Windfall tax for major companies to be introduced in Russia

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Monitoring of the Federal Legislation dated 30.12.2003

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 716 of November 27, 2003 on the Cases Requiring the Certificate of Origin of the Commodity When Importing It to the Customs Territory of the Russian Federation

Lists the commodities requiring the certificate of origin to be presented at the demand of the customs body to certify the country of origin. The certificate is presented when the customs body reveals the signs of incorrect information of the country of origin of the commodity affecting the applied rates of customs duties, taxes and/or prohibitions and restrictions.
The Decision is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 715 of November 27, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Regulation on the Procedure of the Customs Registration of Commodities Moved across the Customs Border of the Russian Federation by Natural Persons for Personal Use

Defines the customs procedures and operations at the customs registration of commodities moved across the customs border of the Russian Federation by natural persons for personal, family, household and other needs other than entrepreneurial activities. The customs registration of commodities may be considered completed only after the veterinary, phytosanitary, ecological and other types of state control.
The Decision specifies the particulars of the customs registration of automobiles moved by natural persons for personal use. Declaring of automobiles transported as unattended luggage is arranged in the customs bodies covering the region of temporary or permanent residence of the persons exporting/importing them. The customs registration of temporarily imported/exported attended automobiles is arranged in the customs bodies in the places of arrival (departure) of these automobiles. When an automobile arrives, the person attending it presents information of this vehicle to the customs body by entering it in the appropriate columns of the passenger customs declaration, as well as transportation, commodity accompanying and other documents. Information of the registered automobiles is entered in the electronic databases used to keep records of the transport vehicles moved across the customs border.
After the customs registration, the customs bodies issue the certificate of the transport vehicle for the automobile (except for the temporarily imported ones) and the customs pay-in slip if the customs duties and taxes were paid.
The Decision is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 712 of November 25, 2003 on the Amendments to the Tied Federal Program "Russian Language" for the Years 2002-2005

Increases more than two times the volumes and sources of financing of the program - mainly at the expense of the resources of the federal budget and non-budgetary resources. The mentioned resources will be used to implement publicly significant events in 2004-2005. Among them are: workshops for the teaching staff working in the higher educational institutions of CIS, Baltic and far-abroad states, international and annual all-Russia Russian-language olympiads for school-children, professional development for the teachers of Russian as a foreign language and other.

Order of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1712-r of November 26, 2003

Endorses the list of commodities prohibited from placing under the customs warehouse customs regime with restrictions specified in the legislation on state regulation of foreign-trade activities.
The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Federal Law No. 154-FZ of November 29, 2003 on the Augmentation of the Basic Part of the Labour Pension for Persons Living in the Regions of the Far North and Similar Localities

To compensate for the extra material and physiological burden for citizens living in the regions of the Far North and similar localities, the amount of the basic part of the labour pension (old-age, disability and lost bread-winner pensions) must be increased by applying regional coefficients. The mentioned procedure does not apply in cases of assigned pensions in compliance with the Federal Law No. 166-FZ of December 15, 2001 on the state pension support in the Russian Federation and in cases of other payments with amounts determined proceeding from the amount of the basic part of the labour old-age pension.
The Federal Law is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 1410 of November 28, 2003 on the Invalidation of Some of the Decrees of the President of the Russian Federation

Invalidates from January 1, 2004 the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 1482 of July 8, 1994 on the refinement of the state registration of enterprises and entrepreneurs on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 724 of November 29, 2003 on the Particulars of Application of the Special Protection Measure for Poultry Meat

Institutes a new procedure of distribution among the supplier states of the import quota for the import of poultry meat in 2004. The main importer is the USA (771,900 tons). As before, the import of the poultry meat within the fixed quota is arranged on the basis of the license of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia.
The Decision is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 723 of November 29, 2003 on the Regulation of the Import of Frozen Beef in 2004

In 2004, frozen beef will be imported using the rates fixed earlier for the year 2003. The beef imported using the 15% rate of the customs cost, however, not less than EUR 0.2 per kg, will be imported within the limits of the quota equal to 420,000 tons per year in the presence of the license issued by the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia. The largest part of the quota falls on the countries of the European Union, as well as Hungary, Cyprus, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czechia, and the Baltic states.
The Decision institutes a special procedure and time limits of issue of the license. Before August 1, 2004, the licenses will be issued for the import of 90% of the total volume of the quota to foreign-trade participants having drawn up the licenses for the import of frozen beef in 2003. The rest 10% of the beef volume will be sold at auction.
Frozen beef imported in excess of the fixed quota will be taxed at the rate of 60% of the customs cost, however, not less than EUR 0.6 per kg.
The Decision is entered into force from the day of its official publication with exceptions.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 722 of November 29, 2003 on the Regulation of the Import of Fresh and Chilled Beef in 2004

In 2004, fresh and chilled beef will be imported using the rates specified earlier for the year 2003. Beef imported using the 15% rate of the customs cost, however, not less than EUR 0.2 per kg, will be imported within the limits of the quota equal to 27,500 tons per year in the presence of the license issued by the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia. The largest part of the quota falls on the countries of the European Union, as well as Hungary, Cyprus, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czechia and the Baltic states.
The Decision institutes a special procedure and time limits of issue of the license. Thus, before August 1, 2004, the licenses will be issued for the import of 90% of the total volume of the quota to foreign-trade participants having drawn up the licenses for the import of fresh and chilled beef in 2003. The rest 10% of the volume of beef will be sold at auction.
Fresh and chilled beef imported in excess of the fixed quota will be taxed at the rate of 60% of the customs cost, however, not less than EUR 0.6 per kg.
The Decision is entered into force from the day of its official publication with exceptions.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 721 of November 29, 2003 on the Regulation of the Import of Pork in 2004

In 2004, pork will be imported using the rates specified earlier in 2003. Pork imported at the 15% rate of the customs cost, however, not less than EUR 0.25 per kg, will be imported within the limits of the quota equal to 450,000 tons per year in the presence of the license issued by the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia. The largest part of the quota falls on the countries of the European Union, as well as Hungary, Cyprus, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czechia, and the Baltic states.
The Decision institutes a special procedure and time limits of issue of the licenses. Thus, before August 1, 2004, the licenses will be issued for the import of 90% of the total volume of the quota for foreign-trade participants having drawn up the licenses for the import of pork in 2003. The rest 10% of the volume of pork will be sold at auction.
Pork imported in excess of the fixed quota will be taxed at the rate of 80% of the customs cost, however, not less than EUR 1.06 per kg.
The Decision is entered into force from the day of its official publication with exceptions.

Decision of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation No. 17 of November 20, 2003 on Some Issues of Judicial Practice Emerging in Labour Disputes Involving Joint-Stock Companies, Other Economic Partnerships and Companies

Explains that decisions on dismissal from occupied positions taken by authorised bodies or owners of property or persons (bodies) authorised by the owners and challenged by the heads of organisations, members of the collegiate executive bodies of organisations, as well as members of the boards of directors of organisations having concluded labour contacts with these organisations, fall in the sphere of reference of the courts of general jurisdiction and are examined by them as labour lawsuits of reinstatement at the place of work.
In such cases, the judge may not suspend the challenged decision on dismissal from work as a provisional remedy and oblige the defendant, as well as other persons, to permit the claimant to execute his former duties.

Decision of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation No. 18 of November 20, 2003 on the Admissibility of Cases Emerging in Maritime Claims

Explains individual issues pertaining to the earnings paid out to members of the vessel crew, repatriation expenses and social insurance contributions, as well as pertaining to reimbursement of the damage incurred on the life or health of a citizen on land or water by vessel operation.

Decision of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and the Plenum of the Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation No. 19/20 of November 18, 20, 2003 on the Invalidation of the Decision of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and the Plenum of the Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation No. 4/8 of April 2, 1997 on Some Issues of Application of the Federal Law on Joint-Stock Companies

The mentioned Decision is invalidated in pursuance of the amendments introduced in the Federal Law No. 208-FZ of December 26, 1995 on joint-stock companies, adoption of the Code of Administrative Proceedings of the Russian Federation.

Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation No. 384-O of October 2, 2003 on the Refusal to Accept for Consideration the Appeal of the OOO Design Group "Interyer Flora" against Violation of the Constitutional Rights and Freedoms by Item 3 of Article 161 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation

According to the applicant, the courts apply incorrectly the norms of the tax legislation pertaining to VAT amounts transferred by the lessee when leasing state property. Since the lessor is not a taxpayer, the lessee must not bear the duty of a tax agent, and there is no obligation to pay the value added tax to the budget. Besides, the absence of his right to claim for offsetting the monetary resources collected by the tax bodies means a deprivation of the property of a legal entity contradicting the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
According to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, VAT collection in cases of public property lease is stipulated by the fact that there emerges an object of taxation, i.e. operations of sale of services characterised by a money measure, the presence of which is associated in the legislation on taxes and fees with the duty to pay the tax emerging with the taxpayer. Exemption of such operations from taxation would mean a withholding from the common legal regime incompatible with the constitutional principles of economic neutrality of taxes and equal acknowledgement and protection of the private, state, municipal and other forms of property. VAT exemptions may apply to a lessee of the state and municipal property only in the presence of the documents confirming VAT payment.

Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 1417 of December 1, 2003 on the Amendments to Some of the Decrees of the President of the Russian Federation Pertaining to Improvement of State Management in the Sphere of Migration Policy

The changes are stipulated by the handing over of the functions of the federal body of executive power in charge of the migration policy to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. The Decree specifies that the loss of a political asylum is determined by the Commission for Citizenship Issues of the President of the Russian Federation to the presentation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia on the basis of statements of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and the Federal Security Service.
The Decree is entered into force from the day of its signing.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 725 of November 29, 2003 on the Prolongation for the Year 2004 of the Period of the Experiment on Introduction of the Uniform State Examination

The experiment on the introduction of the uniform state examination envisaged in the Decisions of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 119 of February 16, 2001 and No. 222 of April 5, 2002 is prolonged for the year 2004. The experiment envisages integration of the state (final) certification of the graduates of institutions of general education and the entrance examinations to the institutions of higher and secondary professional education.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 720 of November 29, 2003 on the Tariff Regulation of the Import of Raw Sugar and White Sugar in 2004

Changes the nomenclature of the rates of import customs duties for raw sugar and white sugar. The rates for raw sugar are differentiated depending on the average monthly price per ton at the New York commodity exchange. The average monthly price is estimated on the monthly basis as a simple average price for raw sugar at this exchange for the current contract for all tender days (as of the moment of closing of the tenders).
The new rates of the import customs duties for the white sugar are fixed in US dollars per ton (earlier, in euros per kg).
The Decision is entered into force from January 1, 2004 with exceptions.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 718 of November 29, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Regulation on the Application of the Uniform Rates of Customs Duties, Taxes for Commodities Moved across the Customs Border of the Russian Federation by Natural Persons for Personal Use

Defines the procedure of application of the uniform rates of customs duties, taxes for commodities intended for personal, family, household and other not pertaining to entrepreneurial activities needs of natural persons moved across the customs border of the Russian Federation. Commodities intended use is determined by the customs bodies from the application of the natural person of the moved commodities, their nature, quantity and frequency of transportation.
It is permitted to import without duties and taxes in unattended and attended luggage commodities (except for the transport vehicles) with the total cost not greater than Rbl 65,000 and total weight not greater than 50 kg. It is also permitted to import duty free cultural values under the condition of their declaring in writing and special registration.
If the mentioned dimensions are exceeded (however, not greater than Rbl 650,000 and 200 kg), the uniform rate applies in the amount of 30% of the customs cost, however, not less than EUR 4 per kg of excess values. If even these dimensions are exceeded, the rates envisaged for foreign trade participants apply.
For automobiles, differentiated rate applies depending on the country of origin, cost, age of the automobile and engine capacity. The cost of an automobile under 3 years of age implies the selling price for this or similar automobile or suggested selling price under usual retail-trade conditions of full competition. The mentioned price is determined on the basis of information obtained from automobile producers, and if such information is not available - from catalogues, information of foreign organisations selling automobiles and other independent sources of price information available with the customs bodies.
The Decision lists the cases when automobiles may be imported duty free.
Natural persons may get commodities delivered in international postal dispatches without paying the customs duties, taxes if the cost of such commodities delivered within one week for one recipient is not greater than Rbl 10,000. The Decision lists the commodities that may be imported to the Russian Federation in limited amounts by natural persons 17 years of age and older without paying the customs duties, taxes.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 694 of November 19, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Regulation on the Handing over for Sale or Destruction of Perishable Confiscated Items Being the Objects of Administrative Violations

Decision on the handing over of confiscated items for sale is taken by the body of executive power entitled to confiscate the objects of administrative violations after their examination and quality checking. The person possessing confiscated items is notified of the adopted decision, after which confiscated items are handed over to the Russian Federal Property Fund for sale. Assessment of the confiscated items is carried out on the basis of their market value. The person possessing confiscated items is notified of the carried out assessment and is permitted to be present during the assessment procedure.
Destruction of the confiscated items is carried out on the basis of the statement of the expert of the state enforcement and control body using any technically available method while observing the requirements of the normative and technical documents in the sphere of environmental protection. All expenses pertaining to the destruction of the confiscated items are paid by the authorised body of executive power having taken the decision on destruction. If the person possessing the confiscated items is found guilty of committing the violation, he has to reimburse the mentioned expenses to the authorised body of executive power.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 729 of December 1, 2003 on the Amendments to the Regulation on the Ministry of Taxation of the Russian Federation

The amendments are stipulated by the granting of the functions of state registration of peasant (farmers') enterprises and natural persons as independent entrepreneurs to the Ministry of Taxation of Russia.
The Decision is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 726 of November 29, 2003 on the Amendments to the Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 724 of October 1, 2002

The length of the annual main extended paid leave for the leaders of orchestras of institutions of primary and secondary professional education makes 56 calendar days.

