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Monitoring of the Federal Legislation dated 31.07.2006

Federal Law No. 157-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending the Federal Law on Appraising Activity in the Russian Federation

The amendments regulate the matters of formation and operation of self-regulating organisations of appraisers, the structure and powers of their governing bodies, the monitoring of activities of members, i.e. appraisers, the methods of securing appraisers' liabilities under appraising contracts (compensation fund, insurance of appraisers' liabilities), and the state's supervision over the operation of self-regulating organisations of appraisers.The membership of appraisers being natural persons rather than legal entities (organisations) is the basis of the self-regulation system for self-regulating organisations of appraisers.Also the amendments provide for the formation of a special body, a National Appraising Council, being a non-commercial umbrella organisation for self-regulating organisations of appraisers.



Federal Law No. 156-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending Article 18 of the Federal Law on Licensing Specific Types of Activity

Starting from January 1, 2007, audit activity will no longer need licensing. Previously, the effective date for the new procedure has been already extended to July 1, 2006.The reason for it is that the process of transition to the methods of self-regulation of audit activity by means of setting up self-regulating organisations of auditors to monitor the quality of services provided in that area is not yet completed.The text of the Federal Law is published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 155-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending Article 28 of the Federal Law on Joint-Stock Companies and the Federal Law on the Privatisation of State and Municipal Property

According to the amendment made to Article 28 of the Federal Law on Joint-Stock Companies if the shares of a public joint stock company set up in the course of privatisation which are under state or municipal ownership represent over 25% of votes at the general meeting of shareholders an increase in the charter capital of the said company is accomplished through the issuance of a supplementary issue of shares, with the stake of the state or municipal formation being preserved, and it is secured by the contribution in the company's charter capital of state or municipal property or funds of a relevant budget in order to make payment for the shares so additionally issued. This norm corresponds to Article 40 of the Federal Law on the Privatisation of State and Municipal Property.The compulsory provision concerning the preservation of the state's or municipal formation's stake in the joint-stock company's charter capital is revoked if a decision to this effect is made by the Government of the Russian Federation, executive governmental bodies of subjects of the Russian Federation or local self-government bodies. Also, the Federal Law regulates relationships that have to do with the preservation of the state's or municipal formation's stake in the charter capitals of public joint-stock companies when shares are floated by public subscription and when they are listed on a stock exchange, and also if shares of public joint-stock companies are floated abroad.The text of the Federal Law is published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 154-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending Specific Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation on Issues of the Use of Forest Lands

The amendments concern the provision of forest land tracts for the purpose of geological exploration, prospecting and mining, the construction and re-construction of power transmission lines, communication lines, pipelines and other line facilities, and also for other purposes other than forestry and forest use. A provision is made for leasing out forest land tracts for relevant purposes, a procedure is set up for determining the rent charged for using such tracts, and also the procedure is updated for the performance of works in forest resources other than forestry or forest use.The Federal Law enters into force upon the expiry of 30 days after its official publication, with an exception. The text of the Federal Law is published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 153-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending Specific Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation in Connection with the Enactment of the Federal Law on Ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism and the Federal Law on Countering Terrorism

The amendments concern the mass media's activities on a territory where the regime of counter-terrorist operation has been declared, the activities of governmental bodies of subjects of the Russian Federation, local self-government bodies and federal security service bodies, the procedure for taking a decision on using armed-force formations and special units to combat terrorism outside of Russia, the establishment of criminal liability for various manifestations of terrorism, the introduction of confiscation of the money, valuables and other property used to finance terrorism as another criminal-law measure, the possibility of in-absentia conviction of perpetrators of grave and especially-grave crimes who stay outside of Russia and/or who decline to appear in court, and also administrative liability for breaches of the legal regime of counter-terrorist operation.The Federal Law enters into force as of the date of its official publication, with certain exceptions. The text of the Federal Law in published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 152-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Personal Data



