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Improvement of licensing and permitting procedures
On August 24, 2020, the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On measures for cardinal improvement of licensing and permitting procedures” was adopted, which states that in recent years, consistent measures have been taken in the republic to radically improve the business and investment climate, eliminate unnecessary bureaucratic barriers, improve outdated, procedures that do not meet modern requirements. The work carried out in these areas has created a solid foundation for the start of a new phase of liberalization and institutional reform of the licensing and permitting system.                                                                                   This Decree is aimed at the abolition of a number of licenses and permits. For example, from January 1, 2021, the following types of licenses are planned to be canceled:

·       Auditing activities;

·       Reproduction of audiovisual works, phonograms and computer programs;

·       Activities for the production of phonograms;

·       Activities for the production of blank securities;

·       When licensing activities for the design, construction, operation and provision of telecommunication network services:

o   provision of data transmission network services by public points, including points of common use of small businesses in rural areas;

o   operation, provision of telecommunication network services by small businesses in rural areas;

o   provision of services by small businesses in rural areas from intercity telecommunication networks;

o   provision of international telecommunication network services by small businesses in rural areas.

·       When licensing professional activities in the securities market:

o   activity of investment funds.

·       When licensing the design, construction, operation and repair of bridges and tunnels:

o   activities for the operation of bridges and tunnels.

·       Design, construction, operation and repair of defense facilities.

·       When licensing activities for the design, development, production, sale, repair and use of cryptographic information protection tools:

o   design of means of cryptographic information protection;

o   repair of cryptographic information protection means;

o   use of cryptographic information security tools.

·       Appraisal activity;

·       Realtor activity;

·       Activities for the sale of approved samples of uniforms for military personnel and employees of ministries, departments and organizations;

·       Activities for the extraction of precious and rare earth metals, precious stones;

·       Pharmaceutical activity (except for the retail sale of medicines and medical products):

o   production of medical products;

o   manufacturing of medical products;

o   wholesale of medical products;

o   packaging and wholesale of medicinal raw materials of plant origin.

o   When licensing activities for the design, installation, lining, repair and maintenance of fire-fighting automation, security, fire and security-fire alarm systems:

o   design of fire-fighting automatic equipment, security, fire and security-fire alarm systems.

o   When licensing activities for urban, suburban, intercity and international transportation of passengers and goods by road:

o   urban and suburban transportation of goods by road;

o   intercity transportation of goods by road.

The following types of permissions are revoked:

·       Permission to attract foreign labor force;

·       Coordination of a set of measures to improve the financial condition of the insurer;

·       Certificate for the right to conduct audits of banks;

·       Conclusion of expertise on projects and works on acceptance into operation of objects, products and technologies in terms of their compliance with the established requirements in the field of railway transport;

·       Coordination of the use in production of technical solutions for extending the service life of locomotives, freight and isothermal cars;

·       Coordination of the project for the construction of new and reconstruction of existing enterprises related to the use of water resources and the discharge of drainage and sewage;

·       Coordination of design, construction, reconstruction of buildings and structures, water supply systems, sewerage and wastewater treatment, hydraulic structures, other facilities for compliance with sanitary norms, rules and hygienic standards;

·       Permission to design, build or purchase, install, put into operation and use cable television networks;

·       Permission to engage in coaching activities;

·       Passport of a sports facility.

Instead of these procedures, a notification procedure will be introduced, and the time for issuing non-revoked licenses and permits will also be reduced.

In accordance with the Decree, it is prohibited for authorized bodies to carry out the following actions:

·       refuse to provide public services due to the presence of debts from the license applicant for mandatory payments for the supply of electricity, natural gas, water supply and sewerage services, for the collection and removal of solid household waste, as well as executive documents when issuing, extending the validity period and reissuing licenses;

·       replace licenses and permits with contracts concluded between state bodies and business entities;

·       direct or indirectly force business entities to use other types of paid services or obtain permits that are not provided for in licensing and permit requirements and conditions in the process of considering applications for issuing licenses and permits, issuing these documents, as well as exercising control functions.

It also refers to the extension of all licenses and permit documents, which expire in 2020, until January 1, 2021.

From January 1, 2021, licensing, permitting and notification procedures will be gradually carried out completely in electronic form through the "License" information system, with the exception of permit documents issued to subjects of foreign economic activity using the "Common Window" customs information system, as well as procedures containing state secret and information, access to which is limited in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan.