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Ukrainian bus factory rescued from bankruptcy 

08.01.2019

Subject of complaint: The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine (Ministry) 

Complaint in brief: On August 28, 2018, a leading Ukrainian bus manufacturer lodged a complaint with the Council. The enterprise complained of the Ministry inactivity and, as a result, the manufacturer had to stop production for a few months. 

The company has been producing buses since 60’s of the twentieth century. Several years ago, it began to use used car chassis from EU countries.  According to the Complainant, such buses meet all European requirements for inland transport and perfectly pass all test drives. In this case, in accordance with the decision of courts and as approved with the traffic police, the year of production of the bus was the year of production of the cab and not the chassis. 

However, in summer, during certification of the next batch of goods, the Ministry questioned the date of product manufacturing. . The government agency could not decide whether to treat a bus manufacturing process as “production” or “re-equipment”. The Complainant appealed to the Ministry of Infrastructure twice, however, within a few months he had not received any clarifications regarding vehicles certification. As a result, the plant had to stop production before receiving a clear response from the Ministry. The company suffered losses: workers stayed without work, and customers – without products the manufacturer paid fines for. The plant was on the verge of bankruptcy. 

Actions taken: The Council twice recommended the Ministry to provide  the Complainant with a clear explanation of classification of products and, accordingly, the procedure of its certification. The Council’s investigator contacted the Head of the department issuing permitting documents and asked him to promptly respond to the Complainant, whose production remained blocked. In addition, she arranged a meeting with representatives of the government agency and the company. 
 
Result achieved: With the Council’s assistance Ministry finally determined manufacturer’s buses fell under “new production” category. It allowed the plant to restart vehicles certification and resume operations in the normal mode. The Complainant thanked the Council for assistance in resolving the case: "The overall impression is great! Honestly, I'm surprised with the level of business support."