On April 6, 2020, the Russian Government introduced a moratorium on bankruptcy of debtors, companies and sole traders, who are most hit by the coronavirus pandemic: lenders shall be prohibited from filing bankruptcy claims against such debtor.
Against the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic, Federal Law No. 127-FZ “On Insolvency (Bankruptcy)” dated 26 October 2002 was amended to include rules governing the introduction of a moratorium on bankruptcy proceedings in respect of certain categories of enterprises and (or) specific companies. On 31 March 2020 both the State Duma and the Federation Council passed such amendments; they are expected to be shortly signed by the President of the Russian Federation.
On March 26, 2020, the Ministry of Labour published recommendations to workers and employers in connection with the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation dated March 25, 2020 No. 206 "On the Announcement of Non-Working Days in the Russian Federation."
The spread of coronavirus infection has led to a number of measures taken by states, aimed at restricting movement and business meetings. The number of countries and cities that introduced restrictions, includes places where the largest arbitration centers are located: Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, Milan, London, Zurich.
As the pandemic spreads, and states adopt restrictive measures, companies will become unable to fulfill their contractual obligations. Under such circumstances, applicability of force majeure rules in each case becomes of paramount importance. It is important to make correct legal qualification from the very outset, and to take all the necessary steps in order to subsequently be able to refer to force majeure, including the collection of evidence in case of a subsequent dispute.
Protecting shareholders from coronavirus: annual meetings of shareholders in 2020 can be held in absentia
On March 18, 2020, Federal Law No. 50-FZ “On the acquisition by the Government of the Russian Federation of ordinary shares of the PJSC Sberbank of Russia from the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and on the recognition of certain provisions of the legislative acts of the Russian Federation” (hereinafter - the Law No. 50-FZ) was published.
The spread of coronavuirus (COVID-19), as well as the introduction of a broad range of restrictive measures to contain it, will have a negative impact on many sectors of the Russian economy. How will this situation affect taxpayers' obligations in relation to making mandatory payments to the budget? Further considering the restrictive measures and the fact that most employees will start working remotely, will there be a change to the overall interaction between taxpayers and tax authorities?
The rapid of spread of coronavirus will have an adverse effect on a braod range of businesses. Government bodies of the Russian Federation have announced a number of operational measures, aimed at reducing business risks in the context of the global coronavirus pandemic.
The Russian media is increasingly aware of the news about the initiation of criminal prosecution by enforcement agencies against the top management of large companies due to the qualification of their actions of transferring capital to foreign jurisdictions as illegal (especially in countries with special conditions for doing business for foreign companies).
On August 3, 2018 the Russian President signed the Federal Law which provides for establishing effective January 31, 2019 of the Russian Open Register of Ships to register ships that are owned not only by Russian companies and individuals but by foreign ones as well.
On December 21, 2018 the new Decree No.8 established by the President of the Republic of Belarus simple and transparent rules for running innovative business models for Belarusian Hi-Tech Park residents (HTP).
Starting September 2017, the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (the “Agreement”) entered into force. According to the Agreement, Ukraine, among other things, has taken certain obligations for IP, though it was not clear whether they should apply with an immediate effect or after conflicting Ukrainian laws are changed. Recently, the Patent office finally explained that the Agreement will be applied in full and prevail over the national legislation, including the most relevant changes as follows.
Federal Law No.259-FZ dated July 29, 2017 (the “Law”) introduced significant amendments to the Civil Code of the Russian Federation (“the Civil Code”) in regard to the regulation of inheritance-related matters. One of the key novelties was the emergence of a new tool – estate funds. The Law provides for procedures to set up an estate fund, determines the legal status of its beneficiaries and sets forth procedures for managing the fund. The Law will take effect on September 1, 2018.