NEURC expects the adoption of the Draft Law №5322 to obtain the powers which scares the whole market - Babii

The National Energy and Utilities Regulation Commission (NEURC) expects the adoption of the Draft Law №5322 to obtain greater powers, such as automatic sanctions, urgent investigations, fines of up to 10% of annual income (or up to UAH 10.2 billion).

Olha Babii, a Commissioner with the NEURC, announced this on October 2, 2021. on the First Business TV channel.

"Together with the Energy Committee, we have drafted a Draft Law №5322 (authors A. Gerus, A. Zhupanin), which I hope will be voted on in the near future and which will allow the National Energy and Utilities Regulation Commission (NEURC) to get the powers that the whole market is afraid of. If we get these powers, we will be able to automatically impose sanctions, we can urgently investigate, and for certain abuses to impose fines of up to 10% (of annual income (revenue) - ed.) On certain participants, "- said the member Regulator.

In particular, the Draft Law №5322 provides for fines for violating the established restrictions on the use of insider information, for manipulation and attempted manipulation in the wholesale energy market - up to 600,000,000 non-taxable minimum incomes (up to UAH 10.2 billion) - for market participants (except household consumers). As well as up to 300 000 000 non-taxable minimum incomes (up to UAH 5.1 billion) for non-disclosure or disclosure of insider information in violation of the requirements established for the disclosure of such information.

"In my opinion, our electricity market is very liberal. We have made ultra-low responsibility for market participants, we have not implemented the REMIT transparency and integrity regulations at the same time as the market launch. It is because of the lack of sanctions, which reaches 10% of the total turnover in the electricity market for certain violations, that we have the history that we have today. We need to regulate/limit the behavior of participants, make it tougher when we see deficits/surpluses. We understand that we need to establish new liquidity criteria that will allow us to impose certain restrictions, we need to strengthen sanctions for violating market rules," Babii said.

Also, in accordance with the mentioned bill, the regulator will receive additional rights during investigations, such as:

9) involve the police, customs officers and other law enforcement agencies in ensuring the conduct of the investigation, including the collection and seizure of evidence, seizure of property, objects, documents, and other media.

10) apply to the court for seizure of any property of the subject of investigation, except for property that cannot be levied in accordance with the law, and funds in the account of the subject of the investigation until the decision of the Regulator on the results of the investigation;

11) make a decision to suspend the license, if there is a threat of violation of the rights or interests of market participants/consumers, consumers, before the decision of the Regulator based on the results of the investigation;

In addition, the commission will be able to apply to the National Commission on Securities and Stock Market to prosecute those who professionally organize operations with wholesale energy products and control the activities of which it carries out.

13:02 / 9 November 2021

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