A SPECIAL SUBCOMMITTEE WILL DEAL WITH THE USE OF INVENTIONS, UTILITY MODELS AND INDUSTRIAL DESIGNS IN ORDER TO ENSURE THE ECONOMIC SECURITY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
A subcommittee on the use of inventions, utility models and industrial designs will be formed under the Government Commission for Economic Development and Integration to ensure the economic security of the Russian Federation.
EXPERIMENT IN ONLINE BUSINESS REGISTRATION USING A NEW COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE WILL START ON MARCH 1, 2024
From March 1, 2024 to March 1, 2025, an experiment will be held to provide a complex service for state registration of legal entities and individual businessmen, issuing a certified key certificate for verifying the digital signature of a legal entity and individual businessmen, opening a current account and concluding a remote banking service agreement (complex service "Start business online").
SELF-BAN TO OBTAIN LOANS TO CITIZENS: A DRAFT LAW PASSED THE DUMA
Citizens will be able to self-prohibit the issuance of consumer loans. This can be done through the public services portal or multi-function centres, except for loans secured by a vehicle or mortgage, as well as educational loans with governmental support.
According to the bill, banks and microfinance organisations should request information on the ban from credit bureaus. If there is a ban, the contract to be refused. If the contract is nevertheless made, it can be cancelled upon the request of a citizen.
POWERS OF THE GOVERNMENTAL COMMISSION FOR CONTROL OF FOREIGN INVESTMENTS WILL BE EXPANDED
The Government Commission for Control of Foreign Investments will issue permits for transactions with foreign persons from unfriendly countries that provide for the alienation or pledge of the exclusive right to the result of intellectual activity or to a means of identification.
SPECIAL PROCEDURE FOR EXECUTING TRANSACTIONS WITH PERSONS FROM UNFRIENDLY COUNTRIES: THE BANK OF RUSSIA CLARIFIED THE CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING A CONTROLLED ENTITY
The President has established a special procedure for transactions (operations) carried out by residents with persons of foreign states committing unfriendly actions, and with persons who are under their control.
The Bank of Russia clarified the criteria by which a person under control is determined. At the same time, approaches to determining control are applied to all legal entities, including those of strategic importance and those engaged in the use of a subsoil plot of federal significance and (or) fishing.
FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2024, THE RULES FOR LICENSING THE PRODUCTION OF MEDICINES WILL BE ADJUSTED
The Government has changed the licensing rules for pharmaceutical production:
- licensing requirements will also include a ban on the unlicensed production of medicines and the production of medicines not included in the state register of medicines for veterinary use, the unified register of registered medicines of the EAEU and the unified register of registered veterinary drugs of the EAEU;
- in the application for a licence (or for making changes to the register, including adding a new production address), a number of information is indicated in an interactive form posted on the State Services Portal (the application is formed by filling out this interactive form);
- when considering the application, the licensing authority itself requests information confirming the certification of the authorised person of the manufacturer of medicines for veterinary use through a system of interdepartmental interaction.
CONDITIONS FOR PROCESSING PERSONAL HEALTH DATA ARE CLARIFIED
Processing of special categories of personal data, including those related to health status, is not permitted, except in certain cases. Processing is provided for medical and preventive purposes, in order to establish a medical diagnosis, provide medical or medical and social services. Condition is that the processing is carried out by a person who is professionally engaged in medical activities and is obliged to maintain medical confidentiality. This can be either an individual or a legal entity.
LIST OF GOODS FOR PARALLEL IMPORT HAS BEEN EXPANDED
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has adjusted the list of foreign-made goods allowed for import into the country without the consent of copyright holders.
In particular, the list includes a number of brands of mining equipment (Dewalt, Epiroc, Husqvarna), pumps, fans and compressors (Soler & Palau, Vortice, Air System), cosmetics, perfumes and clothing.
BANKS TO BE OBLIGED TO INFORM CUSTOMERS OF THE DEPOSITS THAT ARE ABOUT TO EXPIRE
Bank of Russia previously recommended that credit institutions remind depositors about the approaching expiration date of their deposits. This requirement is now mandatory and is provided in the Law on Banks and Banking Activities.
DOMESTIC FINANCIAL MARKET: DEVELOPMENT TRENDS FOR 2024 - 2026 ARE OUTLINED
Among the intended goals are strengthening the confidence of retail consumers and investors in the financial market through strengthening the security, increasing financial literacy and expanding the accessibility of financial services; ensuring the smooth functioning of the financial market, including under stress conditions.
Among other things, it is planned to develop the insurance market, long-term savings and investment instruments for citizens, increase financial cyber literacy, ensure the inclusivity of the financial market, develop payment infrastructure, SupTech and RegTech technologies.
APPLYING THE BAN ON USING FOREIGN SOFTWARE FOR TRANSFER OF PERSONAL DATA AND INFORMATION ON MONEY TRANSFERS - MINISTRY OF DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT PROVIDED EXPLANATIONS
Governmental agencies, state and municipal institutions, as well as financial companies, are prohibited from using foreign information systems or software to transmit payment documents and (or) provide information containing personal data, transfer data, information necessary for making payments and (or) information on accounts (deposits) citizens.
The list of information systems and software is determined by Roskomnadzor.
The hyperlink should not refer to information that contains the client’s personal data, unless it is located in the specified information systems.
START BUSINESS IN RUSSIA ONLINE? IT’S POSSIBLE!
An experiment is proposed to develop a comprehensive service “Start business online”.
It will be possible to register a business remotely and start using a current account just from the date the business is registered. Individuals that are registered as individual entrepreneurs will be entitled to use the complex service, as well as those who decide to create an LLC with a sole founder simultaneously exercising the powers of the sole executive body.
The experiment is expected to be in force until March 1, 2025.
PROVIDERS NOT INCLUDED INTO A SPECIAL ROSKOMNADZOR REGISTER ARE PROHIBITED FROM PROVIDING HOSTING SERVICES IN RUSSIA
All organisations that provide hosting services in Russia must be registered in the Roskomnadzor register. For companies that are not included in it, the legislation does not yet provide for administrative liability. However, they are prohibited from providing hosting services in the country.
From February 1, 2024, before the start of hosting services, one must submit a notification.
From December 2023, there are new requirements for hosting providers. The new standards will increase the reliability of Russian Internet resources and services and protect RuNet from possible external threats.
ECONOMICALLY SIGNIFICANT ORGANISATIONS WILL BE ALLOWED NOT TO DISCLOSE SENSITIVE INFORMATION
Economically significant organisations, as well as persons associated with them, to be entitled not to disclose and (or) not provide information that is subject to disclosure and (or) provision based on legal requirements. A list of the relevant laws is provided.
For this, they must notify parties concerned. Such persons will be able to be provided with the information upon request.
RECOMMENDED REGISTER FORMATS ARE AVAILABLE FOR CONFIRMING THE 0% VAT RATE FOR EXPORTS
Starting from the first quarter of 2024, the zero VAT rate for the export of goods must be confirmed by electronic registers.
The Order approving the forms and formats of such registers, as well as the procedure for filling them in and submitting them, is currently being registered with the Russian Ministry of Justice.
MAJOR AMENDMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO THE LAW ON THE CIRCULATION OF MEDICINES
Amendments have been made to the Law on the Circulation of Medicines aimed at bringing its provisions into compliance with international treaties and acts that constitute the law of the EAEU.
From 2025, government services in the area of circulation of medicines will be provided in the form of electronic document management using the Uniform State Health Information System and the Unified Portal of State and Municipal Services.
The circulation of medicines is being transferred to a registry model - thus, the registration certificate of a drug will be not only a document, but also an entry in the State Register of Medicines and Medical Products confirming the fact of registration (from January 1, 2025 registration certificates on paper will no longer be issued).
The specifics of introducing certain groups of medicinal products into civil circulation will be established.
