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New laws taking effect on Jan 1, change rule of game in Russian economy

January 03, 5:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Food embargo (ban on import of certain types of agricultural products, raw stock and food) from Ukraine took effect from January 1, 2016
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MOSCOW, January 3. /TASS/. Starting from January 1, 2016 a number of alterations to Russia’s federal and regional legislation have taken effect.

Food embargo (ban on import of certain types of agricultural products, raw stock and food) from Ukraine took effect from January 1, 2016. Ukraine was added to the sanctions list on August 13, 2015 when the Russian government extended the list of countries, against which restrictive measures were imposed. However, the introduction of the food embargo was postponed till the economic part of the agreement on Ukraine-EU association came into force. Statistics say that in the first 9 months of 2015 Russia’s import from Ukraine reached $4.2 bln, which accounted for 15% of Ukraine’s total export. According to the data provided by the Federal customs service, the share of products sanctioned by the Russian Federation stood at $94.4 mln, or 3%.

The main part of anti-Turkey sanctions came into force on January 1, 2016. The relevant law on using special economic measures was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 28, 2015. Starting from January 1, Turkish companies are facing restrictions or limitations regarding their accommodation of certain types of work or provision of service as well as a ban on hiring new employees from Turkey. The visa regime has been re-introduced. Certain types of food, flowers and edible salt have been restricted from being imported to Russia. Turkey exported those commodities worth $579.7 mln to Russia in January-September period of 2015, which is 18.9% of total Turkish exports to the Russian Federation.

Starting from 2016 Russia’s Central Bank will be automatically transferring 75% (instead of 50% previously) of its revenues to the country’s budget. The alteration is taking effect based on amendments to the federal law "On Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia)" signed on October 4, 2014. The regulator reported revenues at 183 bln rubles ($2.5 bln) for 2014. Meanwhile, at year-end 2015, the Central Bank will pay 90% of its revenues as the relevant law was signed on November 28, 2015 by President Vladimir Putin.

A new law on public-private and municipal-private partnerships has come into effect in Russia. The document signed on July 13, 2015 outlines the main notions and principles of partnership, requirements to private partner, objects of partnership agreements. Earlier this type of enterprises did not have a single regulatory framework as a separate law.

A common fund of geological information on subsoil is being formed to comprise all initial (obtained during subsoil use) and interpreted (obtained after processing of initial information) geological information. The document obliges delivering of all received information to the federal fund of geological information and its territorial divisions as well as funds of Russia’s constituent entities.

Agency labor (the work done by employees at the direction of their employer for the benefit, directed and controlled by an individual or legal entity, who is not their supervisory official) will be banned in Russia starting from January 1, 2016. Earlier the term wasn’t used in Russian legislation. The federal law from May 5, 2014 "On making alterations to certain legal acts of the Russian Federation" introduced and simultaneously banned it due to common practice of using agency labor on a regular basis, taking off the payroll for spending reduction (outsourcing) and for the purpose of attracting foreign employees without filing necessary quotas. Now the companies will be able to employ personnel only on a temporary basis (up to 9 months) and in cooperation with accredited private recruitment agencies and firms, which have the right to be engaged in providing employees’ labor.

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