Decision of the Ministry of Labour of the Russian Federation No. 70 of October 17, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Explanation "On Some Issues of Assigning Labour Pensions in Compliance with Articles 27, 28, 30 of the Federal Law on Labour Pensions in the Russian Federation"

When defining the right for the old-age labour pension, including the early one, the length of work includes all periods of work and other publicly useful activities included in the total and special length of work when the pension was assigned in compliance with the legislation that was in effect when this work (activities) was fulfilled while applying the rules of calculation of the appropriate length of work envisaged in the mentioned legislation (including the beneficial procedure of calculation of the length of work).
The given procedure applies also if the citizen, regardless of his age before the day of abrogation of the appropriate law or other normative legal act, has competed the necessary total and/or special length of work entitling for the old-age or length-of-work pension.
When assessing the pension rights of the insured person, the estimated amount of the labour pension may be calculated at his desire from the amount of pension without applying the individual pensioner coefficient and determined taking into account the total length of work of this person as of January 1, 2002 and his average monthly earnings for the years 2000-2001 according to the information of the individual (personified) records in the system of the state pension insurance, or for any of the 60 months in a row (before January 1, 2002) on the basis of the documents issued by employers or state (municipal bodies).
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on November 27, 2003. Reg. No. 5284.

Order of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1754-r of December 1, 2003

Endorses the program of changing of the level of state regulated prices (tariff rates) in electric power industry.
The Federal Power Supply Commission of Russia is ordered to define before April 1, 2004 the limiting levels of tariff rates for electric and thermal power supplied by power supply organisations to consumers, including the limiting levels of tariff rates for the population, for the subjects of the Russian Federation for the years 2005-2006 while envisaging, if necessary, their calendar breakdown and by categories of consumers taking into account the regional and other particulars.

Order of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1747-r of December 1, 2003

Endorses the distribution of the expected savings of the resources of the federal budget for the year 2003. Main administrators and administrators of the resources of the federal budget are permitted to redistribute the limits of budget obligations within the allocated limits of the budget obligations according to the economic classification of expenses of the budget of the Russian Federation 110100 "Labour Remuneration", 110200 "Charges on the Labour Remuneration Fund (Uniform Social Tax) Including Tariff Rates for Obligatory Social Insurance against Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases", 110400 "Business Trips", 110700 "Payment for Communal Services", 130300 "Transfers to Population" including subheadings and elements of expenses while preserving budget classification codes.
In the IV quarter of 2003, the granting of interest-free budget loans to the budgets of the subjects of the Russian Federation to cover temporary cash gaps in the execution of the budgets is permitted for the Ministry of Finance of Russia for the additional amount of up to Rbl 500 million at the expense of resources received in the federal budget from the return of the earlier granted budget loans.

Main Directions of the Uniform State Monetary and Credit Policy for the Year 2004 (Approved by the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Russia on November 3, 2003)

The Bank of Russia forecasts opportunities of macroeconomic development of the country in 2004 following two possible scenarios.
The first one proceeds from the average annual US dollar rate of Rbl 31.7 and the price for oil of USD 18.5 per barrel. Thus, the first option implies that the interest rates for the assets nominated in dollars will rise eventually, the dollar falling will stop, and the mutual exchange rates for the main world currencies will stabilise.
According to the second scenario, the average US dollar rate equals Rbl 31.3 with the price for oil being USD 22 per barrel. The second option implies that interest rates for the main world currencies preserve at the low level, with the dollar remaining weak against the leading world currencies. The second scenario figures are used for the federal budget of 2004.
In 2004, credit organisations will have to provide financial reports according to the international standards of financial reports by transforming the reports drawn up to the Russia rules while applying the professional judgement method and necessary corrections. Financial reports drawn up in such a way will not be used in 2004-2005 to define the bank enforcement regime and applied enforcement reaction measures. It will be used as a basis to assess possible impact of approaches envisaged in the international standards of financial reports on individual figures of activities of credit organisations. Meanwhile, the Bank of Russia will continue its work to improve the reports submitted by credit organisations to the Bank of Russia for enforcement purposes (prudential reports) in view of the switch over to the international standards of financial reports.

Letter of the State Construction Committee of the Russian Federation No. NK-7224/10 of November 10, 2003 on the Entry into Force of the New Estimate and Normative Price-Forming Basis of 2001 in Construction

The State Construction Committee of Russia thinks it necessary to recommend application of the new normatives in the determination of the cost of construction products regardless of the sources of financing. After getting an appropriate order of the Government of the Russian Federation, the State Construction Committee of Russia will send explanations to users on the procedure of application of the documents of the new estimate and normative basis.

Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation No. 389-O of October 16, 2003 on the Refusal to Accept for Consideration the Appeal of Citizen V.F.Starokozhev against Violation of His Constitutional Rights by Paragraph 3 of Article 11 of the Patent Law of the Russian Federation

The applicant challenged the norm of the Patent Law of the Russian Federation stating that a scientific investigation or experiment on a patent-protected device containing an invention, useful model or industrial prototype are not regarded as a violation of the exclusive right of the patent holder. According to the applicant, the practice of the courts of general jurisdiction contradicts Article 44 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation on the legal protection of intellectual property since it permits to obtain profit (incomes) by persons carrying out scientific experiments or research on a device containing an invention.
According to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, the challenged norm does not imply economic use of the patent-protected invention by third parties in the course of a scientific experiment on a device containing an invention.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 731 of December 4, 2003 on the Validity till January 1, 2006 of the Passports of the Citizen of the USSR of 1974 for Certain Categories of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons

Prolongs till January 1, 2006 the validity of the passport of the citizen of the USSR of 1974 serving as a personal identification document for the foreign citizens possessing the citizenship of the USSR, having arrived to the Russian Federation from the former USSR states and registered at the place of residence in the Russian Federation as of July 1, 2002 for permanent living in the Russian Federation.
Besides, the mentioned passports are recognised as valid for stateless persons possessing the citizenship of the USSR and having arrived to the Russian Federation from the former USSR states registered as of November 1, 2002 or having received the temporary residence permission in the Russian Federation for stay, temporary or permanent living in the Russian Federation.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 730 of December 2, 2003 on Additional Measures to Arrange the Management of the Resources of Accumulated Pensions

Endorses the typical contract for the services of a specialised depositary for the resources of accumulated pensions of the insured persons failing to enjoy the right of choice of the investment portfolio (management company) or of a non-state pension fund. Also provides the form of the typical contract of trust management of the resources of accumulated pensions concluded between the Pension Fund of Russia and the state management company.
Effective period of the contract of trust management of the resources of accumulated pensions concluded by the Pension Fund of Russia with the Foreign Trade Bank makes 5 years. Till January 1, 2005, the reward paid out to the Foreign Trade Bank under the contact of trust management of the resources of accumulated pensions makes 10% of the incomes obtained from investing the resources of accumulated pensions received by the state management company for the reported year.

Operative Direction of the Central Bank of Russia No. 165-T of November 27, 2003 on the Form of the Agreement on the Execution by the Clearing Centre of the Organised Securities Market of the Functions of the Authorised Clearing Centre of the Organised Securities Market When Clearing Payments in Deposit Transactions Conducted by the Bank of Russia with Credit Organisations Using the Electronic Tender System of the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange

Provides the form of the agreement suggested for conclusion by a territorial institution of the Bank of Russia at the place of opening of correspondent accounts of clearing centres of the organised securities market (except for the Moscow Territorial Directorate of the Bank of Russia) to the clearing centres of the organised securities market (except for the Clearing Chamber of the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange).

Operative Direction of the Central Bank of Russia No. 166-T of November 27, 2003 on the Form of the General Deposit Agreement on the Deposit Transactions Conducted in the Currency of the Russian Federation Using the Electronic Tender System of the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange

Operative Direction of the Central Bank of Russia No. 166-T of November 27, 2003 on the Form of the General Deposit Agreement on the Deposit Transactions Conducted in the Currency of the Russian Federation Using the Electronic Tender System of the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange

Federal Law No. 163-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Amendments to Some of the Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation on Taxes and Fees

The debts in insurance contributions to the state social non-budgetary funds available with organisations as of January 1, 2001, accrued penalties and fines are recognised as desperate and are written off according to the procedure specified by the Government of the Russian Federation.
Increases from Rbl 2,000 to Rbl 5,000 the amount of payments (contributions) exempted from the income tax from natural persons under voluntary pension insurance contacts concluded by employers for their employees.
Abandons from January 1, 2004 additional exemptions from the profit tax for individual categories of taxpayers implementing investment projects under investment contracts introduced by the subjects of the Russian Federation and representative bodies of local government as of July 1, 2001.
Specifies the duty of the tax agents to pay the value added tax simultaneously with the payment (transfer) of the monetary resources to foreign entities not registered in the tax bodies when they sell works (services) on the territory of the Russian Federation.
Profit tax does not apply to resources obtained in 2003 to build the Russian Fund of Technological Development, as well as other industry sectoral and intersectoral funds of financing of scientific research and design works formed under the auspices of the federal bodies of executive power.
The Federal Law is entered into force from January 1, 2004 with exceptions.

Federal Law No. 160-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Amendment to Article 3 of the Federal Law on the Entry into Force of the Land Code of the Russian Federation

Extends till January 1, 2006 the time limits for obligatory re-registration of the right of permanent (unlimited) use for the land plots as property or leasing for legal entities.

Federal Law No. 159-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Amendments to the Law of the Russian Federation on the Customs Tariff and the Federal Law on the Amendments to Part 2 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation and Individual Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation

Omits the provision stating that for commodities of oil, the limiting rates of export customs duties are fixed in the amount not greater than 90% of the limiting rate of export customs duties for crude oil. Thus, the Government of the Russian Federation gets an opportunity to operatively change the rates of export customs duties for oil products and regulate the volumes of export of these products taking into account the seasonal fluctuations of the demand and internal market supply.
The Federal Law is entered into force one month after the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 158-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Amendments to Articles 24, 158 and 160 of the Budget Code of the Russian Federation

Refines the notion of the main administrator of the budget resources. Specifies that the most significant budget-supported institutions of science, education, culture, public health and mass media may distribute the resources of the federal budget among subordinate administrators and recipients of the budget resources. The list of such main administrators is endorsed by the federal law on the federal budget for the subsequent fiscal year.
The Federal Law is entered into force from January 1, 2005.

Federal Law No. 157-FZ of December 6, 2003 on the Ratification of the Agreement on the Legal Status of Officials and Employees of the Bodies of the Commonwealth of Independent States

Ratifies the Agreement signed in Moscow on April 25, 2003. According to the Agreement, the officials and employees of the bodies of the Commonwealth endorsed by the member-states have the status of international servants. When executing official functions, the officials and employees of the bodies of the Commonwealth may not request or get directions from the bodies of power or officials of the parties, as well as from authorities of the states, other than participants of the present Agreement.

Federal Law No. 156-FZ of December 6, 2003 on the Ratification of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Australia on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Evasion of the Income Taxes

Ratifies the Agreement signed in Canberra on September 7, 2000. The Agreement applies to the profit tax from organisations and the income tax from natural persons in Russia and in Australia - to the income tax and the rent tax on resources of offshore projects pertaining to surveys and development of oil resources collected in compliance with the federal legislation of Australia.

