news archive:
Legalization (laundering) of proceeds of crime

Rosfinmonitoring has created a draft of the Federal Law ''On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation'' (hereinafter - the Project). Most of the amendments were aimed at increasing the transparency of currency transactions needed to combat laundering of money obtained from crime. Also there will be a list of reasons by which a bank will refuse to open or cancel a bank account.

Legalization (laundering) of proceeds of crime

Currently, the basic legislative act of the Russian Federation against the legalization (laundering) of proceeds of crime is the Federal Law of 07.08.2001 "On Combating Legalization (Laundering) of Criminally Gained Income and Financing of Terrorism" (hereinafter - the Law). The Project is designed to make important changes in the Law.

In the current version of the Law legalization (laundering) of proceeds of crime means claiming ownership, use, or disposition of funds or other assets derived from criminal offenses, that is offenses committed prior to the legalization of funds. In other words, money laundering can only be established, if there is proof that the money was obtained from crime. However, not all crimes count. For example non-return of a large sum of foreign currency, evasion of customs duties and tax crimes are not considered as crimes prior to the legalization of funds.

International legal acts, which was ratified by Russia, allows national legislators to decide (to some extent) which crimes should be considered as prior money laundering. For example, the provisions of Art. 6 of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (adopted in New York 15.11.2000) states that each country should seek to regulate a wide range of predicate offenses relating to money laundering. Subsequently, there is no reason why the crimes mentioned above can't be considered. This approach was implemented by the legislator when drafting the Project.

When prosecuting for laundering of criminally obtained funds or other property, the amount of money involved is important. Money laundering on a large scale is identified by qualified content. The project proposes to reduce the amount considered to be large from 6 million to 600 thousand rubles. This will include a new qualified content: committing these offenses on a large scale that amount to more than 6 million rubles.

The Project stipulates that persons found guilty of money laundering operations (transactions) will have the property obtained from the crime confiscated from them in addition to any other measure of criminal punishment under criminal law.

Subjects of operations on combating money laundering

In order to prevent, detect and suppress acts related to money laundering, the law regulates the relations of Russian, foreign citizens and stateless persons, organizations performing operations with monetary funds or other assets, as well as government agencies that control these operations. Art. 5 of the Law lists the categories of organizations performing operations with monetary funds or other assets, which are subject to this Law. The project proposes to expand this list with the following:

  • Mutual insurance companies;
  • Insurance brokers;
  • Non-state pension funds, which have license to provide pensions and insurance;
  • Operators, who have the right to provide mobile phone services.
Stock mutual investment funds

On September 1, 2012 a new type of mutual investment funds was introduced - stock mutual investment funds (hereinafter – "stock funds"). This came from the provisions made by the Federal Law of 28.07.2012 № 145-FZ "On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation".

A stock funds unit holder (hereinafter – “unit holder”) will not only have the right to make a request to the management company (within the specified period) to redeem their investment units and pay a monetary compensation or allotment share of the fund's assets, but also the right to send a request on any business day to buy investment units at a price proportionate to their share of common ownership rights to property constituting such fund, and to sell them at an exchange specified in the regulations of the trust management of such stock fund (and on conditions provided in such regulations).

Draft decree of the Plenum of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation "On ensuring transparency during arbitration proceedings"

The draft decree of the Plenum of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation "On ensuring transparency in arbitration proceedings" can be seen on the site of the Supreme Arbitration Court of Russia (hereinafter - Draft). Some provisions in the Draft haven't been fully defined and contain alternatives. Below we shall consider only those clarifications, which do not have alternatives in this version of the Draft.

Camera recording, photography, video recording and direct broadcasting of proceedings via radio, television or Internet.

Regulations on the procedure for issuing invitations for entry into the Russian Federation

A Decree from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation № 12077 dated July 17, 2012 (and registered by the Russian Ministry of Justice on September 24, 2012) has established regulations on the procedure for issuing invitations for entry into Russia to foreign citizens and stateless persons and new procedures for making decisions on the issuance of visas - "The Regulations".

The Regulations state that the Consular Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the only body authorized to issue invitations and decide on visa issuance (previously representatives of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had such authority in certain cases and decisions to issue visas were made by the heads of diplomatic missions of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

An invitation to enter Russia can be electronic or on paper.

The Regulations amended the list of documents required for invitation application and visa issuance. The invited foreign citizen or a stateless person's passport - identification document - (a copy is sent to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) must not expire earlier than 6 months from the expiration date of the visa. The visa fee receipt is excluded from the required documents. Therefore to obtain an invitation, as well as a decision to issue a visa the applicant must submit to the Consular Department of the Ministry the following documents on paper or in electronic form:

Recent changes in alcohol advertising regulations

The amendments to the Federal law "On Advertising" became effective on 23 July, 2012 and the Federal Competition Service of the Russian Federation ("FAS Russia") has issued relevant clarifications on advertising of alcohol products in its letter No. AK/29977 dated September 13, 2012.

A website or profile in a social network of an alcohol product manufacturer or retailer that contains information about its range of goods will not qualify as advertising. However, if the information is aimed at emphasizing certain products or the organization among homogeneous products and organizations (for example, by means of a pop-up banner), then such information may be considered an advertisement.

A video posted on  video hosting web-sites (like isn't considered an advertisement.