Code of Civil Protection of Ukraine

Date of entry into force:
November 21, 2012

The Code of Civil Protection of Ukraine (hereinafter referred to as “Code”) regulates relations associated with the protection of the population, territories, environment, and property against emergencies, reaction to emergencies, and functioning of the single state system for civil protection; determines the authority of state power bodies, the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and bodies of local self-government, the rights and obligations of citizens of Ukraine, foreigners and stateless persons, companies, institutions and organizations irrespective of their property form (Article 1 of the Code).

Article 2 of the Code provides definitions of terms used in it. For example, the following definitions are established:
  • accident is a dangerous man-made event that resulted in death or injury of people, or creates a threat for public life and health within a certain territory or the facilities of a business entity, and leads to destruction of buildings, structures, equipment and transport, disruption of the production or transport process, or causes above-norm or accidental emissions of pollutants and other harmful impact on the environment;
  • epidemic is a mass spread of an infectious disease through the population of a certain territory during a short period of time;
  • epizootic outbreak is a wide spread of a contagious animal disease during a short period of time, considerably in excess of the usual level of occurrence of this disease in the respective territory;
  • epiphytotic outbreak is a wide spread of a contagious plant disease through the territory of one or more administrative territorial units, considerably in excess of the usual level of occurrence of this disease in the respective territory;
  • catastrophe is a large-scale accident or another event with grave consequences;
  • emergency is a situation within a scope of a specific territory, business entity facilities, or a water body, characterized by disruption of the normal human living environment, resulting from a catastrophe, accident, fire, natural disaster, epidemic, epizootic or epiphytotic outbreak, the use of means of destruction or another dangerous event, which has led (may lead) to a threat to the public life or health, a large number of casualties or injuries, or make such territory or facility unsuitable for human living or business activity;
  • dangerous event is an event, including catastrophe, accident, fire, natural disaster, epidemic, epizootic or epiphytotic outbreak whose consequences present a threat to public life or health, or results in material damages;
  • natural disaster is a natural phenomenon of great destructive force, which causes significant damage to the territory of its occurrence, disrupts normal human living conditions, and causes material damages.

Civil protection is the function of the state aimed at protecting the population, territories, environment and property against emergencies, through preventing them, liquidating their consequences, and providing aid to the victims, both in the time of peace and the contingency periods (Article 4 of the Code).

Article 5 of the Code provides for classification of emergencies.

According to Article 6 of the Code, the work of executive authorities in the sphere of civil protection is carried out by the following bodies, within the scope of their authority:
  • Council for National Security and Defense of Ukraine;
  • Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
To coordinate the work of central and local executive authorities, companies, institutions and organizations, in relation to technogenic and environmental safety, protection of the population and territories, and prevention and reaction to emergencies:
  • the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine creates a State Commission in the Issues of Technogenic and Environmental Safety and Emergencies;
  • the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, regional state administrations, and the Kyiv and Sevastopol city state administrations create regional commissions in the issues of technogenic and environmental safety and emergencies;
  • district state administrations, executive bodies of local councils, city district councils and village councils create local commissions in the issues of technogenic and environmental safety and emergencies;
  • the managing bodies of companies, institutions and organizations create commissions in the issues of emergencies.

The main principles of carrying out civil protection are determined by Article 7 of the Code.

According to Article 8 of the Code, implementation of state policy in the sphere of civil protection is provided for by the single state system for civil protection, which consists of functional and territorial sub-systems and their units. The main tasks of the single state system for civil protection are:
  • ensuring that ministries and other central and local executive authorities, bodies of local self-government, forces and means subordinated to them are ready for preventing and responding to emergencies;
  • ensuring implementation of measures to prevent emergencies;
  • educating the public on behavior and actions in case of an emergency;
  • implementing state targeted programs aimed at preventing emergencies, ensuring sustainable functioning of companies, institutions and organizations, and decreasing possible material losses;
  • processing information about emergencies, publishing information materials in the issues of protection of the population and territories from their consequences;
  • forecasting and assessing the social and economic consequences of emergencies, using the forecasts to determine the need for forces, means, material and financial resources;
  • creating, sustainably conserving and using material and financial reserves required to prevent and respond to emergencies;
  • informing the public about the threat and occurrence of emergencies, timely and reliable informing about the actual situation and the means used;
  • protecting the public in case of emergencies;
  • carrying out rescue works and other urgent works to liquidate the consequences of emergencies, and organize for support and sustenance of the affected population;
  • mitigation of the possible consequences of emergencies in case of their occurrence;
  • carrying out measures for social protection of the affected population;
  • exercising the statutory rights in the sphere of population protection against the consequences of emergencies, including the persons (their families) that directly took part in the liquidation of such situations;
  • other tasks determined by the law.