Federal Law No. 155-FZ of December 6, 2003 on the Budget of the Federal Fund of Obligatory Medical Insurance for the Year 2004

Endorses the budget of the Federal Fund of Obligatory Medical Insurance for the year 2004 with incomes amounting to Rbl 6,406.2 million and expenses amounting to Rbl 6,391.2 million.
Specifies the normalised insurance reserve of financial resources of the Fund for the year 2004 in the amount of Rbl 400 million. The mentioned resources are reserved for the cases of critical situations of financing of the programs of obligatory medical insurance and are not free financial resources.
The Federal Law is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation of December 8, 2003 on the Case of Constitutionality of the Provisions of Articles 125, 219, 227, 229, 236, 237, 239, 246, 254, 271, 378, 405 and 408, As Well As Chapters 35 and 39 of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation Pursuant to the Requests of the Courts of General Jurisdiction and Appeals of Citizens

The applicants challenged a number of provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation defining the consequences of revocation of the accusation or change of the accusation by the state prosecutor in the first instance court and regulating the content of decisions taken by the judges of the first, cassation and enforcement instances when they reveal violation of the law in the course of the preliminary investigation.
The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation recognised as not complying with the Constitution of the Russian Federation Part 4 of Article 237 of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation. The general jurisdiction court, while processing the case, may return it to the prosecutor at the request of a party or at the own initiative to eliminate the encumbrances if there were significant pre-trial violations of the law of criminal procedures that cannot be removed in the court proceedings and if the return of the case to the prosecutor is not a rework of incomplete preliminary investigation. In this case, elimination of the available violations implies implementation of the necessary investigation and other procedural actions. The revealed meaning is obligatory to all and excludes any other interpretation in judicial practice. Therefore, Part 1 of Article 237 of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation is recognised as not contradicting the Constitution of the Russian Federa tion.
Also unconstitutional is recognised Part 9 of Article 246 of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation. If the state prosecutor revokes the accusation in the course of preliminary hearings, the court must decide to dismiss the criminal case. A full or partial revocation of the accusation by the state prosecutor in the course of court proceedings, as well as its mitigation, predetermines an appropriate decision taken by the court. In this case, the prosecutor must provide the motives of the revocation of the accusation to the court, citing the reasons envisaged in the law. Proceeding form the revealed meaning, the provisions of Parts 7 and 8 of Article 246 and Item 2 of Article 254 of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation are recognised as not contradicting the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
Provision of Part 7 of Article 236 of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation preventing from appealing against the court decision taken as a result of the preliminary hearings to suspend the case proceedings has no legal force from the moment of adoption and may not apply as containing a regulation recognised as unconstitutional.
Where it pertains to the constitutionality of the rest of the examined articles, proceedings were stopped, with the criminal cases of applicants to be resolved taking into account the adopted Decision.
The Decision is entered into force immediately after annunciation.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 735 of December 5, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Regulation on the Licensing of Activities of Non-State Pension Funds in Pension Support and Pension Insurance

Defines the procedure of licensing of activities in non-state pension support of the fund participants in compliance with the contracts of non-state pension support, activities of an insurant in obligatory pension insurance and in professional pension insurance. The licensing body is the Ministry of Labour of the Russian Federation.
Lists the licensing requirements and terms, in particular, the need to have property with the fund with the monetary value of at least Rbl 3 million, at least Rbl 30 million from January 1, 2005 and at least Rbl 50 million from July 1, 2009. In this case, the total contributions of the fund founders in monetary resources must be at least Rbl 3 million, at least Rbl 30 million from January 1, 2005.
The license for activities of a non-state pension fund in pension support and pension insurance not limited in time.

Direction of the Central Bank of Russia No. 1347-U of December 1, 2003 on the Adjustment of Individual Acts of the Bank of Russia

Pursuant to the entry into force from December 20, 2003 of the Instruction of the Bank of Russia No. 105-I of August 25, 2003 on the procedure of checking of credit organisations (their branches) by authorised representatives of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, brings in compliance with it a number of acts of the Bank of Russia regulating the procedure of checking of credit organisations.
The Direction is entered into force 10 days after the day of its official publication in the Herald of the Bank of Russia.

Direction of the Central Bank of Russia No. 1324-U of August 25, 2003 on the Invalidation of the Instruction of the Bank of Russia No. 34 of February 19, 1996 on the Procedure of Checking of Credit Organisations and Their Branches by Authorised Representatives of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia)

From December 20, 2003, invalidates the Instruction of the Bank of Russia No. 34 of February 19, 1996 on the procedure of checking of credit organisations and their branches by authorised representatives of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia). Beginning with the same date, enters into force the homonymous Instruction of the Bank of Russia No. 105-I of August 25, 2003.
The Direction is entered into force 10 days after the day of its official publication in the Herald of the Bank of Russia.

Federal Law No. 170-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Amendments to the Federal Law on Arms

The Law is extended to include the new article stating that awarded arms may be obtained by the citizens of the Russian Federation as an award on the basis of a decree of the President of the Russian Federation, decision of the Government of the Russian Federation, award papers of the heads of foreign states and heads of governments of foreign states, as well as on the basis of orders of the heads of the state paramilitary organisations. Permission to keep and carry awarded arms is issued by the bodies of internal affairs at the place of residence. To get the mentioned permission, the citizens of the Russian Federation not being servicemen and employees of state paramilitary organisations must present to the bodies of internal affairs medical statement (earlier, the mentioned requirement was not present).
The selling, donation and inheriting of combat short-barrel awarded small arms are not permitted.

Federal Law No. 169-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Amendments to Some of the Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation, As Well As on Invalidation of Legislative Acts of the RSFSR

The amendments are introduced in some of the legislative acts (Laws on the state duty, on banks and banking activities, on the state registration of legal entities, Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, Code of Administrative Violations of the Russian Federation and other) to ensure implementation of the procedure of state registration of independent entrepreneurs.
The RSFSR Law No. 2000-1 of December 7, 1991 on the registration fee from natural persons engaged in entrepreneurial activities and procedure of their registration is invalidated.
The Federal Law is entered into force from January 1, 2004 with exceptions.

Federal Law No. 168-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Amendments to the Federal Law on the Budget of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation for the Year 2003

Changes the structure of expenses for pension support for the year 2003. The changes pertain to additional payments in 2003 for obligatory medical insurance of non-working pensioners receiving old-age labour pensions.
Also introduces appropriate changes to the Fund budget because of the need to finance expenses for technical support of the measures to inform the insured persons of the balance of their individual personal accounts, accepting and processing of applications pertaining to obligatory pension insurance.

Federal Law No. 167-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Insurance Tariff Rates for Obligatory Social Insurance against Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases for the Year 2004

In 2004, insurance contributions for obligatory social insurance against industrial accidents and occupational diseases are paid by the insurer according to the procedure and tariff rates specified in the Federal Law No. 17-FZ of February 12, 2001.
The Federal Law is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Federal Law No. 164-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Fundamentals of State Regulation of Foreign Trade Activities

Defines the fundamentals of state regulation of foreign trade activities, authority of the Russian Federation and the subjects of the Russian Federation in the foreign trade sphere to ensure favourable conditions for the foreign trade activities, as well as protection of economic and political interests of the Russian Federation.
Refines delimitation of the sphere of reference between the Russian Federation and the subjects of the Russian Federation, between the bodies of federal power in the foreign trade sphere.
Refines definitions of the main notions (foreign trade activities, import and export) and introduces a number of new ones (international transit, free trade zone, customs union).
Specifies the fundamentals of state regulation of foreign trade activities on the basis of customs tariff and non-tariff methods, as well as prohibitions and restrictions pertaining to services and intellectual property, and measures of economic and administrative nature.
The Federal Law is entered into force six months after the day of its official publication with exceptions.

Federal Law No. 162-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

The amendments envisage age differentiation of juvenile delinquents (14-16 years, 17-18 years) defining the maximum terms of detention as six and ten years respectively regardless of the maximum punishment envisaged in the Article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Accordingly, provisions of Chapter 14 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation are corrected: imprisonment may not apply for the first minor and average-degree crime committed at the age of up to 16 and minor crime committed at the age of 16-18.
The grounds qualifying the actions of the culprit as a dangerous or especially dangerous repeated offence have changed. Article 18 now does not contain references to minor crimes. A uniform criteria is adopted to administer a heavier punishment in any repeated offence - at least one third of the maximum term of the heaviest punishment envisaged for the committed crime. Also, an opportunity to apply the rules specified in Article 64 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation assigning the punishment below the lowest limit is envisaged.
Not regarded as an excess of the limits of the necessary defence are the actions of the defending person if this person could not assess objectively the degree and nature of the assault because of its unexpectedness.
Such punishment as property confiscation is replaced with a fine as an additional punishment.
Fine amounts are expressed in absolute monetary figures, not minimum labour remuneration equivalent. The fine is collected proceeding from the earnings or other incomes of the convict.
Opportunities to administer corrective labour are enlarged, not only at the place of work of the convict but also in places defined by the bodies of local government in coordination with the bodies in charge of the execution of the punishment.
The Law refines the procedure of administration of the punishment in cases of combined crimes envisaged in Article 69 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The principle of absorption of a less severe punishment by a more severe one applies to average degree crimes, with the obligatory full or partial cumulative sentence applied only in cases of heavy or especially heavy crimes.
A number of changes are introduced in the Special Part of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation on acquisitive crimes are supplemented with new qualifying signs, with the maximum sanctions for mischance crimes being reduced.
The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation now does not contain Articles 182 "Advertising Known to Be False" and 200 "Consumer Deceit". Responsibility for these deeds is envisaged in the Code of Administrative Violations of the Russian Federation. If the consumer deceit is assessed in excess of Rbl 500, it is to be qualified under Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation envisaged for fraudulent activities.
Criminal responsibility is envisaged for the failure to execute the duties of a tax agent and for the concealing of the monetary resources or property of an organisation or independent entrepreneur expected to be used for collection of taxes and/or fees.
Significant changes apply to the articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation envisaging responsibility for illegal trafficking of narcotic substances. The new wording of these norms contains legislative criteria defining the large and especially large quantity of narcotic substances.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication with exceptions.

Federal Law No. 161-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Bringing of the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation and Other Legislative Acts in Compliance with the Federal Law on the Amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

The Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation reflects the changes pertaining to the General and the Special Parts of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. In particular, since Articles 182, 200 and 265 are excluded from the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, and Articles 199.1, 228.1 and 228.2 are added, and the structure of a number of other articles changed, there are adjustments introduced in the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation pertaining to admissibility of criminal cases of the mentioned crimes.
Since such type of punishment as property confiscation is excluded from the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, appropriate changes are introduced in the Code of Criminal Procedures of the Russian Federation, Criminal Execution Code of the Russian Federation, as well as the Federal Law on execution procedures. The new wording of Articles 31 and 32 of the Criminal Execution Code of the Russian Federation envisages introduction of execution of punishment in the form of a fine payment by instalments. The grounds to acknowledge the convict as avoiding the fine is the failure to pay within 30 days from the moment of entry of the sentence in legal force the full fine amount or the failure to pay on the monthly basis the fine amount specified by the court if there is an instalment schedule.
Since there are changes in the terms of administering of corrective labour, especially for the citizens without a permanent place of residence, in the places defined by the bodies of local government in coordination with the bodies in charge of the execution of the punishment in the place of residence of the convict, appropriate changes are introduced in Chapter 7 of the Criminal Execution Code of the Russian Federation "Execution of the Punishment in the Form of Corrective Labour".
A number of changes introduced in the Criminal Execution Code of the Russian Federation are aimed at mitigation of the terms of punishment in the form of imprisonment. In particular, more opportunities to use telephone communication are envisaged for the convicts, the number of meetings is increased (depending on the regime of the corrective institution).
Since Article 200 "Consumer Deceit" is excluded from the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, the punishment for the respective administrative violation envisaged in Article 14.7 of the Code of Administrative Violations of the Russian Federation is made more stringent. To increase the responsibility for the failure to pay the administrative fine, the changes are introduced in Article 20.25 of the Code of Administrative Violations of the Russian Federation envisaging an administrative fine in double the amount of the unpaid administrative fine or an administrative arrest for up to fifteen days.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication with exceptions.

Order of the Ministry of Taxation of the Russian Federation No. BG-3-02/614 of November 11, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Form of the Declaration for the Profit Tax from Organisations

Endorses the new form of the declaration for the profit tax from organisations.
The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 4, 2003. Reg. No. 5294.

Instruction of the Central Bank of Russia No. 108-I of December 1, 2003 on the Organisation of Inspection Activities of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia)

Specifies the uniform procedure of complex and thematic checks of credit organisations (their branches), defines particulars of checking of execution of the normatives of obligatory reserves, operations with foreign currencies in cash, as well as the checking of branches and representations of authorised banks abroad.
Creates a complex mechanism of interaction of credit organisations and authorised representatives of the Bank of Russia in the course of checks of credit organisations (their branches). The new procedure increases requirements to the quality of the results of the checks and emphasises the qualitative assessment on the basis of a motivated judgment of the system of risk management and organisation of internal control, financial standing and prospects of work of credit organisations rather than revealing drawbacks, violations and incorrect records (reports) of credit organisations.
Specifies requirements to the procedure of planning and organisation of extraordinary checks of credit organisations (their branches), defines procedures of organisation of repeated checks of credit organisations (their branches).
The Instruction is entered into force 10 days after the day of official publication in the Herald of the Bank of Russia. The text of the Instruction has been published in the Herald of the Bank of Russia on December 9, 2003, No. 67.

Order of the Ministry of Taxation of the Russian Federation No. AS-3-29/486 of September 3, 2003 on the Amendments to the Order of the Ministry of Taxation of Russia No. BG-3-29/159 of April 2, 2003

Changes the procedure of sending of the tax payment demand, taking the decision to collect the tax, fee, as well as the penalty, at the expense of the monetary resources of the taxpayer organisation or tax agent organisation on the bank accounts and decision to suspend operations on taxpayer (payer of fees) or tax agent bank accounts. Excludes the provision stating that if the court usher returns the decision of the tax body on the collection of the tax (fee), as well as the penalty, unexecuted because of the violation of the time limit specified for submission of the execution document, impossibility to find the address or absence of property with the debtor, the tax body implements a complex of measures to initiate the bankruptcy procedure.

Federal Law No. 166-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Budget of the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation for the Year 2004

For 2004, extends the norm stating that the maximum amount of the temporary disability and maternity allowance for the full calendar month may not be greater than Rbl 11,700.
In 2004, preserves the provision stating that the amount of the monthly insurance payment calculated in compliance with the Law on obligatory social insurance against industrial accidents and occupational diseases may not be greater than Rbl 30,000.
In 2004, preserves the amount of the monetary compensation paid out in compliance with the Law on the social protection of citizens exposed to radiation because of the disaster at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station to replace the accommodation for sanatoria and resort treatment.
Also preserves the provision stating that the resources of the obligatory social insurance against industrial accidents and occupational diseases will be used to pay for the expenses of an outside special medical care for the insured in the amount of Rbl 900 per month and expenses for outside household services for the insured in the amount of Rbl 225 per month.
Specifies the amount of resources of obligatory social insurance allocated to pay out the cost of accommodations for the children of the insured persons.
In 2004, the amount of the lumpsum insurance payment under obligatory social insurance against industrial accidents and occupational diseases is determined depending on the degree of professional disability of the insured proceeding from the amount of Rbl 30,000. In case of death of the insured, the lumpsum insurance payment is fixed in the amount of Rbl 30,000.
The Federal Law is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 743 of December 9, 2003 on the Fixing of the Transfer Points across the State Border of the Russian Federation for the Arrival to the Customs Territory of the Russian Federation of Alcoholic Products and Tobacco Items

Lists the points of transfer across the state border of alcoholic products (codes according to the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature of the Russian Federation 2204-2206 00, 2208, except for 2208 90 910 0 and 2208 90 990 0) and tobacco items (codes according to the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature of the Russian Federation 2402 10 000 0, 2402 20, 2403 10 except for the tobacco raw materials used for industrial production of tobacco items) imported by the highway, air, railway and sea (river) transport.
The Decision is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 742 of December 9, 2003 on the Non-Application of the Rate of Import Customs Duty for the Glass for Sight-Correction Spectacles

The rate of the import customs duty in the amount of 10% of the customs cost does not apply to the glass for sight-correction spectacles (code according to the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature of the Russian Federation 7015 10 000 0).
The Decision is entered into force one month after the day of its official publication for 9 months.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 741 of December 9, 2003 on the Rate of the Import Customs Duty for Rigid Aluminium Cylinder Containers Not Greater Than 1 Litre in Capacity

The earlier fixed for 9 months rate of the import customs duty for rigid aluminium cylinder containers with capacity not greater than 1 litre (code according to the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature 7612 90 100 1) remains in force from December 11, 2003 on the permanent basis. The rate amounts to 20% of the customs cost, however, not less than EUR 22 per 1,000 pieces.

Order of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation No. 111n of December 4, 2003 on the Prolongation of the Order of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation No. 9n of February 2, 1999 on the Endorsement of the Rules of Drawing up and Issue in 1999 of the Permissions to Open Accounts for Organisations Financed from the Federal Budget to Register Resources Obtained from Entrepreneurial and Other Profitable Activities

Effective period of the mentioned Order is extended for the year 2004 where it pertains to the procedure of drawing up and issue by the federal treasury bodies of the Ministry of Finance of Russia of permissions to open accounts in the divisions of the payment network of the Bank of Russia and credit organisations on the Balance Accounts 40503 and 40302.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 8, 2003. Reg. No. 5311.

Order of the Ministry of Communication of the Russian Federation No. 136 of November 24, 2003 on the Extension of the List of Officials of the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Communication and Informatisation Authorised to Draw up the Protocols of Administrative Violations

The mentioned list includes other officials of the bodies of state supervision of the communication and informatisation in the Russian Federation in charge of the supervision of the communication and informatisation begin state inspectors in charge of supervision of the communication and informatisation in the Russian Federation ex officio.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 8, 2003. Reg. No. 5309.

Order of the Ministry of Labour of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation No. 288/349/917 of November 21, 2003 on the Allocation among the Subjects of the Russian Federation of the Endorsed by the Government of the Russian Federation for the Year 2004 Quota of Invitations to Enter the Russian Federation for Employment Purposes Issued to Foreign Citizens

Specifies the distribution for the year 2004 of the quota of invitations to enter the Russian Federation for employment purposes issued to foreign citizens.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 8, 2003. Reg. No. 5308.

Order of the State Customs Committee of the Russian Federation No. 1271 of November 12, 2003 on the Procedure of Carrying out of Individual Customs Operations in Cases of Application of the Duty-Free Trade Customs Regime and on Obligatory Requirements to the Outfit of the Warehouses of the Duty Free Shop

The owner of the duty free shop shall notify in advance of the time of opening of it the customs station covering the region of the transfer point across the border where the duty free shop is opened. The notification is submitted in writing drawn up according to a free form as a rule no later than 15 days in advance of the day (date) of opening. The owner of the shop shall submit at least once in three calendar months the reports drawn up to the attached form of commodities placed under the duty free trade customs regime and sold in the duty free shop, as well as of commodities with the duty free trade customs regime being changed for another customs regime.
The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 5, 2003. Reg. No. 5301.

Order of the State Customs Committee of the Russian Federation No. 1215 of October 29, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Regulation on the Procedure of Certification of the Employees of the Customs Bodies of the Russian Federation

Defines the procedure of certification of the employees of the customs bodies of the Russian Federation and regulates the activities of certification commissions of the customs bodies of the Russian Federation and organisations of the State Customs Committee of the Russian Federation. Subsequent certification of the employees of the customs bodies for conformity with the occupied position is arranged no oftener than once in two years, however, at least once in four years. The Order lists the categories of employees exempted from certification.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 5, 2003. Reg. No. 5299.

Decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation of December 15, 2003 on the Case of Constitutionality of Individual Provisions of the Law of the Ivanovo Province on the Municipal Service of the Ivanovo Province Pursuant to the Request of the Legislative Assembly of the Ivanovo Province

Examines individual provisions of the Law of the Ivanovo Province on the municipal service of the Ivanovo Province earlier recognised by the courts of general jurisdiction as contradicting the federal legislation and not applicable.
The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation recognised Subitem 4 of Item 3 of Article 42 of the Law as complying with the Constitution of the Russian Federation inasmuch as it specifies opportunities to dismiss a municipal servant in cases of conviction not permitting to continue previous work and not complying with the Constitution of the Russian Federation inasmuch as it specifies opportunities to dismiss a municipal servant in cases of conviction permitting to continue previous work.
Subitem 7 of Item 3 of Article 42 of the Law is recognised as complying with the Constitution of the Russian Federation inasmuch as it specifies opportunities to dismiss a municipal servant because of insufficient qualification confirmed by a certification and not complying with the Constitution of the Russian Federation inasmuch as it specifies opportunities to dismiss a municipal servant in cases of mistrust expressed by the representative body of local government.
The Decision is entered into force immediately after annunciation.

Federal Law No. 174-FZ of December 10, 2003 on the State Registration of the Issues of Stocks Placed before the Entry into Force of the Federal Law on the Securities Market without the State Registration

The documents for the state registration of the mentioned issues of stocks must be presented no later than within one year from the day of entry into force of the present Law. The absence of the state registration of the issue of stocks may not serve as an obstacle for liquidation or transformation of the joint-stock company if the decision on its liquidation or transformation was taken before the end of this period. If the joint-stock companies fail to present within the mentioned time the documents for the state registration of the issue of stocks, they must be liquidated under the lawsuits of the bodies in charge of the state registration of legal entities.
The state registration is arranged simultaneously with the state registration of the reports of the results of issue of these stocks. The body in charge of the registration must register the issue and the report of the results of issue of stocks or take a motivated decision to refuse their state registration no later than within 60 days from the date of receiving of all necessary documents.
The Law specifies that the deals serving as grounds for the purchase of these securities may not be recognised as invalid because of the absence of the state registration.
The Federal Law is entered into force 10 days after the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 173-FZ of December 10, 2003 on the Currency Regulation and Currency Control

The Law is aimed at liberalisation of the currency legislation and envisages a significant mitigation of the procedures of state regulation and control for currency operations.
Refines the notions of the foreign currency and the currency of the Russian Federation, residents, non-residents, authorised banks. Introduces the notions of internal and external securities, special account, reservation and currency exchanges.
Specifies that currency values include only foreign currencies and external securities. Thus, the list of the types of property recognised as currency values excludes precious metals and stones.
Provides a new definition of the notion of the currency operation: such operations now include the actions aimed at execution or other termination of obligations with currency values and their use as a means of payment, as well as in other cases implying the transfer of the property rights. Currency operations are also considered to be similar actions with the currency of the Russian Federation and internal securities if they are involve non-residents.
The new Law does not envisage differentiation of the currency operations between the current ones and the ones pertaining to capital flow. If the procedure of currency operations and the use of accounts is not specified by the bodies of currency regulation, the currency operations are carried out, the accounts are opened and the operations on the accounts are carried out without restrictions. Currency operations between the residents and non-residents are carried out without restrictions except for a number of currency operations with restrictions specified for the purposes of prevention of a significant reduction of the gold and currency reserves, sharp fluctuations of the rate of the currency of the Russian Federation, as well as to maintain the stability of the balance of payments of the Russian Federation. The mentioned restrictions are of a non-discriminatory nature and shall be abandoned by the bodies of currency regulation as soon as the circumstances causing them are removed. The limiting period of th eir effect is January 1, 2007.
It is not permitted to specify the demand on the part of the bodies of currency regulation to obtain individual permissions by residents and non-residents. Besides, it is not permitted to specify the demand on the part of the bodies of currency regulation on the preliminary registration except for a number of cases.
The Law contains the general rule prohibiting to commit currency operations in foreign currencies between residents. At the same time, there is a list of currency operations that may be committed between residents. For the first time, defines legislatively also the list of currency operations carried out without restrictions between residents and authorised banks, which is not a final one and may be extended by the Bank of Russia.
The Law introduces the right of the residents to open without restrictions accounts in the banks located on the territory of foreign OECD or FATF member-states according to the notification procedure and - in other cases - according to the procedure specified by the Bank of Russia which may imply preliminary registration. Legal entities will enjoy this right only one year after the Law is entered into force.
Provides a detailed description of the procedure of preliminary registration including the exhaustive list of the documents submitted by the residents and non-residents and the time limits for consideration of applications for the preliminary registration, as well as describes the reasons of refusal of the preliminary registration.
Preserves the requirement on the repatriation of the currency receipts and their subsequent obligatory sale combined with opportunities of regulation of the procedure of purchase and sale of foreign currencies at the internal currency market. The amount of the obligatory sale of the part of the currency receipts did not change.
From January 1, 2007, the norm on the notification procedure of opening/closing of accounts will apply to all accounts opened by the residents in the banks located on the territory of foreign states.
The Federal Law is entered into force 6 months after the day of its official publication with exceptions.

Federal Law No. 172-FZ of December 10, 2003 on the Amendments to the Law of the Russian Federation on the Organisation of Insurance Work in the Russian Federation and on Invalidation of Some of the legislative Acts of the Russian Federation

Introduces fundamental notions of the insurance market: insurance, insurance activities.
Specifies that the objects of the personal insurance may be proprietary interests pertaining to life insurance, as well as to insurance against industrial accidents and diseases, medical insurance. The objects of the proprietary insurance may be proprietary interests pertaining to property insurance, insurance of civil responsibility and insurance of entrepreneurial risks.
Increases the share of participation of foreign capital in the registered capitals of insurance organisations (from 15% to 25%) being branches of foreign investors (parent organisations) or possessing a share of foreign investors in its registered capital greater than 49% when the body of insurance enforcement stops the issue of the licenses.
Introduces new participants of the insurance market - insurance actuaries. These may be the citizens of the Russian Federation possessing a qualification certificate and carrying out activities on the basis of a labour contract or civil contract with the insurer in calculation of insurance tariff rates, insurance reserves of the insurer, assessment of his investment projects using actuary estimates.
Specifies principles and requirements to the licensing of insurance activities.
The authorised body is empowered with the keeping of the Uniform State Insurance Register which, together with insurers, associations of insurers and insurance brokers, will contain information also on other professional participants of the insurance market - mutual insurance companies, insurance actuaries.
The Law introduces the norms aimed at improvement of the system of supervision of insurance activities. Defines: the system of organisation, main functions, sphere of reference of the state insurance enforcement in the Russian Federation, as well as the issues of coordination of activities with the ministries and agencies of the Russian Federation, bodies of executive power of the subjects of the Russian Federation where it pertains to the insurance methodology, as well as control over execution of the insurance legislation of the Russian Federation.
The earlier created insurance organisations must build their registered capitals according to the new terms of ensuring financial stability of insurers using the following procedure: before July 1, 2004 - up to 1/3 of the specified amount of the registered capital, before July 1, 2006 - up to 2/3 and before July 1, 2007 - the specified amount of the registered capital. Insurance organisations failing to fulfil the mentioned requirements will have their licenses revoked without appropriate directive by the body of insurance enforcement from July 1 of the appropriate year.
The Federal Law is entered into force 30 days after the day of its official publication with exceptions.

