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Electronic entry visas to Russia's Kaliningrad Region to start operating in 2019

A similar pilot project is operating in the Vladivostok free port, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said

MOSCOW, July 27. /TASS/. Foreigners coming to the Kaliningrad Region are expected to use electronic visas from July 2019, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a government meeting which studied amendments to the legislation on the special economic zone (SEZ) of Russia’s westernmost region.

"Foreign citizens will be able to get an electronic visa [to visit the Kaliningrad Region]," Medvedev said, reiterating that a similar pilot project is operating in the Vladivostok free port. "After all necessary technical arrangements are made, everyone who comes to the country and leaves it through the Kaliningrad Region will enjoy this possibility from July 1, 2019," the prime minister said. He expects that "it will galvanize the development of tourism, as well as business and humanitarian contacts."

Medvedev also covered other amendments on how the Kaliningrad Region SEZ operates. In particular, as he put it, an automobile scrappage tax will be lifted on some types of transport vehicles produced less than three years ago that pass through Kaliningrad’s customs area. The territory itself of the Kaliningrad SEZ will be extended to the region’s sea ports, and the operational duration of the economic zone will be prolonged until 2095, the prime minister said.

The amendments stipulate a number of other benefits for investors of the Kaliningrad special economic zone, Medvedev added.

The prime minister discussed another draft law that was on the agenda of today’s meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers: extending the application term for preferential conditions on corporate income tax for residents of the advanced special economic zones and the Vladivostok free port. "If a resident does not earn a profit on an investment in a project, then he has the right to extend the application term for preferential rates (this is 0% of the federal part [of the tax] and not more than 5% of its regional part). Now projects with not more than 500mln rubles ($8.3mln) of investments can enjoy preferential treatment after five years of operation with no profit, those projects with over 1 bln rubles ($16.7mln) of investments, after six years, and the projects with over 100bln rubles ($1.7bln), after nine years," Medvedev stated.

The federal law "On the special economic zone in the Kaliningrad Region" has been in effect since April 1, 2006. It was earlier stated that 2016 turned out to be a record-breaking year for the number of new SEZ residents: 26 new legal entities (with a total number reaching 130) were registered there, and the volume of declared investments succeeded 100bln rubles ($1.7bln).