A ban is introduced on the use of information on the results of preclinical and clinical trials of drugs for commercial purposes and submitted by the applicant for registration of the drug, without the applicant’s consent for six years from the date of registration of the generic in the Russian Federation.
IN 2024, THE MAXIMUM ADVANCE AMOUNT FOR GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS HAS BEEN INCREASED
The Government of the Russian Federation, from January 25 of this year, re-introduced a measure similar to those in force in 2022-2023, which allows the establishment of an advance condition in an increased amount in government contracts concluded by recipients of federal budget funds.
FOR LARGE OIL PRODUCERS, SIMPLIFIED PROCEDURE TO BE EXTENDED FOR OBTAINING THE RIGHT TO USE SUBSOIL FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXPLORATION AND EXTRACTION OF GROUNDWATER
Until the end of 2024, large oil producers shall be allowed not to submit a copy of the annual accounting report in order to obtain the right to use subsoil for exploration and extraction of groundwater in areas not classified as subsoil plots of local significance, for the geological survey of such areas for the purpose of prospecting, evaluation, survey and extraction of groundwater.
THE POWERS OF THE GOVERNMENT COMMISSION TO CONTROL FOREIGN INVESTMENT HAVE BEEN EXPANDED
The rules for issuing permits have been adjusted in order to implement additional temporary economic measures to ensure financial stability. They are issued by the Government Commission for Control of Foreign Investments.
It has been established that the commission also determines the conditions for trading and making transactions (operations) using S-type accounts. There is a talk about settlements with foreign creditors and the acquisition of blocked foreign securities by foreign investors.
ONE MORE IFRS DOCUMENT CAME INTO FORCE
In Russia, the IFRS document “Non-current liabilities with covenants (Amendments to IAS 1) Presentation of Financial Statements” has been put into effect.
PLANNED INNOVATIONS IN CONSULAR REGISTRATION OF CITIZENS OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION AND OTHER MEASURES TO IMPLEMENT THE CONCEPT OF STATE MIGRATION POLICY
The action plan provides, in particular, for the introduction of mandatory consular registration of Russian citizens living abroad. As follows from the document, as a result of the implementation of this point of the plan, the concept of “citizen permanently residing outside the Russian Federation” will be defined, and the legal status of this category of citizens will also be specified. Implementation deadline is June 20, 2025.
FROM MARCH 25, 2024, THE DEPOSIT INSURANCE SYSTEM TO EXTEND TO THE FUNDS OF LAWYERS, NOTARIES AND CERTAIN OTHER CATEGORIES OF PERSONS
Amendments to the Law on Deposit Insurance provide for classifying funds of lawyers, notaries and other individuals that have opened accounts for implementation of their professional activities as funds subject to insurance.
Moreover, the group of legal entities that are subject to the deposit insurance system has been expanded to include medium-sized enterprises, recognised as such in accordance with the Law on the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, and also certain non-profit organizations (trade unions and socially oriented NPOs).
Windfall tax for major companies to be introduced in Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law establishing excess profit tax for large companies, whose arithmetic average profit margin for 2021-2022 exceeds RUB 1 billion (so called windfall tax).
The windfall tax rate will be 10% of the difference between companies' average profit for 2021-22 and their profit for 2018-19. However, if a security payment is made within the period from October 1 to November 30, 2023, the tax amount can be calculated at the rate of 5%, so a 50% tax discount to be provided.
This is lump-sum payment to be paid no later than January 28, 2024 and credited to the federal budget exclusively. There are exemptions from the windfall tax for a series of sectors:
SMEs and Single Agricultural Tax payers;
a number of oil and gas companies and those engaged in the coal industry;
companies with no operating income obtained in 2018-2019, as well as credit organizations and NFOs, in respect of which, as of January 1, 2023, measures were taken to prevent bankruptcy.
In addition, mechanism for calculating the tax base is established for the cases if windfall tax is accrued as a result of a tax audit, as well as the procedure for determining the tax liability in case of filing an adjusted tax return.
The law comes into legal force on January 1, 2024.