Federal Law No. 171-FZ of December 10, 2003 on the Amendments to the Forestry Code of the Russian Federation

Refines the reasons and procedure of transfer of the forestry lands into the non-forestry lands and the lands of the forestry fund into the lands of other categories. The Forestry Code of the Russian Federation is also being brought in compliance with the Land Code of the Russian Federation.
Articles 66 and 123 are extended to include the norms restricting opportunities to build immovable property on the land plots of the forestry fund, other structures and specifying as an obligatory prerequisite for obtaining the permission for such construction the presence of the positive statement of the State Ecological Expert Commission. The area of the occupied plot of the forestry fund may not be greater than 10% of the total area of the plot of the forestry fund allocated for cultural and recreational, tourist and sports purposes.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Decision of the Plenum of the Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation No. 19 of November 18, 2003 on Some Issues of Application of the Federal Law on Joint-Stock Companies

Explains individual issues pertaining to application by the courts of arbitration of the Federal Law on joint-stock companies taking into account the latest amendments. The review reflects the issues pertaining to the sphere of application of the mentioned Law, procedure of institution of the joint-stock company and changing of its type, procedure of resolving of the disputes pertaining to the building of the registered capital of the company and providing for the rights of stock-holders, invalidation of the decisions of the management bodies of the company and other issues.

Order of the Ministry for Antimonopoly Policy of the Russian Federation No. 404 of November 25, 2003 on the Amendments to the Rules of Examination of the Cases of Violation of the Antimonopoly Legislation

As the grounds for the initiation and examination of the cases, decision making and issue of orders of the antimonopoly body may serve presentations of the bodies, applications of organisations and natural persons, as well as initiative of the antimonopoly body.
The Order introduces the right of the bodies or organisations (their officials) empowered with the functions or rights of the bodies of executive power and local government to apply to court of law or court of arbitration to invalidate fully or partly the decisions and orders of the antimonopoly body.
Reduces two times the time limits of appealing against a decision or order of the antimonopoly body. Now, the mentioned time limit makes three months from the day of adoption or issue of the decision or order.
Specifies an exhaustive list of the reasons of suspension of execution of the decision or order of the antimonopoly body. In other cases, submission of the application does not suspend execution of the mentioned decisions and the order (earlier, the suspension was initiated in all cases).
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 10, 2003. Reg. No. 5325.

Order of the Ministry of the Russian Federation for the Press, TV and Radio Broadcasting No. 214 of October 7, 2003 on the Endorsement of the List of the Minimum Necessary Works (Services) in Organisations of the Press, TV and Radio Broadcasting and Means of Mass Communication Providing during Strikes for the Public Order, Preservation of the Property of the Organisation and Employees, As Well As Machines and Equipment Which Imply a Direct Hazard to the Life and Health of People If Stopped

The mentioned list includes the works in electric power, heat, water and gas supplies for the enterprises and social objects, works to ensure the fire safety at the object, preservation of material values of the enterprise, documents, as well as employees. Besides, the list includes the issues of the official all-Russia and regional daily newspapers, issues of official election documentation and issues of the daily information TV and radio programs.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 10, 2003. Reg. No. 5324.

Order of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation No. 310 of December 5, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Specimens of the Documents Necessary for the State Registration of a Political Party and Its Regional Division

Endorses the new specimens of the following documents: decision of the constituent congress of the political party, decision of the congress of the all-Russia public organisation (movement), protocol of the general meeting of the founding of the regional division of the political party and the protocol of the conference of the transformation of the regional division of the all-Russia public organisation.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 10, 2003. Reg. No. 5319.

Regulation of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation and the Central Bank of Russia Nos. 106n, 240-P of November 26, 2003 on the Procedure of Termination of Operations on the Accounts of the Federal Budget of 2003 Opened in the Divisions of the Payment Network of the Bank of Russia and Credit Organisations (Branches)

Specifies the procedure of termination of operations on the accounts of incomes allocated by the federal treasury bodies of the Ministry of Finance of Russia between the levels of the budget system of the Russian Federation, termination of operations on the accounts of the resources of the federal budget in the currency of the Russian Federation and in foreign currencies.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 9, 2003. Reg. No. 5315.

Direction of the Central Bank of Russia No. 1337-U of November 3, 2003 on the Procedure of Operations of Purchase of Coins of Precious Metals Being a Legal Means of Cash Payment on the Territory of the Russian Federation Sold by the Bank of Russia Carried out by Credit Organisations Registered for Cash Services in the Divisions of the Moscow Territorial Directorate of the Bank of Russia

The Moscow Territorial Directorate shall send to the requesting credit organisations information on the variety of coins suggested for sale indicating the catalogue No., nominal value and the name of the coin, type and content of the chemically pure precious metal in the coin, alloy proof figure, mintage quality. Credit organisations shall draw up the request in a free form and send it to the Moscow Territorial Directorate by fax.
The handing out of the coins to the representatives of the credit organisation is arranged on the basis of a proxy and is registered as an act of acceptance.
The Direction is entered into force 10 days after the day of its official publication in the Herald of the Bank of Russia.

Order of the State Customs Committee of the Russian Federation No. 1014 of September 15, 2003 on the Issue of the Permission to Process the Commodities on the Customs Territory

Endorses the blank form "Permission to Process Commodities on the Customs Territory" and lists information necessary for the issue of the permission to process the commodities on the customs territory.
The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004 with exceptions.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 5, 2003. Reg. No. 5305.

Federal Law No. 165-FZ of December 8, 2003 on the Special Protective, Antidumping and Compensation Measures in the Sphere of Import of Commodities

Specifies a definite procedure of introduction of special protective, antidumping and compensation measures used to protect economic interests of producers of commodities of the Russian Federation. The Government of the Russian Federation enjoys a freedom of actions to arrange measures of protection of the Russian internal market.
Refines the definitions of the main notions, in particular: serious and material damage to the branch of the Russian economy, subsidy of a foreign state, compensation measures, similar commodities in the context of antidumping and compensation measures.
The main difference of the new Law from the earlier one is the detailed presentation of the particulars of the procedure of carrying out of investigations to establish the growth of import incurring a serious damage to the branch of the Russian economy or danger of such damage, as well as the dumping import or import of a subsidised commodity and the presence of a material damage to the branch of the Russian economy because of this, or danger of such damage. A number of measures is aimed at improving the mechanism of introduction, application, revision and revocation of the special protection, antidumping and compensation measures.
The federal body of executive power is empowered with authority to submit to the Government of the Russian Federation not only suggestions to apply the special protection, antidumping or compensation measures, but also suggestions to introduce them, revise and revoke.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 749 of December 11, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Rate of the Export Customs Duty for Rye, Wheat and Meslin Exported from the Territory of the Russian Federation outside the Member-States of the Customs Union Agreements

The rate of the export customs duty for rye (code according to the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature of the Russian Federation 1002 00 000 0), wheat and meslin (code according to the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature of Russia 1001) is endorsed in the amount of EUR 0.025 per kg.
The Decision is entered into force one month after the day of its official publication and remains in force till May 1, 2004 inclusive.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 748 of December 10, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Rules of Reimbursement of Communication Operator Expenses in 2004 for the Benefits in Communication Services Provided to Veterans and Invalids Getting Pensions from the Pension Bodies of the Federal Bodies of Executive Power Envisaging Military and Similar Service

Specifies the procedure of reimbursement of communication operator expenses in 2004 for the benefits in the payment for communication services provided in compliance with the Federal Laws on the veterans and on the social protection of invalids in the Russian Federation.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 747 of December 10, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Procedure of Use of the Sea- (River-) Going Vessels of the Customs Bodies of the Russian Federation for the Purposes of Customs Control

Creates search groups consisting of authorised officials of the customs body to implement customs control using the sea- (river-) going vessel. The sea- (river-) going vessels are used to participate in the measures to reveal, prevent and stop violations of the customs rules, implement control over observation of the customs control zone regime, participate in the customs escort measures and other.
The Decision is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 746 of December 10, 2003 on the Rates of the Import Customs Duties for Tea and "Homogenized" or "Reconstituted" Tobacco

The rates of the import customs duties for tea (codes according the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature of the Russian Federation 0902 10 000 1 and 0902 30 000 1) endorsed earlier for 9 months are preserved in effect from December 11, 2003 on the permanent basis. The rate amounts to 20% of the customs cost, however, not less than EUR 0.8 per kg.
Effective period of the rate of the import customs duty for "homogenized" or "reconstituted" tobacco (code according to the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature of the Russian Federation 2403 91 000 0) is prolonged for 9 months more. The rate amounts to 10% of the customs cost.

Order of the State Customs Committee of the Russian Federation No. 1286 of November 13, 2003 on Individual Customs Operations Carried out When Using the Re-Import Customs Regime

Defines the procedure of prolongation of the time of declaring of commodities for the re-import customs regime for more than 3 years from the day following the day of the crossing of the customs border by the mentioned commodities when they are exported from the Russian Federation. The declaring of such commodities is arranged in compliance with the rules of filling of the cargo customs declaration for foreign-made commodities imported to the Russian Federation or released for free circulation except for the cases when it is permitted to use a written customs declaration of another form.
The decision permitting to place the commodities under the re-import customs regime is drawn up by entering in the customs declaration (Column "A" under No. 1 in the cargo customs declaration) the resolution "Re-Import Permitted" by the chief of the customs body or person replacing him, certified with the signature, as well as by putting the stamp "Release Permitted" in the customs declaration.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 5, 2003. Reg. No. 5302.

Order of the Ministry of Taxation of the Russian Federation No. BG-3-04/583 of October 31, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Forms of Reports for the Income Tax from Natural Persons for the Year 2003

Endorses the new forms of reports for the income tax from natural persons and their filling procedure: Form No. 1-NDFL "Tax Card for the Registration of Incomes and the Income Tax from Natural Persons for the Year 2003", Form No. 2-NDFL "Certificate of Incomes of the Natural Person for the Year 2003".
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 5, 2003. Reg. No. 5296.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 754 of December 11, 2003 on the Amendments to the Rules of Calculation, Registration and Spending of the Resources of Obligatory Social Insurance against Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases

Calculation of insurance coverage transferred to insurers now does not include accrued penalties for insurance contributions. The paying out of the insurance coverage is carried out by the insurant as accrued insurance contributions without accrued penalties.
According to introduced amendments, there are only two types of insurance coverage paid out to the insured engaged in labour relations with insurants, namely:
1) temporary disability allowance assigned because of the industrial accident or occupational disease;
2) paid leave (in excess of the annual paid leave) for the whole period of treatment and travel to the place of treatment and back if there is an accommodation for sanatoria and resort treatment provided by the insurer to the insured in view of the industrial accident or occupational disease.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 750 of December 11, 2003 on the Organisation of the Alternative Civil Service

Defines the procedure of submission of proposals by the federal bodies of executive power and the bodies of executive power of the subjects of the Russian Federation pertaining to organisation of alternative civil service, as well as of adoption of decisions by the specially designated federal body of executive power pertaining to participation of the mentioned bodies in the organisation of the alternative civil service.
The mentioned proposals shall be submitted before February 1, 2004, and beginning with the year 2005, before January 1 on the annual basis to the Ministry of Labour of Russia. The Decision lists information to be contained in the mentioned proposals. The Ministry of Labour of Russia together with the Ministry of Defence of Russia, proceeding from information on the number and composition of citizens qualified for alternative service by the draft commissions, shall take the decision on participation of the bodies of executive power in the organisation of the alternative civil service in their subordinate organisations working out scheduled tasks to accept citizens undergoing alternative civil service.
The Decision is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Order of the Ministry of Taxation of the Russian Federation No. BG-3-03/644 of November 20, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Forms of Declarations for the Value Added Tax

Endorses the new form of the declaration for the value added tax and the form of the VAT declaration for operations subject to the 0% tax rate.
The Order is entered into force beginning with the tax period for January (I quarter) of 2004.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 11, 2003. Reg. No. 5327.

