RS Law digest Main changes in the Law of the Russian Federation from July 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012

Main changes in the Law of the Russian Federation from July 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012

1. Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation was supplemented by new offences

New offences content was established for:

  • non-commercial organizations functioning as foreign agents not providing information;
  • non-commercial organizations functioning as foreign agents conducting activities not allowed by law for such organizations;
  • conducting activities in a non-commercial organization functioning as a foreign agent in regards to which a decision was made on suspending its activities or taking part in such activities.

These changes took effect on November 25th, 2012.

Administrative liability in regards to inviting parties who submit intentionally false information (when filing emigration documents to enter the Russian Federation) on the foreigner’s purpose for being in the Russian Federation has been introduced.

Regulations pertaining to statue of limitations rules for imposing administrative sanctions on someone, the size of an administrative fine for not declaring goods in the established manner and the procedure for determining the cost of confiscated things.

These changes took effect on January 11th, 2013.

2. The breadwinner won’t be fired


Changes have been made to the Russian Labor Code (Federal Law dated 12.11.2012 NO. 188-F3 ‘On Making Changes to Article 261 of the Russian Labor Code’)

A ban on terminating a labor contract by the employer has been established, including with fathers who are the sole breadwinners in a family with numerous children or who are raising numerous children if the mother of such children is not employed and takes care of the children.

These changes took effect on November 24th, 2012.

3. Culinary fat will be taxed by 10% VAT

A supplement has been made to Article 164 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation with regard to the preferential operations taxed under VAT 10%. Now this includes the sale of culinary and bread-baking fat, along with milk fat, cacao butter and spread replacements.

These changes took effect on January 1st, 2013.

4. The list of excisable goods has been supplemented

As of the second half of 2013 heating gas oil made from diesel fractions (straight distilled) and/or of a secondary nature boiling at a temperature anywhere from 280 to 360 degrees Celsius is now considered an excisable good. The excise tax will be collected at the following rate: from July 1st through December 31st, 2013—5,860 rubles per ton, in 2014—6,446 rubles per ton, while in 2015—7,735 rubles per ton.

Additionally, according to the law from July 1st through December 31st, 2013.

  • excise tax on 4th class gasoline will amount to 8,960 rubles per ton instead of 8,560 rubles envisaged earlier for this period;
  • excise tax on 5th class gasoline—5,750 (instead of 5,143) rubles per ton,
  • excise tax on 4th class diesel fuel-5,100 (instead of 4,934) rubles per ton,
  • excise tax on 5th class diesel fuel-4,500 (instead of 4,334) rubles per ton.

The excise tax on straight-run gasoline starting on January 1st, 2013 will amount to 10,229 rubles (instead of 9,617), while in 2014 it will be 11,252 rubles (instead of 10,579).

gas station

Also, excise tax rates regarding excisable goods have been set for 2015. In the majority of cases excise tax rates have been increased on average by 20 percent in comparison with 2014 (the largest rate increase will pertain to excise taxes on alcoholic drinks, products containing spirits and ethanol).

These changes took effect on January 1st, 2013.

5. New rates on extraction tax for gas

New rates on extraction tax regarding natural fuel gas from all the different types of carbon raw material deposits:

  • in 2013 it will be 622 rubles per 1,000 cubic meters of gas (it was 582 rubles before the changes took place);
  • in 2014 it will be 700 rubles per 1,000 cubic meters of gas (earlier it was 622 rubles).

At the same time the coefficient correcting the tax rate for particular taxpayer categories has been increased (in 2013 the coefficient has been increased from 0.455 to 0.646, while in 2014 it has been increased from 0.447 to 0.673).

Additionally, tax rates and a coefficient adjusting the tax rate amount have been established for 2015.

These changes took effect on January 1st, 2013.

6. Bad debt, amortization and other amendments to the corporate income tax

Amendments envisaging the following have been made to the chapter ‘corporate income tax’:

  • general procedure for accruing amortization regarding property considered to be mobilization capacities,
  • a limitation on the right to use a special increasing coefficient for the main amortization norm in regard to capital assets used in an aggressive environment (this right can only be acted upon in regards to capital assets in the accounting report up until 01.01.2014);
  • the concept of ‘bad debt’ has been clarified (now that debt which a bailiff recognizes as being un-returnable by issuing an order on the termination of the court process). For example, if it is impossible to establish where the debtor or his/her property is located or if such property is absent and all measures taken by the bailiff have not given any results.

These changes took effect on January 1st, 2013.

7. Income from state currency papers have been added to the Tax Code

The Russian Tax Code has been supplemented by articles regulating taxation regarding individuals’ and legal entities’ income received from federal state currency papers, in addition to other currency papers which must be stored centrally and are issued by Russian organizations playing foreign organizations acting in the interests of third parties.

These changes took effect on February 2nd, 2013.

