Procedure for entry to the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and exit from it
On May 9, 2014, the Law of Ukraine “On guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of citizens and legal regime on the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine” came into force (hereinafter-Law) which, in particular, determines the order of entry of persons to the temporarily occupied territory and departure from it.
According to the Article 10 of the Law the citizens of Ukraine have the right to free and unimpeded entry tot eh temporarily occupied territory and departure from it through the control checkpoints of entry – departure upon the condition of presenting the document, which certifies the person and confirms the citizenship of Ukraine.
At the same time, the entry of foreigners and stateless persons to the temporarily occupied territory and departure from it are acceptable only upon the special permit through the control checkpoints of entry-departure.
The Law brought amendments to several legal acts in the part of responsibility of the persons for violation of the order of entry to the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and departure from it.
In particular, the following penalties might be imposed for the these offences:
1. Criminal Code of Ukraine is supplemented with article 332-1:
-violation of the order of entry to the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and departure from it with the aim of causing damage to the interest of state - imprisonment for the term up to 3 years or imprisonment for the same period with confiscation of the transport vehicles. Same actions, committed repeatedly or by previous concert by the group of persons or by the official person, using official position - the imprisonment for the period from 3 to 5 years with deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or to be engaged in certain activity for the period till 3 years and with confiscation of the transport vehicles. The above mentioned actions, committed by the organized group are punished with imprisonment for the term from 5 till 8 years.
2. Code of Ukraine on administrative offences, in particular, was supplemented with the article 204-1 of such content:
-violation of the order of entrance to the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and exit-departure from it - fine from 100 till 300 untaxed minimums of incomes of citizens or administrative detention for the period up to 15 days.
3.Article 13 of the Law of Ukraine “On legal status of foreigners and stateless persons” (-) is supplemented with a paragraph of such content:
entry to Ukraine for the foreigner or stateless person is not allowed:
-if such person tries to make entry through control checkpoints of entry-departure to the temporarily occupied territory without special permit;
supplemented with the Article 14-1 of such content:
-foreigners and stateless persons who arrived to the control checkpoints of entry-departure from the temporarily occupied territory without respective permit are not allowed to make further traffic and in the shortest term they return to the temporarily occupied territory from which they arrived or to the state which issued the passport document.
In case of impossibility of immediate return of foreigner or stateless person, they stay in the control checkpoint of entry-departure until their return.
Such foreigners and stateless persons will have in their passport document the mark about prohibition of entry to Ukraine;
Article 20 is supplemented with part 4 of such content:
-the transit is prohibited for foreigners and stateless persons through the temporarily occupied territory.
The legal regime, stipulated in this Law, will be effective till full restoration of the constitutional order of Ukraine on the temporarily occupied territory.
On June 4, 2015, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted a Resolution No 367, establishing Procedure for entry to the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and exit from it (hereinafter – the "Procedure"). The Procedure came into force on 10 June 2015.
The Procedure is adopted pursuant to the Laws of Ukraine "On the Establishment of Free Economic Zone "Crimea", “On Guaranteeing the Rights and Freedoms of Citizens and the Legal Regime on the Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine” regarding entry to and exit from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine (hereinafter – "Crimea") by citizens of Ukraine, foreign citizens and stateless persons.
The Procedure introduces changes regarding the entry to and exit from Crimea by foreign citizens and stateless persons.
On September, 16, 2015 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine passed the Resolution No 722, amending the Procedure for entry to the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and exit from it regarding the entry to and exit from Crimea by foreign nationals, inter alia:
Extract from the Para 3 of the Resolution:
Foreign nationals can entry and exit from temporary occupied territory of Ukraine through special check points by presenting a passport and special permission issued by territorial body of State Migration Service of Ukraine or territorial body of Department for Migration Service of Ukraine in Novotroitsky or Genichesky district of Kherson oblast.
Extract from the Para 21 of the Resolution:
Special permission is issued in the following cases, inter alia:
5) necessity to carry out diplomatic and consular functions, in particular within the framework of international organizations, where Ukraine is a member-state, fulfillment of activities of other international governmental organizations, international non-governmental organizations, foreign international non-governmental organizations and independent human rights missions. In this case, a special permission is issued only upon the request or consent granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine;
6) necessity to carry out journalist activities (only upon the request or consent granted by the Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine);
7) necessity of preaching of religious beliefs, performing of religious rituals or fulfilling religious needs (only upon the request or consent granted by the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine).
Extract from the Para 23 of the Resolution:
For obtaining the special permission, a foreign national or a stateless person provides to the territorial body of the State Migration Service of Ukraine the package of following documents:
- statement (the form could be downloaded from the web page of the State Migration Service of Ukraine http://bit.ly/1O5sGm9);
- a valid passport;
- documents confirming the stay in Ukraine on legal grounds;
- copy of passport page with personal information translated into Ukrainian language and duly certified;
- documents confirming the reason for entry into the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine: request or consent provided by the relevant Ukrainian authorities;
- three photos 3,5 х 4,5 centimeters.
Filing of the documents via diplomatic or consular offices outside Ukraine is not provided in the Procedure.
Persons, violating the order of entry to and exit from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, set by this Procedure, will be brought to justice.
The UN in its resolution 68/262 as of March 27, 2014 calls upon all states not to recognize any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on the basis of so called "referendum" as of March 16, 2014 and to refrain from any action or dealing that might be interpreted as recognizing any such altered status.
The seaports of Ukraine in the cities of Sevastopol, Kerch, Feodosia, Yalta and Yevpatoria have been closed until the restoration of the constitutional law of Ukraine over the temporarily occupied territory.
Taking into account the aforementioned Ukrainian side will consider all visits of the vessels under the foreign flag to the closed seaports in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol as violation of international law and as such actions that threaten the sovereignty of Ukraine.
Such unfriendly actions are also being considered as the violation of Ukrainian national legislation that will entail a liability including the criminal responsibility of shipowners, ship operators and ship masters.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine once again emphasizes the need to comply with the valid procedure of visiting the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol.