16 Jun 2022 11:44

Ukrainian to become language of web resources, user interfaces in Ukraine on July 16 - language ombudsman

MOSCOW. June 16 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian language is due to become the language of web resources and user interfaces in Ukraine from July 16, Commission for State Language Protection Taras Kremen said.

"This day next month, July 16, 2022, the second and sixth clauses of Law No. 27 'On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language', the articles which regulate the use of the state language in the Internet and the languages of the interface of computer software installed in such commodities, will enter into effect," the Ukrainian language ombudsman's press service said, according to the Ukrainian media.

Thus, from July 16, any commodity with installed computer software, ranging from cars to washing machines and coffee machines, must be "localized" before it goes on sale in Ukraine. Specifically, the product is required to feature a Ukrainian-language interface regardless of whether there is an electronic screen or a control panel with buttons.

Furthermore, all Internet resources (websites, social media pages, YouTube, Viber and Telegram channels, and mobile applications) which serve as the online presence of businesses registered in Ukraine, including online resources, are required to have the Ukrainian-language main version, which should automatically be downloaded for users. The Ukrainian-language version of the website of a foreign company selling its products in Ukraine may contain a smaller amount of information than the main version, but sufficient for Ukrainian users to fully understand the purpose of this business.

"It should be noted that businesses offering services to Ukrainian consumers online (online stores and online catalogues) have been required to give information about goods and services in the state language on their Internet resources since January 16, 2021. However, from now on, they are required to operate a full-fledged version in the Ukrainian language, which should become the main language (maximum information volume) and be downloaded automatically," Kremen was quoted by his press service as saying.

The absence of a website's Ukrainian-language version after July 16 may constitute an intentional violation by its owner of the state language requirements or the absence of a media outlet's state registration or the absence of its owner's registration as a business entity.

"This, in turn, will mean that the owner of an Internet resource intends to stay outside of the legal field of Ukraine, thus evoking justified mistrust toward information published on this resource," Kremen said.

In addition, from July 16, the commissioner for state language protection will be able to impose fines on officials of state and local authorities, the heads and employees of enterprises, institutions and organizations of all forms of ownership, and other citizens who violate the state language law.

Such fines will range from 3,400 hryvni to 7,500 hryvni for the first violation, and from 7,500 hryvni to 11,900 hryvni for a repeat violation.