The Federal Law is intended to implement the constitutional provisions whereby everyone has a right to privacy and the freedom of information, and also Russia's international obligations to ratify the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data. General uniform requirements are established to govern the processing of personal data in all areas where such data are used, definitions are provided for the rights of data subjects and of the duties of data processing operators, for the principles of trans-border personal data transmission, and also measures for state control over the activities of state and municipal bodies, legal entities and natural persons relating to personal data processing.The Federal Law allows various methods of personal data recording in state and municipal information systems, including the various methods of attributing personal data to a specific person. However, here a ban is established on limitation of rights and freedoms of citizens for reasons that have to do with personal data recording and attribution techniques, including a ban on the use of such attribution methods that could offend citizens' feelings or denigrate human dignity. In state and municipal information systems a provision is made for the possibility of setting up a state registry of the population, with the status and working procedure for it being established by a federal law.Responsibility for the monitoring and supervision of the compliance of personal data processing is vested in the empowered body charged with protection of the rights of data subjects, i.e. the federal executive governmental body responsible for control and supervision in the area of information technologies and communication. The personal data information systems formed earlier have to be brought in line with the provisions of the Federal Law by January 1, 2010.The Federal Law enters into force upon the expiry of 180 days after its official publication. The text of the Federal Law in published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 151-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending Chapter 26 of Part 2 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation and Deeming as No Longer Effective Specific Provisions of Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation

The amendments are intended to improve the mining tax calculation and payment mechanism. A zero rate of mining tax is established for oil produced in the sub-soil tracts fully or partially located within the boundaries of the Republic Sakha (Yakutia), Irkutsk Region and Krasnoyarsk Kray until the accumulated oil production at a sub-soil tract reaches 25 million tons, provided the term of development of resources in the sub-soil tract does not exceed ten years for a licence for sub-soil use for mineral prospecting and mining or 15 years for a licence for sub-soil use simultaneously for geological exploration and prospecting and mineral mining from the date of state registration of the relevant licence, and also in as much as extreme-viscosity oil as concerned.When a tax base and tax rate are determined for mining tax purposes in oil production the fixed rate of 419 roubles per ton is established for produced water-free, salt-free and stabilised oil. Here, additional adjustment factors are introduced in the tax rate calculation formula to cater for the world oil price variation and the degree of depletion of a specific sub-soil tract.The Federal Law enters into force as of January 1, 2007 but not earlier than upon the expiry of one month after the official publication thereof. The text of the Federal Law in published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 150-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending Article 11 of the Federal Law on the Insurance of Natural Persons' Deposits in the Banks of the Russian Federation and Article 6 of the Federal Law on the Bank of Russia's Paying Out for Natural Persons' Deposits in the Banks Deemed Bankrupt and Not Deemed Part of the System of Compulsory Insurance of Natural Persons' Deposits in the Banks of the Russian Federation

The amendments establish a continuous (regressive) scale for deposit compensation in full within 100,000 roubles, or in part (90% but in any case not exceeding 190,000 roubles) for larger amounts. This will allow to enhance the protection of depositors' interests, and also to improve the effectiveness of the compulsory deposit insurance system.The text of the Federal Law in published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 149-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection

The Federal Law is intended to improve the legal regulation in the field of information, and to foster favourable conditions for the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data of January 28, 1981. Accordingly, Federal Law No. 24-FZ of February 20, 1995 on Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection is deemed no longer effective.The Federal Law regulates the relationships that arise from the exercising of a right to search, obtain, transmit, produce and disseminate information, and the application of information technologies and information protection as well. It defines the term "information", describes the legal capacity of the owner of information, the right of access to information, guarantees and procedure for exercising such right, the various forms of using up-to-date information technologies, like information systems, information telecommunication networks, and also sets out basic state policy guidelines in the field of information technology application. The term "information system" is defined and the types of such systems are described as well as the standards governing the formation and running of state information systems.The text of the Federal Law in published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta No. 165, July 29, 2006.





Federal Law No. 148-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending Articles 1 and 15 of the Federal Law on Countering Extremist Activities

The amendments have established the following new actions as posing a danger for the public interest and having the features of extremist activity:- an obstruction of lawful activities of governmental bodies, election commissions or lawful activities of officials of such bodies as combined with violence or a threat of using it;- public slander in respect of an office-holder who occupies a state position of the Russian Federation or subject of the Russian Federation when he/she executes his/her duties or in connection with the execution thereof as combined with charges of having committed actions that can be classified as extremist activity;- the use of violence in respect of a representative of authorities or a threat of use thereof in respect of a representative of authorities or his/her family in connection with his/her executing his/her official duties;- an assassination attempt against a state or public figure committed with the aim of terminating his/her state or another political activity or as vengeance for such activity;- a violation of human and citizen's rights and freedoms, the infliction of harm to citizens' health and property in connection with their convictions, race or ethnic origins, faith, social status or social origins;- the creation of printed, audio, audiovisual and other materials intended for public use and containing at least one feature of extremist activity.Extremism does not only imply a direct call to engage in an extremist activity but also public calls or addresses inciting an extremist activity or allowing the possibility of extremist activities.The text of the Federal Law in published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 147-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending Articles 5 and 7 of the Federal Law on Countering the Legalisation of Incomes Received through Crime (Money Laundering) and the Financing of Terrorism

