On October 28, 2023, the Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan adopted Legislative Resolution No. 878, dated November 15, 2023, introducing significant changes and amendments to a series of key legislative acts of the country. This bill, aimed at stimulating entrepreneurial activity and forming a healthy competitive environment in the economy, also provides for the strengthening of consumer rights protection and the safeguarding of public health.
One of the key aspects of this legislative act is the modification of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Specifically, amendments have been made to Articles 186 and 1861, with the aim of detailing and expanding the regulatory norms related to illegal activities in the field of production, storage, and circulation of goods, including products based on ethyl alcohol, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco products. Article 186 now includes stricter penalty sanctions and measures of punishment for violations that threaten consumer safety, including in cases where actions lead to serious consequences. The fines range from 100 to 400 basic calculation units (BCU), and terms of imprisonment range from 3 to 12 years. Similar principles are applied in Article 1861, regulating the illegal turnover of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
Within the framework of the Administrative Responsibility Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan, significant amendments have also been introduced. Special attention has been paid to tightening the penalties for violating sanitary legislation, veterinary rules, and the safety rules for using veterinary drugs and feed additives.
The Law on Licensing, Permissive and Notification Procedures has undergone reforms aimed at strengthening control over compliance with licensing and permissive requirements in the field of entrepreneurial activity. This includes new provisions on the prohibition of obtaining licenses, the annulment of licenses for systematic and gross violations, and restrictions on the reissuance of licenses.
The Civil Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan has also been supplemented with an important provision according to which geographical indications are now recognized as objects of intellectual property, thereby expanding legal protection in this area.
These legislative initiatives reflect the Uzbek government’s commitment to creating a more stable and secure economic environment, conducive to the development of entrepreneurship and improving the standard of living of citizens.