Letter of the Ministry of Taxation of the Russian Federation No. BG-6-05/1204@ of November 19, 2003 on the Payment of the Uniform Social Tax from the Monetary Compensation Paid out to the Federal State Servants and Employees of the Budget-Supported Organisations of the Customs Bodies

The monthly monetary compensation paid out to the federal state servants and employees of budget-supported organisations of the customs bodies in cases of reduced monthly monetary subsistence (earnings) as compared to the earlier received monthly monetary subsistence and pertaining to the execution of the labour duties by them is exempted to the uniform social tax.

Order of the Ministry of Taxation of the Russian Federation No. BG-3-24/633 of November 18, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Form of the Estimate (Declaration) for the Tax on Operations with Securities and Its Filling Procedure

Endorses the new from of the estimate (declaration) for the tax on operations with securities and its filing procedure.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 11, 2003. Reg. No. 5328.

Letter of the Department of Taxation Policy of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation No. 04-03-11/100 of December 4, 2003 on the Registration of the Value Added Tax

Explains the procedure of VAT registration when buying the railway tickets for business trips for cash. Since the taxpayer may not calculate interpedently the amount of this tax for the purposes of VAT exemption, in cases when the VAT amount is not indicated in the railway tickets purchased for cash, such tickets should be registered in the trip expenses at their purchasing cost. Expenses accepted for exemption when calculating the profit tax should include the full cost of the purchased railway tickets.

Letter of the Department of Taxation Policy of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation No. 04-03-11/102 of December 8, 2003 on the Application of the Value Added Tax

If the record keeping policy of the VAT payer is endorsed using the moment of received payments, for commodities dispatched before January 1, 2004, with the tax rate amount being 20%, the moment of determination of the taxable base occurs on the day of receiving of the payment for the given commodities, i.e. in 2004. According to the invoice drawn up by the supplier to the buyer, the payment for the commodities will be made using the 20% VAT rate, thus making the supplier pay VAT to the budget in the amount of 20%.

Letter of the Department of Taxation Policy of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation No. 04-03-11/103 of December 8, 2003 on the Application of the Value Added Tax in the Amount of 18%

For supplies of commodities subject to VAT, VAT amount of 18% applies beginning with January 1, 2004, with the tax amount transferred to the budget from advance payments for such supplies in 2003 using the 20% tax rate being offset according to the commonly accepted procedure.

Order of the State Customs Committee of the Russian Federation No. 1368 of December 1, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Lists of the Customs Bodies Authorised to Accept Customs Declarations

Lists the customs bodies entitled to accept customs declarations regardless of the customs regime or exclusively for commodities moved by natural persons, as well as placed under the customs regimes of international customs transit, re-export (when exporting commodities directly from the points of transfer across the state border of the Russian Federation) and duty free sale.
The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 11, 2003. Reg. No. 5326.

Order of the Ministry of Taxation of the Russian Federation No. BG-3-06/627@ of November 17, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Uniform Requirements to the Building of Information Resources of Cameral and On-Site Tax Checks

For the purposes of automation of the building of statistical tax reports, defines the sections of the information resources for the cameral and on-site tax checks, provides description of the building of these sections and the details necessary for it.

Ruling of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation No. KAS 03-571 of December 11, 2003

The cassation instance revoked the Decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of October 7, 2003 having invalidated earlier Items 2 and 6 of the Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 264 of May 7, 2003 on the endorsement of the insurance tariff rates for obligatory insurance of the civil responsibility of the owners of transport vehicles, their structure and procedure of application by insurers when defining the insurance premium.
The cassation instance has determined that the fixing of the basic tariff rates and coefficients by the Government of the Russian Federation is legal.
Thus, insurance tariff coefficients specified depending on the territory of the prevailing use of the transport vehicle proceeding form the place of residence (location) of its owner, as well as depending on the car engine power rating, have legal power.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 757 of December 18, 2003 on the Abrogation of the Licensing of the Import of Raw Sugar to the Russian Federation

From January 1, 2004, abandons the licensing of the import of raw sugar to the Russian Federation (code according to the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature of the Russian Federation 1701 11).
The Decision is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 755 of December 18, 2003 on the Amendments to the Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1364 of December 9, 1999

The rate of the export customs duty for the chemical wood pulp, soda, or sulphate (code according to the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature of the Russian Federation 4703 21 000 0), is reduced to 5% of the customs cost, however, not less than EUR 15 per 100 kg (earlier, 10% of the customs cost, however, not less than EUR 40 per 1,000 kg).
Specifies that wallpaper and similar wall coverings, window transparencies of paper (code according to the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature of the Russian Federation 4814) are exported duty free.
The Decision is entered into force one month after the day of its official publication.

Letter of the Ministry of Taxation of the Russian Federation No. ShS-6-33/1321@ of December 17, 2003 on the Use of Cash Registers

Before the adoption of the appropriate decisions of the Government of the Russian Federation, the tax bodies must register all without exceptions cash registers included by the State Interagency Expert Commission for Cash Registers in the State Register of Cash Registers Used on the Territory of the Russian Federation before the entry into force of the Federal Law No. 54-FZ of May 22, 2003.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 759 of December 18, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Rules of Arresting of the Transport Vehicle, Placing It on a Parking, Storage, As Well As Prohibition of Operation

Defines the procedure of arresting, placing on a parking and storage of transport vehicles including automobiles and motorcycles with the engine capacity greater than 50 cm3 and maximum design speed greater than 50 km/h, tractors, other self-propelled road construction and other machines, trailers to them subject to the state registration, tramways and trolleybuses, as well as small vehicles, and procedure of prohibition of operation of the mentioned vehicles.
Arrest of the transport vehicle is a temporary forced stopping of use of the transport vehicle including (in cases of impossibility to remove the reason of the arrest at the place of the administrative violation) the placing of it on the specialised parking - specially allocated guarded space of storage of the arrested transport vehicles.
The arrest of the transport vehicle is registered in the protocol of the administrative violation, a copy handed over to the person subject to the mentioned measure. The payment for the storage of the transport vehicle is collected for each full hour of its stay on the specialised parking. The payment for the transportation and storage of the arrested transport vehicle is collected in the amount specified by the body of executive power of the subject of the Russian Federation. The first three hours are exempted from payment.
In cases of prohibition of operation of the transport vehicle, the state registration plates must be removed.

Order of the State Customs Committee of the Russian Federation No. 1399 of December 5, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Regulation on the Control of the Customs Cost of the Commodities Imported to the Customs Territory of the Russian Federation

Defines the procedure of implementation of control by the customs bodies of the customs cost of the imported commodities declared by the declaring party. The given procedure does not apply in cases of moving of commodities by natural persons intended for personal, family, household and other needs other than entrepreneurial activities. The following forms of the customs control may by used: the checking of the documents and information, customs inspection of the commodities and transport vehicles, customs examination of the commodities and transport vehicles, oral inquiry, getting explanations and the customs revision. Provides the procedure of filling the columns of the form of the estimate of the amount of transfer of customs payments. The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 18, 2003. Reg. No. 5347.

Decision of the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation No. 134 of December 4, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Methodology Recommendations on the Procedure of Assigning, Carrying out of the Documentary On-Site Checks of Insurants in Obligatory Social Insurance against Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases and the Measures Taken As a Result of Them

Defines the uniform requirements to the assigning, carrying out by the divisions of the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation and their branches of documentary on-site checks of insurants in obligatory social insurance against industrial accidents and occupational diseases, drawing up and the form of the acts of the checks, as well as the procedure of taking decisions as a result of examination of the materials of the checks.
The time of the checking of the particular insurant is specified by the head of the division (branch of the division) of the Fund taking into account the number of employees with the insurer, volume of expenses, transport and other conditions. The time of the check may not be greater than two months. In individual listed cases, the check may be prolonged for not more than one month for each of the branches and representations.
As a result of the examination of the materials of the check of the insurant, a decision may be taken to call him to account for the violation of the procedure of payment of insurance contributions. The Decision provides the summary table of the amounts of penalties accrued in cases of violation by the insurant or the bank of the specified time limits of payment of insurance contributions and other payments.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 16, 2003. Reg. No. 5331.

Letter of the Ministry of Taxation of the Russian Federation "The Filling of the New Tax Declaration for the Uniform Imputed Income Tax"

Explains using particular examples the rules of filling of the declaration for the uniform imputed income tax.

Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 1499 of December 20, 2003 on the Call up for the Citizens of the Russian Federation Being in the Reserve to the Muster in 2004 (Excerpt)

In 2004, the call up applies to the citizens of the Russian Federation being in the reserve for the muster for up to two months in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, Service of Special Communication and Information of the Federal Guard Service of the Russian Federation, civil defence troops, railway troops of the Russian Federation, engineering and road construction military formations of the Federal Service of Special Construction of the Russian Federation, bodies of the Federal Security Service including the border guard bodies and border guard troops.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 770 of December 23, 2003 on the Final Settlement of Obligations of the Russian Federation in the External Debt of the Former USSR to the International Investment Bank

Remaining obligations of the former USSR will be settled by exchange for the bonds of the external bond loans of the Russian Federation. The mentioned obligations include obligations of the Foreign Trade Bank under credits and deposits according to the agreements concluded with the International Investment Bank until December 31, 1991 inclusive on the basis of summary currency plans of the USSR endorsed by the Council of Ministers of the USSR having emerged under these agreements both before and after 1991.
The exchange will be carried out under the condition of assumed obligation of the International Investment Bank to refuse to demand interest and commission from the Foreign Trade Bank and the Russian Federation.
The Decision defines the financial terms of exchange of the obligations of the former USSR to the International Investment Bank.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 769 of December 20, 2003 on the Amendments to the Regulation on the Organisation of Public Works

Specifies that public works shall be carried out in organisations under contracts. The time spent by a citizen in paid public works does not interrupt the length of service and is included in the insured length of work entitling for the labour pension. Adjusts the reasons of recognising a job as fit for certain citizens. Amends the sphere of reference of the bodies of employment services.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 767 of December 20, 2003 on the Amendments to the Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 785 of October 14, 1992

Specifies that the Ministry of Labour of the Russian Federation, at the presentation of the interested federal bodies of executive power, shall qualify the labour remuneration grades of the Uniform Tariff for the common industry sector positions of servants and for the main positions of the servants of the budget-supported sphere. According to the earlier wording, this was the sphere of reference of the ministries and agencies of the Russian Federation in coordination with the Ministry of Labour of the Russian Federation.
The Ministry of Labour of the Russian Federation shall also specify, at the presentation of the interested federal bodies of executive power, the labour remuneration grades of the Uniform Tariff for the employees of the budget-supported sectors depending on the employee qualification requirements or the work complexity or qualification group.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 766 of December 20, 2003 on the Amendment to the Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 787 of October 31, 2002

Specifies that the Uniform Tariff and Qualification Guide of Works and Worker Professions consists of the tariff and qualification characteristics containing the characteristics of the main types of works according to worker professions depending on their complexity and their corresponding tariff grades, as well as the requirements to professional knowledge and skills of workers.
The Uniform Qualification Guide of Positions of Managers, Specialists and Employees consists of the qualification characteristics of positions of managers, specialists and employees containing official duties and requirements to the level of knowledge and qualification of the managers, specialists and employees.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 763 of December 19, 2003 on the Certificate of the Veteran of Combat Operations

Endorses the uniform specimen of the blank form of the certificate of the veteran of combat operations, its description and instruction on the procedure of filling, issue and registration of such certificate.
The veterans of combat operations shall implement their rights and benefits on the basis of the certificate of the veteran of combat operations or on the basis of the certificates of the right for the benefits, the specimens endorsed before January 1, 1992.

Order of the Ministry of Public Health of the Russian Federation No. 565 of November 25, 2003 on the Fixing of the Length of the Annual Paid Leaves to the Federal State Servants of the Central Office of the Ministry of Public Health of Russia

The federal state servants of the central office of the Ministry of Public Health of the Russian Federation, besides the annual paid leave of 30 calendar days, shall enjoy an additional paid leave for the length of service of the following duration: 5 calendar days for the length of service from 5 to 10 years, 10 calendar days for the length of service from 10 to 15 years, 15 calendar days for the length of service greater than 15 years. The main and the additional paid leaves are summed up and may be granted in portions at the desire of the state servant, with the length of one portion of the granted leave not permitted to be less than 14 calendar days.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 19, 2003. Reg. No. 5349.

Order of the State Statistics Committee of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation No. 475/102n of November 14, 2003 on the Codes of the Figures of the Annual Accounting Reports of Organisations Whose Information Is Processed in the Bodies of State Statistics

The mentioned codes shall be applied by organisations being legal entities according to the legislation of the Russian Federation (other than credit organisations, insurance organisations and budget institutions) when presenting the annual accounting reports to the territorial body of the State Statistics Committee of the Russian Federation.
The Order is entered into force beginning with the annual accounting reports for the year 2003.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 18, 2003. Reg. No. 5342.

Order of the Russian Patent Agency No. 164 of December 11, 2003 on the Amendments to the Rules of Submission of Objections and Applications and Their Consideration in the Patent Disputes Chamber

The amendments bring the mentioned rules in compliance with the Federal Law No. 22-FZ of February 7, 2003 on the amendments to the Patent Law of the Russian Federation inasmuch as it pertains to the secret inventions.
The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 18, 2003. Reg. No. 5339.

