The celebration of the 10 th Anniversary of the Russian-British Chamber of Commerce’s activity in St. Petersburg took place on the 26th of June 2014.
Our company was one of the Official sponsors of that event. Mikhail Onatskiy, Managing Partner of PRESIDENT CONSULT, greeted the RBCC members and thanked the RBCC for the opportunities it provided for communication and collaboration between Russian and British entrepreneurs.
We would like once again to draw your attention to the position of the Supreme Court authorities concerning the issue of possibility of an in-gratis transfer of property among the principal and subsidiary companies.
The existing earlier arbitration court practice which permitted a possibility of entering into in-gratis transactions among commercial companies was developed and supported by the Presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation. The following legal attitudes have been formed:
Implemented on 30 September 2013 Changes to Civil Сode No. 260-FS became effective on 01 November 2013 and refers to Chapter VI, Part III, of the document (International Private Law). Hereafter are the most important changes.
Back referencing option has been extended (talking about situations when RF Legislation refers to the foreign legislation, with it having no direct regulation, but referring back to RF or the third country legislation): back referencing is to be accepted when foreign legislation refers to RF legislation defining the status of a natural person. (Art. 1190 RF Civil Code)
Changes refer to the content of the foreign law norms identification when applied in RF Court: when engaged into operation in RF Courts foreign legislation is no longer to be proven by the parties, but to be presented to the Court. (Art.1191 RF Civil Code).
The Reservation to the public order, by which the norms of foreign legislation are not to be applied in case there might be a contradiction of consequences to the Rule of RF Law; it has been extended with the notion of a relationship pattern being complicated with the foreign elements; consideration of this pattern expands the discretion of the court (Art. 1193 RF Civil Code)
Norms referring to the application of law on legal entities has been changed; creditors are able to choose the applicable legislation to prosecute for its obligations the founders (or participants) of the foreign organization operating in Russia, (Article 1202 RF Civil Code); when establishing the legal entity, parties will be able to choose the applicable legislation to regulate their relationship (Art. 1214 RF Civil Code).
Parties legally bound by the property relationship will be able to choose the legislation applied when the right of ownership to movable property arises and terminates (Article 1205, 1205.1, 1206, RF Civil Code)
Effective 5 November 2013 are the amendments to articles 20, 25 and 26 of the Federal Law No.196-FZ "On road-traffic safety", dated 10 December 1995, and new article 12.32.1 of "Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offenses".
According to the updated legislation Legal entities and Entrepreneurs are strictly forbidden to allow the vehicle operation for drivers without RF national driver’s licence, confirming the right to operate the vehicle of respective categories and subcategories. When conducting entrepreneur or labor activity directly bound to operating a vehicle, abovementioned operating with foreign national driver’s licence or international driver’s licence is not allowed.
The administrative responsibility for the violation of that Legal Rule is charged as a penalty in the rate of 50 000 Rubles (five hundred thousand); the responsibility falls on the parties responsible for vehicle maintenance and operating conditions.
To receive the RF national driver’s licence the foreign citizen will be obliged to take the common test; this testing is to be conducted in Russian language.
As to operation of a personal vehicle for foreign citizens, it remains being allowed with the foreign national driver’s licence or international driver’s licence. Effective 13 May 2014 is the Provision par. (§) 14 Article 25 of the Federal law "On road-traffic safety", which allows operating a vehicle on the territory of Russian Federation to non-russian citizens provided they own both foreign national driver’s licence and international driver’s licence.
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation published the resolution of Plenum № 21 of 27.06.2013 to courts of general jurisdiction that explains the application of the Convention on Human Rights Protection and Fundamental Freedoms of 4 November, 1950 and its Protocols.
The Resolution includes the following:
- the legal position of the European Court is considered by applying the legislation of the Russian Federation. The content of the rights and freedoms stipulated by the legislation of the Russian Federation shall be determined by taking into account the content of similar rights and freedoms, disclosed by the European Court through the Convention and its Protocols. The legislation of the Russian Federation may envisage a higher level of protection of the rights and freedoms in comparison with the standards guaranteed by the Convention and its Protocols as interpreted by the Court. In such cases, the courts shall apply the provisions contained in the legislation of the Russian Federation;
Federal Law No. 15-FZ "On the protection of public health from the impact of tobacco smoke and the consequences of tobacco consumption" (hereinafter - the "law") came into force on June 1, 2013. There are certain provisions that are not included in this law. The law has increased the list of places where tobacco smoking is prohibited.
From June 1, 2013 smoking is prohibited in transport infrastructure such as railway stations, bus stations, river ports, airports, etc.
From June 1, 2014 smoking will not be allowed in the following places:
- Bars, cafes and restaurants;
- Hotels, hostels, campsites, etc.;
- Long-distance trains during trips;
- Long-distance passenger ships;
- Commuter train platforms.
An amendment to the Labour Code of the Russian Federation that regulates the work of remote employees came into force on April 19, 2013.
Remote work is understood to be job function performed by an employee outside the employer’s location and away from a stationary workplace, area or facility that is directly or indirectly controlled by the employer. An employment contract is signed between the employer and employee. To perform their job function and liaise with the employer it is mandatory that the employee uses public information and telecommunication networks, including the Internet.
An encrypted digital signature is used for signing the employment contract.
Working hours and holidays are set by the remote worker at their own discretion, unless otherwise expressly provided in the employment contract.
Among other things, the employment contract includes:
- Performance report procedure and terms;
- Procedure and terms for providing the employee with the necessary software and hardware devices, including information security tools needed for work as stated in the employment contract;
- Procedure for providing paid annual leave and other holidays.
The employer may terminate employment on grounds provided in the employment contract.
An Agreement to return the Esterhazy book collection to Austria, signed on September 21, 2012 in Moscow, has been ratified by the Federal Law № 42-FZ of 05.04.2013.
The book collection of the Esterhazy family consists of unique XV-XVIII century publications in theology, astronomy, history, philosophy, medicine, science, art, law and linguistics in English, Aramaic, Latin, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian, Greek, Hebrew and other languages.
The collection was taken from Austria to the Soviet Union in 1945 by one of the Red Army units. It should be noted that on October 7, 2005 Austria returned a copy of the "Flying Mercury" sculpture by Giambologna (cast in 1783) to Russia. The sculpture was taken from Pavlovsk Palace Museum in 1944 by the Nazis.
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.
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).