The law on news aggregators
On June 10 the state Duma adopted in the third final reading the law on news aggregators. Regulation handle media services traffic from 1 million unique users a day in February, I decided to do the deputies Alexey Kazakov and Alexander Yushchenko of profile Committee on information policy, information technologies and communications. In the original version of the bill actually aggregators equated to mass media: they proposed to extend the requirement on the validation of disseminated information and the restriction on foreign participation in the equity of 20%. Against the bill were the owners of the largest aggregators — Yandex, Mail.Ru Group Rambler & Co. Excessive requirement for pre-moderation of media reports and called the Ministry of communications. In the end, for the second reading of the controversial provisions of the bill were removed or mitigated.
According to the final version of the law, to cross-check information media aggregators don’t have, and instead of a ban on foreign ownership in the emergence of the norm of the need to register a Russian legal entity by the owners of the services. However, operators will have to register the aggregators in Roskomnadzor and, as suggested in a personal blog the head of “Yandex.News” Tatiana Isaeva, to break off relations with the sites, not registered as mass media in Russia. For violation of the law, the owners of aggregators will face fines from 50 thousand to 100 thousand rubles for citizens and from 600 thousand rubles for legal entities. The law will take effect January 1, 2017. Its requirements are not yet extend to Google News: an aggregator from Google in Russia has not yet reached the ceiling of attendance at 1 million users, making it more profitable compared to domestic competitors terms.
The tightening of exchange controls
On 19 January in the state Duma was introduced a bill requiring Russian companies to return to the country loans granted to foreign companies and citizens (the author of the initiative — the head of Committee on economic policy Anatoly Aksakov). So MPs want to close the loophole for withdrawal of money from the country. For violation of terms of return to Russia on loan to the foreign money is subject to a fine, and for the payment of money, — withdrawal from 75% up to the full amount of the loan. The bill was passed by the state Duma in the first reading at the end of January, but in mid-may, the state Duma Council decided to defer its consideration to a later date. The initiative has caused the discontent of the business, primarily the oil companies. They, along with foreign investors to develop oil and gas fields abroad and to give foreigners the financing under the loan agreements. The timing of the return of these funds may change due to objective difficulties with the implementation of projects, and the proposed amendments create the risk of violations by Russian companies of the currency legislation, I think the oil companies. “Restrictions will affect the most popular in the world practices of financing of innovative projects,” wrote, “Gazprom Neft first Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.
Tax on Google
On 15 June the state Duma in the third reading adopted the law, which introduces VAT for foreign IT companies. Its initiators were deputies Andrei Lugovoi (LDPR) Vladimir Parahin (“Fair Russia”). Under the new law, which industry representatives dubbed the “Google tax”, the sale of digital content and software in electronic form, hosting, domain registration, voice services over the Internet, storing and processing of information and a number of other services will now be taxed. Russian IT-companies were removed from the scope of the law, although in the first version of the document the domestic players also fell under him, as foreign.
The law will come into force on 1 January 2017. The IRS will have to put foreign IT company on the account within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application and at the same time notify about the registration. Firms which refuse to pay VAT, faces charges of tax evasion. They will also be removed from the tax records for one year and will not be able to operate in the country.
Taxation of foreign Internet companies, the Russian government expects to get “at first” to 10 billion rubles, said in early June, Deputy Minister of Finance Ilya Trunin. Additional business tax may lead to increase in the cost of products or services, said representative large foreign company. How may increase prices, it is difficult to estimate — “you must first see how the law will work”.
On 22 June the state Duma adopted a law that prohibits foreign companies to measure television audience in Russia. On consideration of the rules, completely changing the market, legislators took 16 days. Amendments to be made to the law on media and advertising law, actually forced to leave the main player of the market — TNS (part of the British Telecom holding company WPP), if, before September 2017, he will not change the composition of shareholders.
State Duma adopted the document forbids to do telemetry companies with a share of foreign ownership more than 20%. In addition, now measure the TV audience will be able only those companies who choose Roskomnadzor (such right, the Agency received just of the adopted law). In the first version of the document this procedure is called state accreditation, but later this formulation, the lawmakers refused. License issued by the Supervisory authority will be in force for three years, if Roskomnadzor chooses to suspend them ahead of time. The law requires advertisers and the TV channels only work with licensed teleserialy. Their troops will take until January 1, 2017.
Federal broadcasters and the advertising business in General supported the bill. However, both parties have called unrealistic as referred to in document time. Initially, the author of the bill Deputy Andrey Lugovoy is proposed to introduce new rules with the beginning of 2017, but eventually time moved on nine months. The market will have time to prepare for innovation, not earlier than the beginning of 2018, insisted at an expanded meeting of the state Duma Committee on information policy, the representatives of TV channels and advertising business. Otherwise, industry may stay forever in the order of 40% of the budgets, predicted in mid-June, Deputy CEO Vi Ilya Budnitskii.
