Amendments that came into effect on 1 January 2017

New Year expectations
Amendments to the legislation as of 1 January

January 1st is the first day of the new year. It is also the date when new laws come into effect. We have prepared a brief overview of major legislative changes that came into effect while we were celebrating the New Year.

1. Russian insurers will now have to sell compulsory third party car insurance policies electronically. All new vehicles on the RF territory will be equipped with the ERA-GLONASS system. (Federal Law No. 214-FZ of 23 June 2016, Customs Union Commission Decision No. 877 of 9 December 2011.)

2. Two new unified state registers have been introduced: the Unified State Register of Immovable Property (will only be available electronically) and the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths. Also introduced is the federal registrar of disabled persons. (Federal Laws No. 218-FZ of 13 July 2015, No. 219-FZ of 23 June 2016, No. 419-FZ of 1 December 2014.)

3. The status has been regulated for non-commercial entities who render socially useful services. These non-commercial entities now have the priority right to receive support from government authorities of all levels (Federal Laws No. 287-FZ of 3 July 2016, No. 466-FZ of 28 December 2016.)

4. New requirements have been envisaged for travel companies’ executives. Travel tickets and hotel vouchers should be hand to tourists within 24 hours before the voyage. (Federal Laws No. 402-FZ of 30 November 2016, No. 128-FZ of 1 May 2016, No. 47-FZ of 2 March 2016.)

5. Online news aggregators will now be obliged to distribute only verifiable information from mass media. Printed mass media have been allowed to increase advertising volume up to 45% (per one issue). (Federal Laws No. 413-FZ of 5 December 2016, No. 208-FZ of 23 June 2016, No. 408-FZ of 30 November 2016.)

6. Retiring age for civil servants will be increasing by 6 months per annum until it reaches 65 years for men and 63 years for women. Salaries of state institutions’ head officers will depend on compensations paid to their employees. (Federal Law No. 143-FZ of 23 May 2016, RF Government Resolution No. 1339 of 10 December 2016.)

7. Debts can only be collected by agencies which are put on a special register; debt collectors will have the right to contact debtors only within a specifically defined time period. Also, it has become cheaper to declare oneself bankrupt - the amount of the state duty has decreased to RUB 300 (Federal Law No. 231-FZ of 3 July 2016.)

8. The production of alcoholic drinks with ABV over 4% in polyethylene containers exceeding 1,5 liters in volume has been prohibited, as well as retail trading in alcoholic drinks in the same type of containers. (Federal Law No. 202-FZ of 23 June 2016.)

9. Foreign IT-companies will start paying VAT on the sale of electronic services in the Internet. Mass media called this initiative a ‘tax on Google’. (Federal Law No. 24-FZ of 3 July 2016, RF Federal Tax Service Order No. ММВ-7-15/516@ of28 September2016.)

10. The RF Supreme Court has allowed household services vendors to involuntarily write off debts from consumers’ bank accounts. (TheRFSupremeCourtPlenumResolutionNo. 62 of27 December2016.)

11. A new measure of punishment has been introduced as an alternative to prison confinement for crimes of little or average gravity - community service. (Federal Law No. 420-FZ of 7 December 2011.)

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New Year expectations
Amendments to the legislation as of 1 January