Order of the Russian Patent Agency No. 163 of December 11, 2003 on the Amendments to the Rules of Registration of the Contracts of Transfer of the Exclusive Right for the Invention, Useful Model, Industrial Prototype, Trade Mark, Service Mark, Registered Layout of an Integrated Circuit and the Right for Their Use, Full or Partial Transfer of the Exclusive Right for the Computer Program and Database

The amendments bring the mentioned rules in compliance with the Federal Law No. 22-FZ of February 7, 2003 on the amendments to the Patent Law of the Russian Federation inasmuch as it pertains to the secret inventions.
The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 18, 2003. Reg. No. 5337.

Order of the Russian Patent Agency No. 166 of December 11, 2003 on the Amendments to the Procedure of Prolongation of the Patent of the Russian Federation for an Invention Pertaining to a Medicine, Pesticide or Agricultural Chemical

The amendments bring the mentioned procedure in compliance with the Federal Law No. 22-FZ of February 7, 2003 on the amendments to the Patent Law of the Russian Federation inasmuch as it pertains to the secret inventions.
The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 18, 2003. Reg. No. 5336.

Letter of the Ministry of Taxation of the Russian Federation No. OS-6-03/1316@ of December 17, 2003 on the Particulars of Calculation and Payment of the Value Added Tax in the Transient Period Pursuant to the Introduction of the 18% Tax Rate

According to the Federal Law No. 117-FZ of July 7, 2003, the VAT rate is reduced from 20% to 18% from January 1, 2004. When dispatching commodities (carrying out works, rendering services) regardless of the received payment for the mentioned commodities (works, services), the invoices are drawn up to the buyers indicating the appropriate tax rate as of the date of dispatch.

Letter of the Ministry of Taxation of the Russian Federation No. OS-6-03/1301@ of December 15, 2003 on the Calculation and Payment of the Excise Duty Tax for the Natural Gas from January 1, 2004

Explains that for the excisable mineral raw materials extracted before January 1, 2004, the excise duty tax is calculated and paid to the federal budget according to the legislation of the Russian Federation begin in effect before the mentioned date. Thus, when calculating and paying the excise duty tax for the natural gas from January 1, 2004, one should keep in mind the object of taxation is operations with the natural gas extracted before this date. Therefore, organisations must keep separate records of these operations. In the payment documents, initial registration documents and invoices, the appropriate amount of the excise duty tax for the natural gas extracted before January 1, 2004 should be recorded as a separate line except for the cases of selling of the excisable mineral raw materials outside the Russian Federation.

Federal Law No. 176-FZ of December 23, 2003 on the Execution of the Budget of the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation for the Year 2002

Endorses the report of execution of the budget of the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation with incomes including the residues on the account as of January 1, 2002 amounting to Rbl 140,535.0 million and expenses amounting to Rbl 125,607.8 million.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 175-FZ of December 23, 2003 on the Budget of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation for the Year 2004

In 2004, the financing of the expenses for the pension support will be carried out within the limits of the endorsed structure of expenses proceeding from the fact that the amounts of the basic parts of the labour old-age, disability and lost-breadwinner pension will be indexed taking into account the rate of inflation, however, not more than by 10.4%.
The amount of the insured part of the labour pension is forecasted to be indexed proceeding form the expected level of price growth for the appropriate periods, i.e. 6.5%.
The amount of the insured part of the labour pension will be increased in addition by 9% from April 1, 2004.
The Federal Law is entered into force from April 1, 2004.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 771 of December 23, 2003 on the Amendments to the Customs Tariff of the Russian Federation

Specifies that other maize, soy beans for sowing and other, as well as flour and meal and pellets of fish or crustaceans, molluscs, and other aquatic invertebrates are imported duty free. Earlier, the rate of the import duty for the mentioned commodities amounted to 5% of the customs cost.
The Decision is entered into force one month after the day of its official publication for 9 months.

Order of the State Customs Committee of the Russian Federation No. 1343 of November 27, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Regulation on the Inclusion of Legal Entities in the Register of Customs Carriers and Its Keeping Procedure

Specifies the procedures of consideration of applications of legal entities wishing to be included in the Register of Customs Carriers and get the certificates of inclusion in the Register of Customs Carriers, as well as the procedure of removal of legal entities from the Register.
The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 22, 2003. Reg. No. 5354.

Order of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation No. 194 of September 30, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Instruction on the Registration of Incomes and Expenses in the Ordinary Types of Activities on the Internal Water Transport

Endorses the industry sector Instruction in compliance with the international standards of financial reports.
The Instruction is intended for all organisations regardless of the form of ownership with activities in the sphere of internal transport being the predominant ones. Diversified organisations recognising the receipts from the services rendered in the sphere of internal water transport to be important for themselves shall apply the Instruction when recording incomes and expensed for these services. The Instruction does not apply to small businesses using the simplified form of recording of incomes and expenses.
The Order defines the composition of incomes and expenses for the main type of activities of organisations of the internal water transport, procedure of accepting the incomes and expenses in accounting work and in the report of profits and losses of organisations of the internal water transport.
Provisions of the Instruction shall apply in the building of the record keeping policy and organisation of accounting work, in the determination of the financial results and in accounting reports, as well as in the calculation of the net cost of individual types of transportation services for the purposes of economic analysis, financial planning, price forming and other managerial tasks.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 18, 2003. Reg. No. 5346.

Order of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation and the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation No. 317/280 of December 10, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Procedure of Interaction of the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation, Its Executive Bodies and the Tipstaff Service of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation in Cases of Forced Execution of the Decisions of the Executive Bodies of the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation on the Collection of Arrears in Insurance Contributions and Penalties at the Expense of the Property of the Insurants, As Well As Other Execution Documents on the Collection in Favour of the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation

Defines the terms of interaction of executive bodies of the Social Insurance Fund of Russia and the tipstaff services of the territorial bodies of the Ministry of Justice of Russia in cases of forced execution of the decisions of executive bodies of the Social Insurance Fund of Russia on collection of arrears in insurance contributions for obligatory social insurance against industrial accidents and occupational diseases, as well as the penalties at the insurant expense. The mentioned interaction is implemented to ensure a forced collection of the debt of organisations and natural persons in insurance contributions.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 18, 2003. Reg. No. 5344.

Order of the State Customs Committee of the Russian Federation No. 1199 of October 27, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Regulation on the Protection of the Rights for the Intellectual Property by the Customs Bodies

Defines the uniform procedure of ensuring protection of the rights for the intellectual property by the customs bodies, including the procedure of submission of applications for the measures to suspend production of commodities, requirements to the information contained in the application depending on the type of the object of intellectual property, procedure of keeping of the Customs Register of the Objects of Intellectual Property.
The measures of suspension of production of commodities are not applied by the customs bodies for commodities containing the objects of intellectual property and moved across the customs border by natural persons or sent in international postal dispatches in insignificant quantities if such commodities are intended for personal, family, household and other needs other than entrepreneurial activities.
The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 18, 2003. Reg. No. 5341.

Order of the Russian Patent Agency No. 165 of December 11, 2003 on the Amendments to the Procedure of Reinstatement of the Patent of the Russian Federation for the Invention, Useful Model, Industrial Prototype

The amendments bring the mentioned procedure in compliance with the Federal Law No. 22-FZ of February 7, 2003 on the amendments to the Patent Law of the Russian Federation inasmuch as it pertains to the secret inventions.
The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 18, 2003. Reg. No. 5338.

Order of the Russian Patent Agency No. 162 of December 11, 2003 on the Amendments to the Rules of Issue of the Copy of the Patent of the Russian Federation for the Invention, Industrial Prototype, Useful Model, Certificate for the Useful Model, Trade Mark, Service Mark, Right of Use of the Name of the Place of Origin of the Commodity, Copyright Document of the USSR and the Certificate of Official Registration of the Computer Program, Database or Integrated Circuit Layout

The amendments bring the mentioned rules in compliance with the Federal Law No. 22-FZ of February 7, 2003 on the amendments to the Patent Law of the Russian Federation inasmuch as it pertain to the secret inventions.
The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 17, 2003. Reg. No. 5335.

Order of the Russian Patent Agency No. 161 of December 11, 2003 on the Amendments to the Rules of Drawing up, Submission and Consideration of the Application for the Patent for the Invention

The amendments bring the mentioned rules in compliance with the Federal Law No. 22-FZ of February 7, 2003 on the amendments to the Patent Law of the Russian Federation inasmuch as it pertains to the secret inventions.
The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 17, 2003. Reg. No. 5334.

Order of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation No. 1026 of November 19, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Procedure of Redrawing of the Licenses for the Use of the Parts of Mineral Deposits

Defines the rules of examination of materials and taking decisions pertaining to the redrawing of the licenses for the use of the parts of mineral deposits. The endorsed procedure is obligatory for all legal entities and natural persons wishing to redraw the licenses for the use of the parts of mineral deposits.
Lists the documents submitted for the redrawing of the license. The documents are examined by the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia or its territorial bodies within 30 days. The redrawing is charged with the license fee providing for the reimbursement of the expenses for the expert evaluation of the materials and the redrawing of the documents.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 17, 2003. Reg. No. 5333.

Order of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation No. 115n of December 11, 2003 on the Amendments to the Directions on the Procedure of Application of the Budget Classification of the Russian Federation Endorsed by the Order of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation No. 127/n of December 11, 2002

Amends and extends the classification of incomes of the budgets of the Russian Federation, the functional classification of expenses of the budgets of the Russian Federation, economic classification of expenses of the budgets of the Russian Federation, as well as the lists of the tied items of these classifications.
Provides a new wording for the classification of the sources of internal financing of the deficits of the budgets of the Russian Federation and the agency classification of expenses of the federal budget.

Federal Law No. 186-FZ of December 23, 2003 on the Federal Budget for the Year 2004

Endorses the federal budget for the year 2004 with expenses amounting to Rbl 2,659,447.0 million and incomes amounting to Rbl 2,742,850.4 million. The forecasted GDP volume is Rbl 15,300 billion. The level of inflation is 10% (December 2004 against December 2003). The surplus of incomes over expenses in the amount of Rbl 83,403.4 million is allocated to form the Stabilisation Fund of the Russian Federation in 2004.
Endorses the expenses of the federal budget for the year 2004 according to the sections of the functional classification of expenses of the budgets of the Russian Federation.
The normatives of payment for the adverse interference in the environment that were in effect in 2003 apply in 2004 with the factor 1.1.
In 2004, after the endorsement of the annual financial reports, the Bank of Russia shall transfer to the federal budget 80% of the actually received profits as a result of the year. Article 26 of the Law on the Bank of Russia stating that the Bank of Russia transfers 50% of the profits is suspended.
In 2004, the issue of the passports to the citizens of the Russian Federation , including the foreign ones, by the bodies of internal affairs of the Russian Federation, documents of invitation of persons from other states to the Russian Federation, as well as issue of the residence permit to foreign citizens and stateless persons is charged in the amount of Rbl 50.
From September 1, 2004, the amount of resources allocated to render aid to intramural students of the federal institutions of the secondary and higher professional education is increased to 25% of the stipends fund envisaged in the expenses of the federal budget in section "Education" of the functional classification of expenses.
In 2004, when a legal entity is removed from records, the applicant is not charged with the state fee for the state registration at liquidation of the legal entity according to the bankruptcy procedure.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Order of the State Customs Committee of the Russian Federation No. 1370 of December 1, 2003 on the Endorsement of the Form of the Act of Expiry of the Storage Period of Commodities in the Customs Warehouse

Endorses the form of the act of expiry of the storage period of commodities in the customs warehouse. The act provides information on the name of the commodity, its code according to the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature of the Russian Federation, quantity, identification signs, date of placing of the commodity for storage and the date of the end of storage.
The Order is entered into force from January 1, 2004.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 22, 2003. Reg. No. 5352.

Telegram of the Central Bank of Russia No. 177-T of December 18, 2003

The drawing up and submission of the reports according to Forms 902, 922, 924 and 912 as of January 5, 2004 is abandoned. The Telegram defines the particulars of submission of reports according to Forms 913 and 933 as of January 1, 2004.

Letter of the Department of Taxation Policy of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation No. 04-04-04/131 of November 12, 2003 on the Taxation of the Monetary Compensation Paid out by the Employer to the Employee in Cases of Violation of the Time Limits of Payment of the Earnings

According to Article 255 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation, the labour remuneration expenses for the purposes of profit taxation include accrued compensations pertaining to the working regime or working conditions. The monetary compensation for the untimely payment of the earnings does not meet the mentioned requirements and, therefore, expenses for the given compensation do not reduce the taxable base for the profit tax. Since the monetary compensation paid out by the employer for the violation of the fixed time of payment of the earnings is not included in the labour remuneration expenses with the taxpayer in the determination of the taxable base for the profit tax, the mentioned compensation is exempted from the uniform social tax.

