Currency Control

 

On 6 December 2011 the President signed Federal Law No. 406-FZ amending the Currency Control Law.

The amendments extend the category of Russian citizens who are considered non-residents to include Russian citizens permanently residing abroad for no less than one year (including based on a residence permit) and those temporarily staying abroad for no less than one year based on an employment or study visa.

Further, the amendments provide that residents engaged in foreign trade are obliged to inform banks of the maximum terms proposed in accordance with the contracts for receipt of 1) export proceeds or 2) imported goods due on account of advance payments. The procedure for the submission of such information is to be defined by the Central Bank.

It is also provided that the documents requested from residents and non-residents by a currency control authority or agent are to be submitted to such authority or agent only once; if the data indicated in such documents change, residents and non-residents are to so inform the currency control authority or agent. It is stressed that where facts need to be confirmed, residents and non-residents may be requested to provide only those documents which are used in business, there is no need to draw up separate documents specifically for currency control purposes.

The amendments introduce rules aimed at improving the procedures for the exchange of information among currency control agents and authorities: 1) banks are obliged to transfer filed transaction passports in an electronic form to currency control authorities and agents within three business days of their filing; and 2) customs authorities are obliged to transfer information on registered customs declarations on goods in an electronic form to the Central Bank and banks within three business days of the day following the day of release (conditional release) of goods by the customs authorities. The procedure for the transfer of transaction passports and information on declarations is to be established by the Central Bank and the Government, respectively.

Finally, the amendments provide that banks possessing information on residents in breach of the repatriation requirement are obliged to transfer, to the currency control authority, the relevant banking control sheet as of the date of detecting the breach.

The Law will enter into force on 5 June 2012, save for the rule specifying the term for the transfer of data by customs authorities to banks, which will become effective on 1 January 2013.

For further information please contact Igor Ostapets or Irina Dmitrieva in the Moscow office of White & Case, tel + 7 495 787 3000 .

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