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Penalties as a way to replenish a state budget in Ukraine

Updated on November 23, 2012
Kyiv, Photo of Sofiyevska Square
Kyiv, Photo of Sofiyevska Square

The most interesting facts about fines and penalties in Ukraine.

Each country makes their own rules regarding payment of penalties. Some of them are ridiculous, others are stupid and out-of-dated because they have been implemented many years ago. But some fines are so “popular” among state authorities because they help to fill up the state budget.

I am not sure about other countries, but here, in Ukraine, numerous fines and penalties are actively used to mend the gaps in the budget of a country. It is a convenient instrument to have an extra income. You must pay these penalties to the state. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we try to fight and say: “This penalty has nothing to do with me”, but in most cases we pay them.

Bear in mind our prices:

Average wages/salary
Minimal retirement
140 USD/monthly
Average bill for electricity
10USD /monthly
Average bill for water + sewage
10USD /monthly
Average price of beef
0.45 USD/800 gram
0.50USD/1 liter.

The biggest fines

The heaviest penalties are defined by customs legislation. Our custom is a valuable source of replenishing the state budget. Remember – no jokes with custom officers!

Violation of the order of storage of goods in a custom warehouse, breaching of re-importation or exportation of goods, breaching of transit, an attempt to pass through the border bypassing the customs control - each of these offenses are punished by penalty in the amount of 1111.00 USD.

Compared to this can be a penalty for violation of rules of stocks circulation. National Commission of Stock circulation will charge 1049USD for breaching their rules.

The smallest penalties

Just amazing are the fines which actually let you do anything you want

- For a forest fauna destruction -3,7 USD.

- Ignoring fire safety precautions in a forest - 4.5 USD.

- Pollution of forests -5,4 USD. (Not surprisingly, our forests often look like a place for garbage storage!)

A contamination of agricultural land in Ukraine costs cheap – in average 80USD. 10 USD you will have to pay for breaching of rules for water resource protection.

Cruelty to animals is punishable in an average amount of 25USD. An improper maintenance of wild animals in captivity will cost you only 9.5 USD.

The amount of penalty for violation of the rules and standards of nuclear and radiation safety is surprised. Just 31 USD (!!!) and entertain yourself. It is only four times more than for disorderly conduct (7 USD) and twice as much, as for gambling (16.66 USD).

The most frequent fines

Fines connected with traffic violation are the most frequent in Ukraine. Drunk drivers refilled our state budget on the amount of 8 million 271 thousand USD in 2011.

Pedestrians and cyclists were often penalized in 2011 for the violation of traffic rules too. 134 thousand people had to pay 1 million USD. Not all of them actually paid it. Just a little bit more than 550 thousand USD went to the state budget.

Something around 20000 tickets were issued for a smoking in a public place. It was supposed to obtain 172 thousand USD, however just 30 % of that amount was paid.

330 thousand people have been fined for living without a passport. On average 3 USD each. This fine was paid by all!!

The rarest and the most unusual penalties

Discrimination of entrepreneurs by the authorities is not punished very severely – 12 USD. Just 2 cases within the last year were registered.

Only once a penalty for obstructing the work of Social Insurance Fund representatives who came with inspection to an enterprise was issued (35usd). It was not paid at all.

Few people even know that the unauthorized collection of wild fruits, nuts, mushrooms and berries in Ukraine is fined 5 USD in average. So it is better not to collect mushrooms without a wallet.

If you refuse to pass obligatory medical examination at your enterprise you can fined in the amount of 20USD. If you refuse to pass VD test the fine is also relatively cheap – just 7USD.

Let’s compare with other parts of the world. Sometimes penalties are ridiculous from our point of view.

Kyiv, Sofiyevskiy Cathedral
Kyiv, Sofiyevskiy Cathedral
Kyiv, Independence Square
Kyiv, Independence Square
Kyiv, Sofievskiy Cathedral
Kyiv, Sofievskiy Cathedral

Weird penalties in other countires

  • a Dutch driver did not move on the green light, as the cat was crossing the road. Note, his car was the only car on the road. He had to pay 75 Euro.
  • 11-year-old American girl was fined 535 dollars for having a woodpecker, rescued from the clutches of a cat. According to U.S. law, it is one of the species of migratory birds which is prohibited to transport, to keep or to posess! That kind girl received a minimum punishment, actually a person could be jailed for that.
  • A man who came to the Swedish hospital with a deep cut in a leg, was waiting more than an hour for a doctor. After that, he took the case into his own hands, and sewed up the wound. The result was a penalty for illegal use of medical equipment.
  • A driver in London stopped to ask a policeman for a direction. While one officer explained how to get there, his colleague issued a ticket for parking rules violation (£ 50).
  • A patient in an American hospital paid the bill in 25 cent coins. Now he has to pay a fine of $ 140 for it.
  • Englishman received a ticket for parking in the wrong place when the road workers have managed to put a new road markings under his parked car.
  • A Brazilian engineer received a ticket for speeding from the police. It stated that he drove his car with velocity 880 km/h (!) on the streets of Rio de Janeiro. He asked the car transport department to revoke the absurd penalty because accelerating to such a speed is impossible for a conventional car. Alas, hisrequestwasrefused.


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    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile imageAUTHOR

      Pavlo Badovskyi 

      5 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      If I have to pay fine, I would consider any fine to be unfare :) Of course we have to obey laws accepted in the country we live, but sometimes these laws are ridicuous ! Thank you for a comment.

    • aethelthryth profile image


      5 years ago from American Southwest

      That is a very good distinction between a reasonable fine and an unreasonable fine, and this was a fun article

      Then of course there are the laws governments have to come up with to deal with unreasonable people, like my friend who paid a bill in pennies, but found out that, legally, pennies only count as money up to some number like 25, for paying bills. Obviously my friend wasn't the first one to see how inconvenient he could make it to collect bills from him!

    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile imageAUTHOR

      Pavlo Badovskyi 

      5 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      I guess samples like that can found in any country. In general the most irritating fact is that the country often makes grounds to fine people on a legislative basis while they can actually PREVENT person from breaching the law instead of PUNISHING for it.

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 

      5 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Another interesting hub-- and great pictures. Some of your examples make me shudder... but then I think about Iowa's $10 fine-- I mean "surcharge" on cigarettes and Cedar Rapids' automated camera-speeding-fines on the Interstate through town (no human needed, the system mails you a speeding ticket for $75 without any fuss) and I guess we all have our quirky ways of filling the state's coffers. Interesting about the prices too.

    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile imageAUTHOR

      Pavlo Badovskyi 

      5 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      That is funny! As far as I understand if the money went to a local budget, many drivers would have problems and would be punished very often. Here in Ukraine we call these letters from police stating penalty you have to pay - "letters of happiness". Some kind of bitter humor :) Thank you for a very apt comment and interesting info! I will choose only rural roads in Germany from now on LOL

    • CHRIS57 profile image


      5 years ago from Northern Germany

      Very interesting hub. To assure you, penalties are not only used in the Ukraine to fill budget holes. I can contribute a little anecdote from Germany:

      On a well built road in rural countryside we have a hazardous intersection with a speed limit of 50 km/h. Local authorities do have all the equipment necessary to catch people speeding. But in this case authorities set up speeding traps all over the place, but not on this specific intersection. Explanation is simple. Because the road is in excellent condition (former federal highway) those cars actually caught speeding are much, much too fast. By German law excessive speeding is automatically procecuted by federal authorities, not the local authorities. And this makes it very human: Why take a photo and invest time and equipment, if i have no chance to collect the penalty.


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