Tatyana Titarenko: Is it possible to make Ukrainian seaports attractive for investors

Tatyana Titarenko is a CEO at LeGran.TT law company established in 2015. The reasons for the birth of a new company are the processes that take place in Ukraine and significant changes in maritime sector, seaport industry and international trade.

When Tatyana was setting up a new company she realized that she didn’t want just to watch what happens in the country but to take active part in reform process and implement the European experience in the fields of maritime law, port legislation and international trade.

Tatyana, why did you decide to set up a new company in the period of crisis?

Our country is going through difficult times today. But on the other hand this period opens new opportunities for us. The rules are being changed in many fields. In particular the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement sets new work conditions for our exporters. The reform of seaport industry is aimed at developing Ukrainian harbors by means of private investment. The procedures of customs control and clearance of goods are being simplified. And we also have gone to a lot of effort for that. During my work in the organization that protected the interests of maritime business I took an active part in the process of deregulation of the procedures in ports that had been initiated by the Ministry of Infrastructure.

All these changes require qualified legal support. And we are ready to assist our exporters, stevedoring and insurance companies – to everyone who is involved in foreign trade operations. I would also like to add that our company has just become a member of the Federation of Oils, Seeds and Fats Associations (FOSFA). Internationally, over 80% of the global trade in oils and fats is traded under FOSFA contracts. It allows us to be fully aware of the latest events in the world trade.

What does LeGran.TT company offer to business?

We cooperate with all participants of foreign trade activities including agricultural companies. Each of them sooner or later faces such problems as pressure from tax and customs authorities, currency restrictions, non-performance of obligations by counterparties and so on. Our team has experience in representing clients’ interests in Ukrainian courts and international arbitration bodies – FOSFA, GAFTA, LMAA etc. LeGran.TT also has experience in successful pre-trial settlement that allows business to save time and money required for litigation. Other practice areas include taxation and currency legislation issues that usually arise when exporting goods. So we provide such services as tax optimization, appealing tax assessment notices and consult on issues related to foreign trade. Our experts have experience in resolving disputes with customs authorities. And this is very important because any delay in the customs clearance can lead to huge losses. Unlike the traditional way of dealing with such matters in the courts, we are experienced in solving these conflicts through joint negotiations with the authorities.

You have mentioned that you do not want to watch what happens but are willing to take active part in changing the country. How do you affect the situation?

Besides working with business clients our team also takes part in legislative drafting. In particular we are currently working on the interpretation of the order No. 541 by the Ministry of infrastructure in cooperation with the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The issue is the discount for the use of a berth in the processing of grain cargoes in ports. As you know logistics is very important for the exporters as it significantly affects the final value and the competitiveness of their goods on the world market.

What other legislation initiatives related to logistics is your company working on?

In order to reduce the duration and the cost of cargo handling in seaports we need to  carry out reconstruction and modernization of facilities. In 2013 the government made a strategic decision to do this by means of attracting private investors. There are lots of cargo holders interested in creating their own logistic infrastructure among them.

But the legislators have not yet completed the preparation of background for the launch of investment projects. One of the main obstacles for private investment attraction is a long and complicated approval procedure. Sometimes it lasts for year or two. But time is money. And businessmen will think carefully about where to invest their money.

Another important issue is the land. If you want to construct a berth you have to obtain a land title or a rent agreement as well as permission for construction. This is also a long process that could delay the launch of the project and change investor’s plans. In addition, the government has not yet decided how to compensate investments made in the reconstruction of the state berths. We are also working on the development of the compensation mechanism on the basis of existing treaties

What is a motto of the company?

Our motto is: “A way out of any stalemate”. I am sure you can find a way out of any situation. All the more so we have professionals in our team who have significant work experience both in public and private structures.

What are your future plans for the business?

We will help the authorities to develop the country and develop ourselves. We set ambitious goals to succeed not only on the Ukrainian market but also abroad. We have experts in maritime law able to represent clients in international arbitration bodies. I hope we will open representative offices in many European countries soon.


Name and surname Tatyana Titarenko

Born in Mariupol

Graduated from Donetsk National University. Major: law.

Graduated from the Institute of the World Economy and International Relations of the Academy of Science of Ukraine. PhD in political problems of the international global development systems.

Attended International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The course covered the design and delivery of training for carrying out inspections of ships in compliance with the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006.

– Tatyana thinks that modern leader must respect his team, and be able to plan his/her time, think outside the box, because creativity helps to find a way out of stalemate.

– Likes to read the books of Jack London and quote his phrase: “The proper function of man is to live, not to exist”.