The functional sub-systems of the single state system for civil protection are created by the central executive authorities in the respective sphere of social life (Article 9 of the Code).

According to Article 10 of the Code, territorial sub-systems of the single state system for civil protection (hereinafter referred to as “territorial sub-systems”) function in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the regions, and the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol. Units of territorial sub-systems are created:
  • by the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea – in districts of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea;
  • by district state administrations, and Kyiv and Sevastopol city district state administrations – in districts, and city districts of Kyiv and Sevastopol, respectively;
  • by bodies of local self-government – in regional centers and cities of regional and district importance.

Articles 11 - 15 of the Code envisage that the single state system for civil protection, depending on the scale and specifics of the forecasted or actual emergency, works in the following regimes:
  • everyday functioning (provided normal industrial, radiation, chemical, seismic, hydrogeological, hydrometeorological, technogenic and fire conditions, and lack of epidemics, epizootic or epiphytotic outbreaks);
  • high alert (in case a risk of emergency exists, the high alert regime is established for the entirety of the single state system for civil protection, or for its specific territorial sub-systems, by decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, regional state administrations, or Kyiv or Sevastopol city state administration);
  • emergency (in case an emergency occurs, the emergency regime is established for the entirety of the single state system for civil protection, or for its specific territorial sub-systems, by decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, regional state administrations, or Kyiv or Sevastopol city state administration);
  • state of emergency (the state of emergency is temporarily announced for the single state system for state protection or its specific territorial sub-systems, within the scope of territories on which the legal status of the state of emergency is announced according to the Law of Ukraine “On the Legal Status of the State of Emergency”);
  • contingency period (the single state system for civil protection functions according to the Code, with regard to the specifics determined by the requirements of the Laws of Ukraine “On Mobilization Preparation and Mobilization” and “On the Legal Status of Martial Law”, and other normative legal acts).

Chapter III of the Code establishes the authority of the providers of civil protection.

According to Article 20 of the Code, in a business entity, civil protection measures are organized by units (officials) in the issues of civil protection created (appointed) by the heads of such business entities, with regard to the following requirements:
  • in business entities included in respective civil protection categories, with headcount over 3,000, units in the issues of civil protection are created;
  • in business entities with headcount between 200 and 3,000, and health care facilities with the combined headcount and patient count between 200 and 3,000, and business entities included into the second category of civil protection, officials in the issues of civil protection are appointed;
  • in full-time education facilities with student count of 500 or more, officials in the issues of civil protection are appointed;
  • in business entities with headcount under 200, responsible persons in the issues of civil protection are selected from the existing staff of the business entity.

According to Article 22 of the Code, civil protection forces include:
  • the Civil Protection Response and Rescue Service;
  • emergency rescue services;
  • civil protection units;
  • specialized civil protection services;
  • fire rescue divisions (units);
  • volunteer civil protection units.
The main tasks of civil protection forces are:
  • working and taking measures to prevent emergencies, and protect the population and territories against them;
  • carrying out emergency rescue and other urgent work;
  • firefighting;
  • liquidating the consequences of emergencies under extreme temperatures, smoke and gas logging, threat of explosion, collapse, landslide, flood, radioactive or chemical pollution, biological contamination, or other dangerous conditions;
  • carrying out pyrotechnical works related to deactivation of explosive objects remaining on the territory of Ukraine after wars, current armaments and demolition equipment (except for explosive devices used for the purposes of terrorism), except for territories provided for dislocation and permanent activity of military units, military educational institutions, companies and organizations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and other military formations;
  • carrying out explosive works aimed at preventing emergencies and liquidating their consequences;
  • working to provide life support for the affected;
  • providing urgent medical aid to the affected in the emergency area and transporting them to health care facilities;
  • transporting material and technical supplies intended for emergency rescue and other urgent work, liquidation of consequences of emergencies and providing humanitarian aid to the people affected by emergencies;
  • providing assistance to foreign states in emergency rescue and other urgent work, and the liquidation of consequences of emergencies;
  • providing emergency rescue services for business entities and specific territories under risk of emergency.
The civil protection forces may be involved in restoration works.

According to Article 23 of the Code, emergency rescue services are divided into:
  • state, regional, municipal, facility-based rescue services and rescue services of community organizations;
  • specialized and non-specialized rescue services;
  • professional and non-professional rescue services.
Emergency rescue services are created as follows:
  • state services – by the central executive authority that provides for creation and implements state policy in the sphere of civil protection, and other central executive authorities;
  • regional services – by the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, local state administrations in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, regions, and the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol, respectively;
  • municipal services – by bodies of local self-government in the city, city district, township or village;
  • facility-based services – by the head of the business entity operating high-risk facilities;
  • services of community organizations – by the community organization according to the law.

The Civil Protection Response and Rescue Service functions within the system of the central executive authority that provides for creation and implements state policy in the sphere of civil protection, and consists of management bodies, central emergency rescue units, specialized emergency rescue units, special air, maritime and other units, state fire divisions (units), education centers, and supply units and formations (Article 24 of the Code).

According to Article 25 of the Code, specialized civil protection services (in the spheres of energy, protection of agricultural plants and animals, engineering, municipal, material support, medicine, communication and signaling, firefighting, trade and catering, technical services, transport, protection of public order) are created to carry out and support specific public protection work and measures that require involving professionals in a specific field, or specialized equipment and property, as follows:
  • facility-specific – created in a business entity (by creating units, teams and groups that constitute appropriate specialized civil protection services, from among the employees of the business entity) by its management;
  • industry-specific – created within the system of the executive authority (by uniting facility-specific divisions into an appropriate industry-specific specialized civil protection service) by the central executive authority. The list of central authorities in which specialized civil protection services are created is determined by the Provision on the Single State System for Civil Protection;
  • territory-specific – (created by uniting facility-specific divisions into an appropriate territory-specific specialized civil protection service on a local level, or uniting territory-specific specialized civil protection services into a regional specialized civil protection service): 1) created in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea or another body determined according to the normative legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea; 2) created in the regions, the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol, and districts by the city state administration; 3) created in cities of regional importance by the body of local self-government.

Article 26 of the Code envisages that civil protection units are created to carry out large-scale works to liquidate the consequences of emergencies, military (combat) action or terrorist acts, as well as restoration works requiring involvement of a large number of people and equipment:
  • facility-based – created in business entities that own specialized equipment and property, and whose employees are prepared for action in emergency conditions, by the business entity;
  • territory-specific (by uniting facility-based civil protection units on the appropriate territory): 1) created in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea; 2) created in the regions, the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol, and districts by the city state administration; 3) created in cities of regional importance by the local council.

Voluntary civil protection units are created during the time of threat or occurrence of emergencies, to carry out auxiliary work aimed to preventing or liquidating the consequences of such emergencies, by resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the central executive authority, the local state administration or the body of local self-government. Voluntary civil protection units consist of volunteers (Article 32 of the Code).

Chapter IV of the Code, which is dedicated to the protection of the population and territories against emergencies, provides for the principles for:
  • alerting and informing done by providers of civil protection (Section 6);
  • sheltering population in civil protection shelters, and carrying out evacuation measures (Section 7);
  • engineering protection of territories, radiation and chemical protection (Section 8);
  • medical, biological and psychological protection, ensuring sanitary and epidemic safety of the population (Section 9);
  • educating the public about acting in emergencies (Section 10).

Chapter V of the Code establishes the following measures for preventing emergencies:
  • monitoring and forecasting emergencies (Article 43);
  • state standardizing in the sphere of civil protection (Article 44);
  • expert analysis in the sphere of civil protection (Article 45);
  • certification of means of civil protection (Article 46);
  • state supervision (control) in the issues of civil protection (Article 54);
  • attestation of emergency rescue services and rescuers (Article 48);
  • insurance (Article 49);
  • ensuring technogenic safety (Section 12);
  • ensuring fire safety (Section 13);
  • state supervision (control) in the sphere of technogenic and fire safety (Section 14).

Response to emergencies and liquidation of their consequences are regulated by Chapter VI of the Code.

The authority of the central executive authority that carries out state supervision in the sphere of technogenic and fire safety is determined by Article 67 of the Code.

According to Article 71 of the Code, the following is done to coordinate the actions of state authorities, bodies of local self-government, management bodies, and civil protection forces, and to ensure planned and organized implementation of measures and work aimed at liquidation of the consequences of emergencies:
  • using emergency management stations and centers;
  • creating special commissions for liquidation of consequences of emergencies;
  • appointing heads of work aimed at liquidation of consequences of emergencies;
  • determining the need for civil protection forces;
  • involving civil protection forces in liquidation of consequences of emergencies.

Emergency rescue and other urgent works during liquidation of consequences of emergencies are carried out free of charge (Article 79 of the Code). Emergency rescue and other urgent works aimed at liquidation of consequences of emergencies during the time of peace and the contingency period includes:
  • organizing and managing emergency rescue and other urgent works;
  • scouting districts, areas, plots and sites of work aimed at liquidation of consequences of emergencies;
  • determining and localizing the emergency area;
  • determining and marking districts that suffered radioactive or chemical pollution, or biological contamination (except for areas of military action);
  • forecasting the area of potential spread of the emergency and the scale of possible consequences;
  • liquidating or minimizing the impact of hazardous factors resulting from the emergency;
  • search and rescue of victims, providing them with urgent medical aid and transporting them to health care facilities;
  • evacuation or resettlement of the affected people;
  • finding and deactivating explosive items;
  • carrying out sanitary treatment of people and special treatment of clothes, equipment, devices, means of protection, buildings, structures and territories hat suffered from radioactive or chemical pollution, or biological contamination;
  • providing medical aid to the victims, carrying out sanitary anti-epidemic measures, ensuring sanitary and epidemic safety of the population in the area of emergency and in the areas of temporary location of the affected;
  • implementing measures of restriction, observation and quarantine;
  • providing psychological and material support for the victims, providing for their medical and psychological rehabilitation;
  • carrying out urgent repairs and restoring operation of the damaged vital public facilities, transport and communication;
  • providing social security for the victims of emergencies;
  • carrying out other works and measures depending on the nature and type of the emergency.

The procedure for firefighting is determined by Article 80 of the Code.

Section 17 of the Code determines the procedure for compensating material damages and providing aid to the victims of emergencies.

Financial, material and technical support of civil protection measures is regulated by Chapter VIII of the Code.

Chapter IX of the Code envisages the requirements to equipping the civil protection management bodies and forces, and the civil protection service.

The civil protection service is a state service of special nature, intended to ensure fire safety, protection of the population and territories against the negative impact of emergencies, prevent and react to emergencies, and liquidate their consequences, in the time of peace and in the contingency period. The procedure for serving in the civil protection service for the citizens of Ukraine is determined by the Code and in the provision on serving in the civil protection service as members of the private and officer corps, adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (Article 101 of the Code).

According to Article 102 of the Code, persons accepted for duty in the civil protection service on the competitive and contract basis must be citizens of Ukraine, having completed general secondary education, satisfying the qualification requirements, and possess the personal, business and moral qualities, the educational and professional level, and the state of health adequate to carry out their service duty. The qualification requirements to persons accepted for duty in the civil protection service are determined by the central executive authority that provides for creation and implements state policy in the sphere of civil protections. For the purposes of the Code, persons enrolled in the first year of civil protection educational institutions, aged 17 and older, including those turning 17 during the year of enrollment, are considered to be serving in the civil protection service. A person cannot be accepted for duty in the civil protection service if they had been convicted for a crime, if the conviction has not been expunged or lifted according to the procedure established by the law, or if they had been subjected to administrative sanctions for corruption-related offences.

Special ranks of the private and officer corps in the civil protection service are established by Article 104 of the Code.

According to Article 105 of the Code, the maximum age for duty in the civil protection service is:
  • for private corps, junior and mid-level officer corps – 50 years;
  • for senior officer corps – 55 years;
  • for supreme officer corps – 60 years.

Article 106 of the Code envisages that the contract is ended (terminated), and members of the private and officer corps are dismissed from the civil protection service in the following cases:
  • expiration of the term of contract;
  • for age reasons – when reaching the maximum age for duty;
  • for health reasons – based on the conclusion (resolution) of the central medical expert commission of the central executive authority that provides for creation and implements state policy in the sphere of civil protection, stating unfitness or limited fitness for duty;
  • in case of staff reduction – if the person cannot remain in service due to a reduction in staff or organizational measures;
  • on request of the dismissed, for family reasons or other valid reasons, the list of which is established by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;
  • due to systematic violations of the contract conditions by the member of the private or officer corps;
  • due to systematic violation of the contract conditions by the heads of the management body, unit or division, educational facility, research institution, or other organization of the executive authority that provides for creation and implements state policy in the sphere of social protection, or the central executive authority carrying out state supervision in the sphere of technogenic and fire safety;
  • due to a guilty court verdict taking effect;
  • due to being summoned to compulsory military service according to the resolution of a district (city) conscription commission;
  • in case a transfer to another post is impossible, due to direct subordination to a relative;
  • due to assuming citizenship of another state;
  • in other cases provided for by the law.

A rescuer is a person, certified to be able to carry out emergency rescue and other urgent works, or put out fires, which takes direct part in such works, and has received respective specialized, physical, psychological and medical training. Ukrainian citizens achieve the rescuer status through a resolution of appropriate certification bodies, based on their certification results (Article 109 of the Code).

The rights and obligations of a rescuer are established by Article 110 of the Code.

The social and legal protection of the members of private and officer corps of the civil protection service, employees of civil protection management bodies and forces, and persons dismissed from civil protection service are provided for by Chapter X of the Code.

The final and transitional provisions of the Code envisage that the following Laws of Ukraine are declared to no longer be in effect:
  • “On the Civil Defense of Ukraine”;
  • “On Fire Safety”;
  • “On the General Structure and Strength of the Civil Defense Forces”;
  • “On the Civil Defense Forces of Ukraine”;
  • “On Emergency Rescue Services”;
  • “On Protecting the Population and Territories from Man-Made and Natural Emergencies”;
  • “On the Legal Foundations of Civil Protection”.

The Code took effect on July 1, 2013.
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