successful reform should have a direct impact on Ukraine’s standing in the World Bank Doing Business Index and other reputed international rankings, thereby contributing to investor confidence in the country. It should reduce the burden on the State budget in the provision of justice services, provide better and more accessible enforcement services to individuals and businesses.