Cadastral valuation of real estate
At the end of their sixth convocation of the state Duma adopted a government bill on a new approach to the taxation of real estate owned by citizens and companies. Private players will be denied the right to conduct cadastral valuation, which in many regions now determines the amount of tax on apartments, homes, land, commercial real estate, it will be done by special state institutions. All state appraisers should be guided by a single assessment methodology, which develops Ministry of economic development.
To change the system requested the President Vladimir Putin — to private appraisers had too many complaints: for example, the cadastral value of similar properties (and, accordingly, the value of the property tax) could differ in dozens of times. The owners actively challenge these cadastral valuation — as a result, the tax base in the regions decreased by 4 trillion rubles., calculated earlier by the chamber. The state monopoly on cadastral valuation will not be a solution to the problem, argued the Russian business of the organization. Criticized the bill in the Duma: in particular, the Committee on land relations drew attention to the absence of any liability of gasienicowa for errors in cadastral valuation and doubted that all kosienski will use the same methods. In addition, the Committee pointed out that the shortcomings of the bill may lead to a situation of “a significant increase in the tax payable in the short term.”
The prohibition of hostels
The bill banning services at the temporary accommodation of citizens in the housing stock, was prepared by a group of 37 MPs led by Chairman of the Committee on housing policy and housing Galina Khovanskaya. Under the temporary accommodation is meant for a period less than 180 days. According to the explanatory Memorandum to the bill, we are talking in particular about the “so-called hostels, mini-hotels”. If the premises being rented out, it “leads to the violation of housing rights of other residents homes,” according to deputies. The law also covers people and companies who rent apartments and homes for rent.
The bill was introduced in the state Duma in September 2015 and 13 may 2016 had its first reading. Theoretically it still can be considered before the end of the spring session, but it is more likely that the second and third readings of the law will be held in the fall. The main opponent of the bill, culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has called the ban of the hostels in residential buildings the impact on domestic tourism. “This will lead to social tensions on the black sea coast of Russia, the Crimean Peninsula, as the use of premises as accommodation facilities for temporary accommodation is the main source of income of the population in the resort areas”, — explained the press service of the Ministry of culture. Rising prices for hotel services in this case are unpredictable, wrote a representative of the Ministry and membership of the law will lead to the closure of more than 45 thousand companies across the country.
The outgoing Duma together with the Federation Council leadership tried to protect debtors from collection agencies, by which many organisations are trying to recover debts from the Russians in the pretrial order. Made a large group of parliamentarians headed by the speaker of the Federation Council and the Duma, Valentina Matviyenko and Sergei Naryshkin, the law was adopted on 21 June. After the entry into force of the legal work will only headers included in the special state register having an authorized capital of RUB 10 million and keep the law stipulates the rules of communication with the debtor — no more than two calls a week, no more than one personal meeting per week, etc. in addition, the debtor will have the right to completely refuse to communicate with the manifold — then the lender will have to recover a debt from him only by a court order.
Representatives of the reservoirs, criticized the law for excessive rigidity: they fear that legal employment agencies will be impossible. Many opposition deputies accused the authors of the project in an attempt to legalize the collection activities, which, in their opinion, obviously criminal, and demanded a complete ban collectors. To prevent the collectors, but it won’t change: companies will have their own special departments, which will collect debts because they do not recover their impossible debts must be repaid according to a source close to the leadership of the Duma.
The ban on beer in plastic
In accordance with the proposed amendments to the law on state regulation of production and turnover of alcoholic products the production of alcoholic beverages in plastic containers larger than 1.5 liters will be prohibited from 1 January 2017. The amendments also include changes to the Code of administrative offences, determining the size of administrative fines for violating the ban. The bill was passed by the state Duma in the final reading June 10, June 15, directed to the President for signature.
The first version of the bill in the state Duma was introduced in spring 2013, deputies from “United Russia” Mikhail Tarasenko and Raisa Karmazin. They explained their proposal to ban the sale of beer in plastic bottles (at the time of more than 0.5 liters) that cheapness of the plastic packaging increases the availability for the population of beer, consumption of which has reached “alarming amount”, and a large volume of the bottle encourages you to drink more. In the first reading the bill was adopted in June 2014.
April 13, 2016 the Union of Russian brewers (SRP), which “Baltic”, “joint brewery Heineken”, “sun InBev” and “Efes Rus”, published in the Kommersant open letter in which he accused Oleg Deripaska, whose company Rusal produces raw materials for aluminum cans, in lobbying for the prohibition of PET packaging. “You may seem that the plastic ban will lead to a shift of beer consumption in the aluminium can, but it’s not so,” the letter said. According to PSA, PET bottle Packed up to 45% of beer.