8. Luxemburg-Russian Federation: new taxation rules

A treaty has been ratified on making changes to the Agreement between Russia and Luxemburg on avoiding double taxation and preventing tax evasion regarding income and property taxes signed on November 21st, 2011 in Moscow (Federal Law dated 30.12.2012 No. 301-FZ ‘On Ratifying the Treaty on making changes to the Agreement between Russia and Luxemburg on avoiding double taxation and preventing tax evasion regarding income and property taxes’).

The main purpose of the Treaty is the description in the new edition of Article 26 ‘Exchanging Information’ in the Agreement in accordance with the recommendations made by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development geared towards increasing information exchange efficiency between Russian and Luxembourgian tax authorities, including information held by banks, loan organizations, nominal holders, agents or trustees. Information exchange will be performed on all taxes.

Article 5 ‘Permanent Establishment’ of the Agreement is supplemented by provisions allowing for taxation on a significant part of income received from rendering services and activities performed through independent agents.

The minimum tax rate on dividends at the source has been set at 5 percent.

A procedure for income tax to be paid on investment fund shares, including real estate funds which have not been taxed in Russia so far, has been established.

The Agreement has been supplemented by regulations which allow for taxation at the payment source on income from the alienation of shares in companies whose capital is 50 percent or more real estate.


Upon agreement by the parties, Article 29, "Excluding certain types of companies" of the Agreement is replaced by a new Article 29 ‘Limiting Benefits", the provisions of which will more effectively prevent the use of illegal agreements to minimize taxes.

9. Offshores have been ‘awarded’ with stringent regulations

The list of countries and territories offering preferential tax treatment and/or do not provide for the disclosure and provision of information on financial transactions (Order of the Ministry of Finance of Russia from 21.08.2012 N 115n) has been approved.

In accordance with Russian law on taxes and duties regarding transactions performed with organizations based in these areas, more stringent measures of tax regulation are now in place. In particular, this pertains to dividends received by Russian organizations from Russian or foreign companies located in these offshore areas, the reduced income tax rate (0 percent) is not used.

10. No VAT!

The list of equipment whose import into the Russian Federation is not subject to VAT has been expanded (Government Decree dated 30.04.2009 No. 372 "On approving the list of technological equipment (including components and spare parts), analogues of which are not produced in the Russian Federation, the importation of which to the Russian Federation shall not be subject to value added tax’.

11. To be considered official information


According to information received from the Bank of Russia on 19.10.2012 "On requests made in the Bank of Russia on foreign currency exchange rates against the ruble", information about foreign currency exchange rates against the ruble which was published on the official website of the Bank of Russia is the official information of the Bank of Russia and does not require additional written confirmation from the Bank of Russia

12. The Bank of Russia will open ruble correspondent accounts for foreign banks

According to Federal Law of 25.12.2012 No. 266-FZ On Amending Article 46 of the Federal Law On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) the Bank of Russia has the right to open or maintain correspondent accounts for foreign central (national) banks in Russian rubles

The law allows the Bank of Russia without limitation to open and maintain correspondent accounts for foreign central (national) banks in Russian rubles, as well as to transfer money on behalf of foreign central (national) banks on their accounts.

Performing these operations is necessary, in particular, for the Bank of Russia to uphold its international obligations, to work towards the promotion of the ruble as a reserve currency, and to address issues related to the conversion of funds through the correspondent accounts of foreign central (national) banks for the purpose of servicing Russian military units, military personnel and their families living outside of Russia

13. The main points for receiving dividends have been clarified

Changes have been made to the Federal Law of 22.04.1996 No. 39-FZ "On the Securities Market".

The law has been supplemented with articles dealing the main points of receiving dividends in cash for the shares and the income in the form of money and other monetary payments on nominal bonds.

It has been determined that the depositary is not entitled to giving an order on crediting the securities of Russian issuer issued in the Russian Federation to the account opened for it in a foreign organization as a person acting in the interest of others.

The procedure for issuing equity securities has been clarified.

Takes effect on February 2nd, 2013.

14. National payment system has been launched

As of July 1, 2012 most of the provisions of the Federal Law dated 27.06.2011 N 161-FZ "On the National Payment System" (hereinafter - the Law on the Payment System) have taken effect.

In accordance with the definition of the rules of the payment system, the payment system and controlling their performance have been assigned to the operator of the payment system.

Service payment infrastructure operators provide money transfer services - settlement, clearing and operational centers. The law on the payment system provides for separation of functions related to performing payments.

Participants in the payment system are the organizations which have joined the payment system for performing money transfers under the rules of the payment system.

In addition, the Law on the payment system has given the Bank of Russia broad authority and powers to regulate the activities of payment systems in Russia.

15 Investments funds have gotten a second wind

On September 1, 2012 changes to the Federal Law dated 29.11.2001 N 156-FZ "On Investment Funds" (hereinafter - the Law) took effect:

The law established:

  • the rules for repaying the fractional parts of investment shares;
  • the procedure for exchanging investment shares of one open-end investment fund for shares of another fund's launch date based upon the decision of the managing company;
  • restrictions on the purchase of mutual funds;
  • the rules for sending and receiving orders to/from the FFMS of Russia.

One can transfer company management powers and authority to others.