It is established that no identification of a payer (client) is required when certain money remittance transactions take place in an amount of up to 30,000 roubles, or 15,000 roubles when a foreign currency in cash is remitted.Such transactions for instance include payments to the budgets of all levels of the budget system of the Russian Federation; payment for the services of budget-funded institutions, payment of alimony; payment for utility services, communication services etc. Expanded is the list of the organisations which accomplish transactions in amounts of money or other property and have the duty to identify the persons to which they provide services. These entities include the non-credit organisations receiving cash from natural persons.The text of the Federal Law in published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 146-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending the Federal Law on Joint-Stock Companies

The amendments are intended to improve the procedure for re-organising joint-stock companies and ensuring the protection of interests of minority shareholders against possible abuse as transactions are carried out. According to the amendments a notice has to be sent in any case by the federal executive governmental body empowered by the Government of the Russian Federation about a decision taken by the board of directors (supervisory board) of a joint-stock company to set the price (monetary value) of property, the floatation price of serial securities, the buy-back price of shares of the company if the state and/or a municipal formation owns 2 to 50% of voting shares of the company, and if the price of said items is determined by the company's board of directors (supervisory board). The Federal Law defined the term for notification and the list of the documents to be submitted to the said federal executive governmental body as well as the powers of the body and the procedure for preparing a substantiated statement concerning the documents so submitted.The Federal Law enters into force upon the expiry of ten days after the official publication thereof, with a certain exception. The text of the Federal Law in published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 145-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending Article 3 of the Federal Law on the Customs Tariff

A procedure is determined for setting the rates of export customs duties on certain categories of petroleum products. Decisions of the Government of the Russian Federation on modifying the rates of export customs duties on crude oil and certain categories of petroleum products have to be published in an official publication of the Russian Federation at least ten days prior to the entry into force of the said decisions. Now, such decisions of the Government of the Russian Federation take effect upon the expiry of one month after the official publication thereof.The Federal Law enters into force not earlier than after the expiry of one month after the official publication thereof. The text of the Federal Law in published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 144-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending Part 2 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation in as Much as It Concerns the Fostering of Favourable Taxation Conditions for the Taxpayers Pursuing Their Activities in the Area of Information Technologies, and Also Making Other Amendments Aimed at Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Taxation System

The amendments establish preferential treatment for the payment of uniform social tax and profit tax for the organisations pursuing their activities in the area of information technologies.The social tax deductible for education and medical treatment rose from 38,000 roubles to 50,000 roubles. Moreover, property tax deductible provision does not only extend to the acquisition of residential houses and apartments but of rooms as well. The tax base for profit tax purposes does not include the sum of taxpayers' payables in terms of penalties and fines when debts owing the budget are restructured. A more favourable taxation regime is created for the organisations engaged in R&D. The rate of fee charged for the use of aquatic biological resource items is reduced from 100,000 roubles to 60,000 roubles for the king crab, and the procedure for payment of the fee for fauna items is modified.The Federal Law enters into force as of January 1, 2007 but not earlier than after the expiry of one month after the official publication thereof. The text of the Federal Law in published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 143-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending Article 55 of the City Development Code of the Russian Federation

The amendments eliminate the ambiguity in the construction of the provisions of Article 55 of the City Development Code of the Russian Federation that govern the procedure for issuing permits for commissioning a capital construction facility. According to the previous version the body that issued a building permit had to decide within ten days after the receipt of a commissioning permit application either to issue a commissioning permit or to refuse to issue such a permit and indicate the reason for the decision. Due to such language in practice some local self-government bodies took two decisions, one for the commissioning of a facility and the other one in the form of a permit proper for the commissioning of the facility, thus stalling the actual commissioning procedure. Moreover, the City Development Code does not contain the powers of local self-government bodies to take decisions on the issuance of a commissioning permit. Such a decision has no legal consequences for the applicant. The ground for state registration of rights to a capital construction facility built may only be a permit to commission the facility. So, it is established that the empowered bodies have to issue a commissioning permit to an applicant (or to refuse to do so) rather than take a decision on issuance of such a permit.Also to avoid parallelism in the functions of governmental bodies it is decided to cancel the provision on inspecting a facility being commissioned if state building supervision has been carried out in the course of its construction, re-construction or overhaul. Until now, an inspection of a facility at its commissioning has been a must in all cases.The Federal Law enters into force as of the date of its official publication. The text of the Federal Law in published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 142-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending the Federal Law on Placing Orders for the Delivery of Goods, Performance of Works and Provision of Services for State and Municipal Needs

According to the amendments in certain cases the duty to provide communication services for national defence, state security or law-and-order purposes is vested by the Government of the Russian Federation in the communication operator specified in a representation made by a state customer and agreed upon with the federal executive governmental body in charge of communication matters. Apart from that, the details of placing an order for the provision of communication services for the said needs are defined, and an addendum is made to the list of cases when an order is placed with a single supplier (contractor).The Federal Law enters into force as of January 1, 2007.



