Changes In Russian Laws Effective June 1

Russia increases minimum wage, hikes pensions by 10%, clamps down on weapons ownership

Numerous new laws in Russia come into effect from June 1, 2022 that will affect foreigners based in the country, Russian dependents being financed from overseas, as well as for Russian nationals. These are wide-ranging and cover on a personal basis, everything from Regional Governance, State Pensions, Social Support, Medical support for children, attendance at football matches and in contrast to the United States policy on gun carrying and the ‘right to bear arms ‘, clampdowns on who and how personal weapons can be acquired.

Changes In Regional Government Structures

On June 1, a law will come into force that establishes uniform principles for the organization of public power throughout the country, and brings the current legislation in line with the changes to the Constitution that were made in 2020.

The law states that Russian Federal Executive authorities will be able to participate in the formation of Russian regional governments. The country has 85 separate regions. Ministerial candidates in important areas as education, health care, finance, state regulation of tariffs, housing control (supervision), construction supervision, control (supervision) in the field of shared construction of apartment buildings and other real estate will be coordinated with the Federal government.

A single five-year term of office of Governors and Regional Parliaments has also been established, as well as the procedure for early termination of powers. The heads of subjects, according to the new law, will now be officially called either Governors or Regional Heads, while the ability for senior leaders to refer to themselves as ‘Presidents’ of the Russian Republics they are responsible for has been withdrawn.

These changes consolidate the principle of unity of the system of public authorities in the Russian Federation, the implementation of which is designed to increase the efficiency of interaction between all levels of public authorities (federal, regional and local) for a better solution of the tasks facing public authorities, as well as to strengthen control over activities and increase responsibility these bodies ”according to an explanatory note prepared by the Russian Federation Council.

Indexing of Minimum Wages & Pensions

The Russian minimum wage will increase by 10% from June 1 to 15,278 Rubles per month, (@ US $ 250) based on average cost of living data.

In addition, it was also decided to index the pensions of non-working pensioners by 10%. This follows a previous increase in January, of 8.6%, which means that in total, the growth in pensions since the beginning of the year is higher than the inflation rate.

After indexation, the average pension in Russia will be 19,360 Rubles, (US $ 310) according to the Minister of Labor, Anton Kotyakov. The average increase for each pensioner will be 1,700 Rubles. According to the Ministry, indexation will affect 35 million non-working pensioners.

Social Security Support

Improved mechanisms to receive pensions and social security payments also take effect from June 1. The details of bank accounts to which citizens would like to receive payments will be automatically transferred to the social security authorities. Russian nationals can consent to do this via the Russian Social Services “Gosuslugi”Online platform.

Social services will also become more targeted, with citizens will be informed about the payments or benefits available to them courtesy of the Russian Unified State Social Security System.

Dependent Pensions From Deceased Parents Contributions To Be Extended

The payments of pensions made to the surviving children of a working parent or guardian are being increased. Recipients over the age of 18 who graduated from high school but who have not yet enrolled in secondary or higher education will continue to receive payments until September 1 of the year in which the education was completed. For those who entered a secondary or higher educational institution, payments will accrue continuously. Unemployed recipients of such pensions will not have to prove dependence.

Treatment of Children with Off-Label Drugs

On June 29, laws concerning the treatment of serious illnesses in children will come into force, and permit the use of off-label drugs to treat serious diseases in children. Off-label drugs are medicines already included in clinical guidelines and standards of care, but have not yet been approved by official regulatory authorities for use. A specific list of relevant diseases and conditions, as well as eligibility criteria for drugs, will be published by the government.

Attendance At Football Matches

Fan IDs will be required to purchase tickets for football matches from June 1. Fan passports can be obtained by applying through the Russian State Services. Individuals who have previously violated public order at sporting events may be denied a Fan ID, however refusal decisions can be appealed in court.

Digital Registration of Real Estate

From June 30, a new real estate administrative law comes into force, concerning applications for valuations, and registration of rights. Documents in electronic format will be “equalized” in rights with paper documents – it will not be necessary to submit a paper version. In addition, it will not be possible to apply for valuation registration of real estate or registration of rights by mail.

Right To Bear Arms In Russia

Hunting, shooting, and fishing are popular outdoor pursuits in Russia. However, from June 1, 2022, the age for acquiring hunting weapons in Russia is to be increased from 18 years to 21 years. Additional restrictions also depend on the type of weapon and the experience of the owner. For example, it will be possible to purchase a smooth-bore repeating shotgun (semi-automatic) only after two years of owning a hunting double-barreled or single-barreled shotgun.

Shotguns and carbines with a short barrel are banned, while the new law equates pseudo-rifled weapons with rifled ones. The law also introduces a ban on the acquisition, storage, carrying and use of weapons by citizens who have not passed a medical examination and personal evaluation. The testing methodology will be determined by the regional government.

It will only be possible to undergo a medical examination in medical organizations belonging to the state or municipal health care system. The conclusion will be issued in the form of an electronic ID document with an enhanced electronic signature.

If later, during an examination or medical care, a person is found to have a disease that excludes the possibility of having a gun license, doctors will notify the carrier about this, as well as creating a special message – also with an electronic signature – that will be sent directly to the registry. The owner himself will then be required to appear for a re-examination. Up to this point, the weapon will be confiscated.

The issuance of a license to those who have an outstanding or unexpunged conviction for committing serious or especially serious crimes will be prohibited. In addition, the prohibition will include making any changes to the design of weapons, or distributing instructions on how to alter weapons to increase their firepower.

Significant Increases in “Fire Fighting” Fines

Global warming is having a serious effect on Russia vast northern forests. Several regions in Russia suffered from extensive damage including to property. Fines for violation of fire regulations in Russia will increase to 15-30,000 rubles, for legal entities – and from 100 to 400,000 rubles for individuals.

The maximum fine for violating fire safety rules, if this entails a fire and causing serious bodily harm or death, will be 2 million rubles.

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Russia Briefing is written by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm has 28 offices throughout Eurasia, including China, Russia, India, and the ASEAN nations, assisting foreign investors into the Eurasian region. Please contact Maria Kotova at russia@dezshira.com for Russian investment advisory or assistance with market intelligence, legal, tax and compliance issues throughout Asia.

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