Federal Law No. 187-FZ of December 23, 2003 on the Ratification of the Framework Agreement on the Multilateral Nuclear Environment Program in the Russian Federation and of the Protocol on Claims, Court Examination and Exemption from Liability to the Framework Agreement on the Multilateral Nuclear Environment Program in the Russian Federation

Ratifies the Framework Agreement and the Protocol on claims, court examination and exemption from liability to it signed in Stockholm on May 21, 2003.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 185-FZ of December 23, 2003 on the Amendments to the Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Pertaining to the Improvement of the Procedures of State Registration of Legal Entities and Independent Entrepreneurs

The amendments are aimed at the implementation of the "single window" principle in the procedures of state registration of legal entities and independent entrepreneurs, their registration for taxation purposes and registration as insurants in the state non-budgetary funds. The mentioned principle envisages a single visit of the legal entity or independent entrepreneur to the body in charge of the registration, the functions being implemented by the Ministry of Taxation of Russia, entry of information of the mentioned persons in the Uniform State Register of Legal Entities or the Uniform State Register of Independent Entrepreneurs, their simultaneous registration in the tax body and handing out within 5 days of the documents of state registration and registration in the tax bodies. On the basis of the mentioned documents, an economic subject acquires the right to commit legally significant deeds and opens current accounts in the banks. Registration of legal entities and independent entrepreneurs as insurants i s carried out on the basis of information of the uniform state registers received by the bodies of state non-budgetary funds from the bodies in charge of the registration without a direct visit of the person to the mentioned funds.
Appropriate changes are introduced in the Tax Code of the Russian Federation, Laws on the amendments to Part 1 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation, on the medical insurance of the citizens of the Russian Federation, on the obligatory insurance against industrial accidents and occupational diseases, on the fundamentals of obligatory social insurance, on the state registration of legal entities and independent entrepreneurs, on the obligatory pension insurance in the Russian Federation, on the licensing of individual types of activities, on the banks and banking activities.
The Federal Law is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Federal Law No. 184-FZ of December 23, 2003 on the Amendments to the Budget Code of the Russian Federation Pertaining to the Creation of the Stabilisation Fund of the Russian Federation

The Budget Code is extended to include Chapter 13.1 "Stabilisation Fund of the Russian Federation" defining the mechanism of building and use of the resources of this Fund. The Fund is implied to be the part of the resources of the federal budget accumulated because of the surplus of prices for oil over the basic price for oil to be registered, managed and used separately for the purposes of ensuring a balanced federal budget when the price for oil is reduced below the basic one.
The price for oil is implied to be the price for the Urals raw oil. The basic price for oil is implied to be the price for the Urals raw oil equivalent to USD 146 per ton (USD 20 per barrel).
The main sources of building of the Stabilisation Fund include the incomes directly depending on the price for oil: export customs duties for oil, commodities of oil, as well as the tax on the extraction of mineral resources (oil). When the price for oil is greater than the mentioned basic price, the part of these incomes stipulated by the favourable foreign trade situation is included in the Stabilisation Fund. When the price for oil falls below the basic one, the earlier accumulated resources of the Stabilisation Fund may be used to finance the deficit of the federal budget.
The Federal Law is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Federal Law No. 183-FZ of December 23, 2003 on the Amendment to Article 3 of the Law of the Russian Federation on the Tax on Operations with Securities

The rate of the tax on operations with securities is reduced from 0.8% to 0.2% of the nominal amount of the issue. The amount of the tax may not be greater than Rbl 100,000.
The Federal Law is entered into force from January 1, 2004.

Federal Law No. 182-FZ of December 23, 2003 on the Amendments to the Civil Code of the Russian Federation

In cases of liquidation of the banks and other credit institutions attracting the resources of citizens, satisfaction of claims applies as the first priority not only to the citizens being the creditors of banks or other credit institutions attracting resources of citizens, but also to the claims of the organisation implementing the functions in obligatory insurance of the deposits pertaining to the paying out of the reimbursement under the deposits in compliance with the Law on insurance of the deposits of citizens in the banks.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 181-FZ of December 23, 2003 on the Amendments to the Federal Law on the Banks and Banking Activities

The amendments are stipulated by the adoption of the Federal Law on insurance of the deposits of natural persons in the banks of the Russian Federation. The Law specifies that the organisation implementing the functions of obligatory insurance of the deposits shall guarantee the secrecy of operations, accounts and deposits of its clients and correspondents. Such organisation may not disclose information on accounts, deposits, as well as information on particular deals and operations from the reports of credit organisations received by them as a result of execution of the license, enforcement and control functions, except for the cases envisaged in the Federal Laws. Such organisation may not disclose to third parties information obtained in compliance with the Federal Laws on insurance of the deposits of natural persons in the banks of the Russian Federation.
The Law specifies that an obligatory prerequisite for the adoption of the deposits of natural persons by credit organisations is not only the presence of the license of the Bank of Russia, but also participation in the system of obligatory insurance of the deposits of natural persons in the banks and registration in the organisation implementing the functions in obligatory insurance of the deposits.
The Law omits the norm stating that preservation and return of the deposits of the natural persons in the banks created by the state and the banks with more than 50% of the voting stocks (shares) in the registered capital belonging to the state is guaranteed by the state.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 180-FZ of December 23, 2003 on the Amendment to Article 69 of the Federal Law on the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia)

The sphere of reference of the Bank of Russia now does not include the determination of the procedure of guarantee of return of the deposits of citizens in compliance with the Federal Laws.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Federal Law No. 179-FZ of December 23, 2003 on the Amendment to Article 26 of the Federal Law on Non-Commercial Organisations

Specifies that as the sources of building of the property of the state corporation may serve regular and/or lumpsum receipts (contributions) from legal entities obliged to make such contributions under the federal law.

Federal Law No. 178-FZ of December 23, 2003 on the Amendments to Articles 251 and 291 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation

In the determination of the taxable base for the profit tax, one should not take into account the incomes in the form of insurance contributions of the banks in the Deposit Insurance Fund in compliance with the Federal Law on insurance of the deposits of natural persons in the banks of the Russian Federation. The given incomes are qualified as the property obtained in the framework of tied financing.
The amounts of insurance contributions of the banks specified in compliance with the Federal Law on insurance of the deposits of natural persons in the banks of the Russian Federation are qualified as expenses of banking activities.
The Federal Law is entered into force no sooner than one month after the day of its official publication and no sooner than the 1st of the subsequent tax period for the profit tax from organisations.

Federal Law No. 177-FZ of December 23, 2003 on the Insurance of the Deposits of Natural Persons in the Banks of the Russian Federation

Specifies the legal, financial and organisational fundamentals of the functioning of the system of obligatory insurance of the deposits of natural persons in the banks of the Russian Federation, sphere of reference, procedure of forming and activities of the organisation in charge of the functions of the obligatory insurance of the deposits, as well as the procedure of paying out of the compensations under the deposits.
The Law also regulates the relations between the banks of the Russian Federation, the Deposit Insurance Agency, the Bank of Russia and the bodies of executive power of the Russian Federation in the sphere of relations in obligatory insurance of the deposits of natural persons in the banks.
The Law regulates the relations in the creation and functioning of the system of insurance of the deposits, building and use of its monetary fund, paying out of compensations under the deposits in insured cases, as well as relations pertaining to the implementation of the state control over the functioning of the system of insurance of the deposits and other relations in the given sphere.
Insurance of the deposits does not require conclusion of the insurance contract by the depositors. Reimbursement under the deposits is paid out to the depositor in the amount of 100% of the amount of the deposit in the bank where the insured case occurred, however, not greater than Rbl 100,000.
The banks possessing the permission of the Bank of Russia as of the day of entry into force of the Federal Law are registered in the system of insurance of the deposits by entering them in the Register of the Banks by the Agency on the basis of the notification of the Bank of Russia.
The Federal Law is entered into force from the day of its official publication.

Decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation of December 26, 2003 on the Case of Constitutionality of Individual Provisions of Parts 1 and 2 of Article 118 of the Criminal Execution Code of the Russian Federation Pursuant to the Appeal of Z.R.Shengelaya

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation recognised the provisions of Part 1 and Item "d" of Part 2 of Article 118 of the Criminal Execution Code of the Russian Federation as not contradicting the Constitution of the Russian Federation since the essence of these provisions does not imply that the restrictions imposed by them apply to the meetings of the convicts detained in the isolation wards with lawyers and other persons granting legal aid and do not prevent from getting quality legal aid.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 781 of December 24, 2003 on the Non-Application of the Rate of the Import Customs Duty for Electric Power

The rate of the import customs duty endorsed by the Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 830 of November 30, 2001 does not apply to electric power (code according to the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature of the Russian Federation 2716 00 000 0).
The Decision is entered into force one month after the day of its official publication for 9 months.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 778 of December 24, 2003 on the Measures to Protect Russian Producers of Ball Bearings

Institutes for 3 years a special import duty for the commodities classified under the code of the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature of the Russian Federation 8482 10 900 1 in the amount of EUR 0.35 per kg of the commodity weight without the weight of the packing materials and the packing containers. The mentioned duty does not apply to commodities originating in the Republic of Belarus except for the cases when this commodity is released for free circulation in the Republic of Belarus without collection of the special duty or without the transfer according to the adopted procedure of the paid amounts of this duty to the federal budget.
The Decision is entered into force one months after the day of its official publication.

Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 774 of December 23, 2003 on the Amendments to the Customs Tariff of the Russian Federation

Adjusts the codes and headings 8482 of the Foreign Trade Commodity Nomenclature of the Russian Federation "Roller and Ball Bearings".
Specifies the rates of the import duties for the mentioned commodities with the free-on-the-border-of-the-country-of-import cost not greater than EUR 2.2 per kg of the gross weight - in the amount of 10% of the customs cost. In the mentioned subheading, the term "gross weight" means the total weight of the commodity with all kinds of packing materials and packing containers preserving it during storage and transportation. The total weight of the commodity does not include the weight of the packing materials or containers evidently fit for repeated use.
The Decision is entered into force one month after the day of its official publication.

Order of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation No. 117n of December 22, 2003 on the Work-Books

Endorses the specimens of the work-book and the insert in the work-book, as well as the procedure of providing employers with the blank work-books and the insert in it.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 24, 2003. Reg. No. 5356.

Direction of the Central Bank of Russia No. 1346-U of December 1, 2003 on the Minimum Amount of the Registered Capital for the Created Credit Organisations, Amount of Own Resources (Capital) for the Operating Credit Organisations As a Prerequisite for the Creation and/or Opening of Their Branches on the Territory of a Foreign State, Amount of Own Resources (Capital) for Non-Banking Credit Organisations Wishing to Obtain the Status of a Bank

The minimum amount of the registered capital for the created banks, regardless of the share of participation of foreign capital in them, as of the day of submission of the documents to the territorial institution of the Bank of Russia must be equivalent to EUR 5 million.
The amount of own resources (capital) for the operating credit organisations as a prerequisite for the creation and/or opening of their branches on the territory of a foreign state as of the 1st of the month preceding the day of submission of the documents to the territorial institution of the Bank of Russia must be at least EUR 5 million equivalent.
The Direction is entered into force 90 days after the day of its official publication in the Herald of the Bank of Russia.
Registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on December 23, 2003. Reg. No. 5355.

Direction of the Central Bank of Russia No. 1359-U of December 24, 2003 on the Invalidation of Individual Normative Acts of the Bank of Russia and on the Revocation of the Operative Direction of the Bank of Russia

Invalidates a number of normative acts of the Bank of Russia pursuant to the adoption of the Direction of the Bank of Russia No. 1346-U of December 1, 2003 defining the minimum amount of the registered capital for the created credit organisations, amount of own resources (capital) of operating credit organisations as a prerequisite for the creation and/or opening of their branches on the territory of a foreign state, amount of own resources (capital) for non-banking credit organisations wishing to obtain the status of a bank.

Typical Rules of Obligatory Medical Insurance of Citizens (Endorsed by the Federal Fund of Obligatory Medical Insurance on October 3, 2003, No. 3856/30-3/i)

Specifies common requirements to the rules of obligatory medical insurance of citizens endorsed by the body of executive power of the subject of the Russian Federation. Defines interrelations of the territorial fund of obligatory medical insurance, insurants, medical institutions and medical insurance organisations.
Provides the form of the typical contract of the territorial fund of obligatory medical insurance with the medical insurance organisation.

Letter of the Central Bank of Russia No. 179-T of December 24, 2003 on the Enhancing of Control over Operations of Transfer of the Monetary Resources without the Opening of Accounts and over Operations Using Prepaid Financial Products

Credit organisations carrying out operations with prepaid financial products, as well as providing services in the transfer of monetary resources without the opening of the account, are recommended to enhance control over the operations of regular transfer of monetary resources by natural persons without the opening of the bank account in cases when the amount of such operations taken separately is not greater than Rbl 600,000 equivalent.

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