Ukraine was one of the first countries in the post-Soviet space to enshrine consumer rights at the legislative level by adopting a relevant law. However, despite the legislative prerequisites, the practical realization of Ukrainian consumers’ rights has long remained unsatisfactory. Numerous reforms of executive authorities have resulted in the lack of real control and supervision over consumer rights by the state and, as a result, in arbitrariness of producers and sellers of goods and products.

Currently, the main specialized body in the field of consumer protection in Ukraine is the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection (SSFSCP). This central executive body has concentrated the powers of the previously existing bodies with diametrically opposite vectors of activity: The State Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service of Ukraine, the State Inspectorate for Consumer Protection, and the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service of Ukraine. As a result of the concentration of such a large number of completely different powers, the rights of ordinary consumers remain largely unprotected.

The introduction of a general moratorium on business inspections, including consumer protection inspections, in 2016-2018 was ambiguous, leaving ordinary citizens to deal with manufacturers and sellers of goods and products on their own.

Like any public authority, the SSFSCP is limited in its ability to carry out its control and supervisory and human rights functions by the need to follow clear procedures during inspections, limited by the tools provided by law and sometimes by the lack of specialists with the appropriate competence. And most importantly, the SSFSCP can record existing violations and take measures to stop them, but it cannot protect and restore consumer rights!

Both Ukrainian and European Union legislation provide for a leading role in the protection and restoration of consumer rights to public consumer associations that have a special legal status and powers in the relevant area. Such public organisations can independently, on a voluntary basis, conduct actual inspections of product quality and characteristics, participate in inspections of government agencies, defend consumer rights in courts and other bodies, initiate class actions, etc.

During 2015-2016, the founder and current chairman of the NGO “Ukrconsumerprotection” (UCP), Maksym Gonchar, began to carry out his consumer protection activities in close cooperation with the NGO “Consumer Trust”, which since 2012 has taken an active human rights position in relation to Ukrainian consumers, conducted educational activities to raise awareness of consumers about their rights and ways to exercise them, and published the magazine “Consumer Trust”.

Maksym Gonchar established an effective mechanism of interaction between civil society and the competent authorities – the SSFSCP and the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU). Representatives of the public carried out sampling and laboratory tests on their own, and the results were provided to the SSFSCP, which, in addition to bringing violators to justice, passed the collected materials to the AMCU, whose powers are much broader and fines are much more significant. For example, the largest fine for one of Ukraine’s milk processing plants was UAH 68 million based on our test results and proof of product falsification.

To strengthen the role of the public, Maxim Gonchar established the non-governmental organisation Ukrconsumerprotection (UCP) in 2018. The main goal of the organisation is to actually protect and restore the violated rights of Ukrainian consumers using all the remedies provided for by national and supranational legislation. In other words, UCP operates in the area where Ukrainian consumers are still left to fend for themselves, as no competent authority protects the rights of the average consumer. The main motto of the UCP is that if the state does not protect citizens-consumers, then civil society protects itself.

The UCP has 14 branches in Odesa, Mykolaiv, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Zhytomyr, Lviv, Poltava, Sumy, Dnipro, Chernihiv, Vinnytsia, Rivne, Ivano-Frankivsk regions, which work daily to protect violated consumer rights.

The governing bodies included prominent Ukrainian figures, including:

Sergiy “Boatswain” Korotkikh, a well-known public activist, former commander of the Azov Regiment’s intelligence unit, who joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the first days of the Russian invasion and defended Ukraine and its population from the Russian invaders without wasting a minute

Stanislav Predko, a well-known athlete, winner of the World, European and Ukrainian scuba diving championships.


Maksym Gonchar – Chairman of the UCP

Sergiy “Boatswain” Korotkikh – former Chairman of the UCP

Stanislav Predko – former Chairman of the UCP


The main goal of the UCP’s activities is to actually protect and restore the violated rights of Ukrainian consumers using all remedies provided for by national and supranational legislation. We strive not only to record the violation and stop it, but also to obtain compensation for the affected persons. In our activities, we also take into account the legislation of the European Union, in particular Directive 2020/1828 “On representative actions for the protection of consumer interests and repealing Directive 2009/22/EC”

Every citizen becomes a consumer every day: buying food, receiving financial and other services, etc. And only in a few cases there are no violations of consumer rights regarding the completeness of information about the product(s), its safety, and proper quality. Since the beginning of the full-scale military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, a moratorium has been imposed on state scheduled and unscheduled inspections of business entities, including food and non-food producers. Some business entities perceive the moratorium as an opportunity to produce products in violation of the requirements for their quality and safety. Some of them are deliberately replacing expensive components with cheaper ones to make extra profits in this difficult time for the country.

That is why the activities of the UCP are extremely important for Ukrainian consumers. The use of European standards of consumer protection in the Ukrainian context will bring Ukraine closer to fulfilling all the necessary obligations to become a full member of the European Union.

The Organisation’s activities are carried out on a voluntary basis: by citizens-consumers for other consumers. The organisation is open for cooperation and communication with everyone. Everyone who wants to join the USC is welcome!

Main activities:

Participation in law-making work

The team of the Organisation has the necessary experience and knowledge in the field of consumer protection, knows what Ukrainian legislation in this area lacks in practical application. The UCP specialists were members of the interdepartmental expert commission on drafting a new version of the Law of Ukraine “On Consumer Protection”. Work in this area continues.

Product expertise

The organisation cooperates with a number of laboratories and expert centers to study the quality and safety of food and non-food products. The results are sometimes shocking. If you have any suspicions about the quality and safety of certain products, do not hesitate to contact UCP immediately. Together we will establish the truth!

Communication with the competent authorities of Ukraine

The organisation conducts the necessary research and collects materials on violations of the rights of Ukrainian consumers, which are submitted to the competent authorities – the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Comsumer Protection and the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine. In fact, the UCP does all the necessary research work for the competent authorities, which the latter cannot carry out due to lack of funds, specialists, equipment and formalism of supervisory powers. This allows us to stop violations, properly record them and bring the perpetrators to justice. It also helps to create an evidence base for civil lawsuits in the interests of consumers to obtain compensation

Class action lawsuits

Class actions are the most effective mechanism for restoring the rights of injured consumers in countries with developed legal systems (the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, etc.). The Organisation advocates for the earliest possible introduction of such mechanisms in Ukraine and cooperates with leading lawyers and international organisations with experience in class actions. Currently, the Organisation has launched a study on the possibility of bringing Volkswagen to justice in Ukraine for misleading consumers about the performance and safety of diesel vehicles, better known as Dieselgate. This is only the first step for consumer class actions. More to come!

Communication with European Union bodies and organisations

Ukraine has clearly defined its future path – to the European Union. Where consumers have a wide range of rights, not just declarations on paper. Cooperation with the EU institutions, public and non-governmental organisations in the field of consumer protection allows us to adopt the experience of the EU countries and successfully implement it in Ukraine.