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Belarus reduced property registration time

Changes to property registration system in Belarus

Belarus is one of the economies that improved the most in the Registering Property indicator over the last 6 years. In a process which started in 2004, the country computerized its records, created a single registry which unified its property and land databases, and introduced time limits to ensure registrations are processed in a timely manner. Now an entrepreneur can even check whether there is a line in the one-stop shop through a web-camera that is streamed online.

The computerization process at the National Cadastral Agency was completed in 2007, and as a result of these improvements, the process of registering a property was made easier for entrepreneurs as the backlog disappeared. The time to register a property in Minsk went down from 231 days in 2005 to 15 days in 2010.

Belarus’ reform efforts did not stop with computerization and online access: They also included to back-office efficiency measures. First, standards for the "registrar" profession were significantly raised through introducing exams, a higher education requirement, a 6 month internship and a license that must be renewed every 3 years from the newly created "Institution of registrars." Previously, none of these norms were in place and registrations were performed by engineers or cadastre officials. The number of registrars also increased from 66 in 2003 to 847 in 2009. Finally, the agency introduced a transparent monitoring and feedback mechanism whereby the experience of the Registry’s users were monitored closely and users were encouraged to communicate any violations or complaints.

Furthermore, in 2008, the registry began offering remote online access to its databases for the public as well as authorized users - such as the staff of its local offices, surveyors and notaries. Despite its many advanced features, the National Cadastral Agency continues to reform: in 2009, further amendments to Belarusian legislation introduced a 7 working day time-limit for property transfers. Today the agency covers about 5 million property units and processes 760,000 sales and first-time registrations each year.

Doing Business data in Belarus (Registering Property)

Before After
DB 2005 DB 2011
Time (days) 231 15
Cost (% of property value) 0.1 0.0
Procedures 7 3

Results on the ground

Efficient systems prepare economies for the development of vibrant property markets. Belarus’s unified and computerized registry was able to cope with the addition of 1.2 million new units over 3 years. The registry issued 1 million electronic property certificates in 2009. Belarus managed to process property registrations in an increasingly shorter timeframe (15 days in 2010) while the number of transfers and first time registrations kept increasing at a rate of 8% per year. This success can be attributed to the multi-faceted nature of Belarus’ reform program: clear rules and regulations, strong monitoring and feedback mechanisms, and modern and updated software and computerization.

Statistics collected for the analysis
Source: The information below was provided by the National Cadastral Agency in June 2009.

Total number of property objects in Belarus:

Year Land plots Buildings Flats/apartments Total
2007 804 350 1 465 210 1 762 686 4 032 246
2008 1 075 442 1 565 534 1 836 941 4 477 917
2009 1 334 153 1 712 417 1 950 396 4 996 966

Number of first time registrations:

Year Land plots Buildings Flats/apartments Total
2007 120 006 104 344 117 700 342 050
2008 229 416 122 213 59 579 411 208
2009 247 520 116 973 86 141 450 634

Number of transfers:

Year Land plots Buildings Flats/apartments Total
2007 22 497 89 808 104 054 216 359
2008 30 691 97 810 96 575 225 076
2009 23 919 96 474 91 837 212 230

Number of active registrars (authorized to register/transfer transactions):

Year Number of registrars
2003 66
2004 127
2005 476
2006 626
2007 703
2008 769
2009 847

Since launching the remote online access service to its databases through its website (http://gzk.nca.by/) in 2008, the National Cadastral Agency has already handled 155,956 information requests in the last year (by address, cadastral number and inventory number). Since 2008, the agency responded to over 1,000,000 requests through specialized software called “NKA Remote”, which is available for authorized users.