Federal Law No. 141-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending the Federal Law on Mortgage Securities

The amendments have removed obstacles for the issuance of mortgage securities. The Federal Law on Mortgage Securities updated the amount of mortgage coverage, the standards governing a mortgage coverage, the provisions concerning the withdrawal of property items from a mortgage coverage, and some other provisions. These modifications are aimed at implementing the provisions of the Law which earlier lead to a discrepancy between its norms and the prevailing economic relationships in the area of mortgage lending.The text of the Federal Law is published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 140-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending the Federal Law on Banks and Banking Activity and Article 37 of the Law of the Russian Federation on Protecting Consumers' Rights

The commercial organisations not deemed credit organisations have acquired a right to accept cash from natural persons in payment for communication services, residential premises and utility services without a banking transaction licence.To obtain such right one should observe the following two conditions, i.e. to have a contract between the commercial organisation and a credit organisation whereby these transactions are implemented in the name of the commercial organisation but at the expense of the credit organisation; to have a contract between the credit organisation and the person which provides the services paid for. The consumer's duty to make payment for services is deemed discharged from the time when he delivers cash to the cashier's counter of the commercial organisation.The Federal Law enters into force upon the expiry of ten days after the official publication thereof. The text of the Federal Law is published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, No. 165, July 29, 2006.





Federal Law No. 139-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation

The amendments eliminate the certain discrepancies between norms of legislation arising from the enactment of the Federal Law on Insolvency (Bankruptcy). Amendments have been made to Part 1 of Article 4.5 of the Code of Administrative Offences whereby the statute of limitation period is increased from two months to one year for holding persons accountable under administrative law in cases of breach of the insolvency (bankruptcy) legislation.Also Articles 23.1, 28.1, 28.3 and 28.7 of the Code have been modified in as much as it concerns the powers of officials of relevant regulations bodies to draw up reports and to hear cases of administrative offences in the relevant field.Apart from the above, the Federal Law declared Articles 14.21 and 14.22 of the Code of Administrative Offences as redundant and no longer effective..



Federal Law No. 138-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending the Federal Law on the Securities Market and Certain Other Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation

The amendments are intended to ensure the legal regulation of the issuance of, and trading in, stock-exchange bonds, i.e. bonds which are issued by public joint-stock companies whose shares have undergone listing procedure, and which are floated by public subscription in a public sale at a stock market. The issuance of such bonds may take place without a state registration of the issue (supplementary issue) thereof, or the registration of a prospectus of bonds or the state registration of a report on the results of the issue (supplementary issue) thereof.These new developments will enable the issuers which have already proven that they are sufficiently reliable for borrowing in a stock market to borrow by means of stock-market bonds within a shorter term.The text of the Federal Law is published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, No. 165, July 29, 2006.



Federal Law No. 137-FZ of July 27, 2006 on Amending Parts 1 and 2 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation in Connection with the Taking of Measures for Improvement of Tax Administration

More than 150 amendments have been made to the Tax Code. They are intended to improve tax control, streamline tax inspections and paperwork in the field of taxation. The procedure for sending the materials of tax inspections to internal-affairs bodies is updated as well as a restricted-access list of the documents that may be demanded from a taxpayer within the framework of a desk tax inspection (with due regard to the details of value added tax compensation), a compulsory procedure is instituted for considering taxpayers' objections before the taking of a decision on the results of a tax inspection, and a ban on conducting more than two field tax inspections per year is imposed, save for cases when an inspection is ordered by the head of the Federal Tax Service. The institution of a cross-inspection is replaced with a special procedure for demanding and obtaining documents. This may only be done by the tax body with which the taxpayer is registered. The term is increased for the filing of the documents demanded by a tax body, and a ban is established on the imposition of sanctions according to the results of repeated tax inspections.The Federal Law enters into force as of January 1, 2007, except for the provisions for which other effective dates are set.





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