A provision allowing one to establish the position to provide specialized depositary rights to involve another depository to perform duties for storing securities owned by the joint-stock investment fund or mutual fund account for property, and (or) recognition of the rights to such securities the contract with the joint investment fund or in the rules of trust management.

The list of actions, as a result of which the Federal Financial Markets Service of Russia may ban management companies to perform operations according to the law (for example, to place stock investment fund shares to or simultaneously produce, exchange and redeem mutual fund shares, etc.) has been expanded.

The list of grounds for revoking licenses of equity investment funds, management companies and specialized depositories has been supplemented.

The grounds for not registering the rules of mutual fund trust management or amendments made to these rules have been expanded.

The law also provides for the establishment of a new type of mutual funds – stock exchange ones.

16. All banned sites, come here!


A procedure for including web sites in the register of sites containing information whose dissemination is prohibited in the Russian Federation has been regulated.

On November 1, 2012 an electronic form for receiving complaints/requests from authorities, businesses and individuals about websites with illegal information started functioning.

The single register of sites on the Internet containing information, the dissemination of which is prohibited in Russia can be found at

17. The base for accruing insurance payments has grown a bit

As of January 1st, 2013 the maximum base size for accruing insurance payments in non-budget funds is 568,000 rubles

(Government Decree dated 10.12.2012 NO. 1276 "On the maximum base value accruing insurance payments in state funds as of January 1, 2013’)

As of January 1st, 2013 the indexation factor has been set at 1.11.

From payments exceeding that value accrued by employee cumulatively from the beginning of the year, contributions are paid to the Pension Fund, Federal Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund and Social Insurance Fund, while on the amount exceeding this only insurance payments are made on compulsory pension insurance.

18. Social Security Territory Fund will issue maternity leave checks

The list of cases in which the appointment and payment of temporary disability and maternity leave by the Social Security territory fund has been expanded.

Allowances are made directly by the insurer’s regional agency, in particular, when it is impossible to determine the location of the employer and his/her property which may be levied. The grounds for assigning and paying such benefits are a court decision establishing the fact of non-payment of benefits to the insured person.

Employers are now required to include a certificate of earnings provided to employees upon termination, information on the period of temporary disability, maternity leave, child care and the periods of leave from work with full or partial salary, if the relevant payment is not charged premiums.

Also, the procedure for determining the average wage forming the basis for which benefits for temporary disability and maternity are calculated has been adjusted.

19. 32 classes of professional risks

32 classes of professional risks reflecting the levels of occupational accidents, occupational diseases and the cost of providing insurance and shaped by economic activity have been established. (Order No.625n dated 25.12.2012 from the Russian Ministry of Labor).

A classification of economic activities in classes of occupational risk has been established in accordance with the Federal Law "On compulsory social insurance against industrial accidents and occupational diseases" to differentiate insurance rates.

20. Highly skilled foreign professionals do not need work permits

Foreign citizens temporarily residing in the Russian Federation are exempt from obtaining work permits.

Employers (work and service customers) have the right to send applications to the Federal Migration Service of Russia and its territorial bodies for hiring highly skilled foreign professionals (application for renewing their work permits), by using information and telecommunications networks, including the Internet, including single portal of public and municipal services.

21. Additional grounds for visas

An additional category of grounds for issuing visas to travel to Russia for foreign citizens and persons without citizenship has been introduced, and the possibility for not using the grounds for issuing visas is noted, if required by an international treaty signed by the Russian Federation (Article 25 of the Federal Law of August 15, 1996 No 114-FZ "On the Procedure for Leaving and Entering the Russian Federation.")

22. Visas for investors

Employees of foreign companies investing in Russia will be able to receive ordinary business visas valid for five years (Federal Law dated 30.12.2012 No. 303-FZ "On Amendments to Article 25 and 25.6 of the Federal Law" ‘On the Procedure for Leaving and Entering the Russian Federation’)

Representatives and employees of large foreign companies which invest in Russia or companies involved in a project for creating the Skolkovo innovation center or an international financial center in Russia have been given the opportunity to obtain visas in Russian diplomatic and consular agencies abroad by directly addressing a federal executive body authorized by the Russian Federation. The above mentioned persons may receive an ordinary business visa valid for five years instead of one year under the current legislation of the Russian Federation.

23. To the Olympics in the express lane


The procedure for receiving visas by foreign citizens taking part in preparing and holding the XXII Winter Olympic Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games in 2014 in Sochi has been simplified:

  • issuing a visa is possible based on applications coming from the Sochi 2014 Organizational Committee on applying for a regular single-entry, double-entry or multi-entry visa at a Russian diplomatic or consular institution;
  • these people are exempt from state customs for issuing their visas.

24. No entry for late-comers

A ban on entering Russia during a three year period may be established for those foreign citizens not leaving the Russian Federation once thirty days have passed since the term of their temporary residency had ended (Federal Law dated 30.12.12 No.321-FZ ‘On adjusting Article 26 of the Federal Law ‘On the procedure for leaving and entering the Russian Federation’).