On July 31, 2020, the Federal Law dd. July 31, 2020 No. 259-FZ "On Digital Financial Assets, Digital Currency and on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation" (hereinafter - the Law) was published on the official web portal of legal information http://www.pravo.gov.ru. The Law regulates relations arising from the turnover of digital currency in the Russian Federation, as well as relations arising from issuance, accounting and circulation of digital financial assets, certain aspects of activities of information system operators and operators of exchange of digital financial assets. The Law comes into force on January 1, 2021, except for certain provisions.
On June 25, 2020, pharma giant Novartis AG and two of its subsidiaries agreed to pay the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) $346.7 million in penalties and disgorgement to resolve FCPA offenses in Greece, Vietnam and South Korea. This settlement highlights that, irrespective of economic downturns various countries are experiencing or a pandemic gripping the world, the FCPA will continue to be enforced by the relevant authorities.
On 08 June 2020, the President of the Russian Federation signed the Federal law “On amendments to the Arbitrazh Procedure Code of the Russian Federation in order to protect the rights of individuals and legal entities in connection with restrictive measures imposed by a foreign state, state association and (or) union and (or) state (interstate) institution of a foreign state or state association and (or) union” (hereinafter – the Law). The Law comes into effect on 19 June 2020.
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.
The spread of coronavirus globally poses new challenges before FAS: how to prevent violation of competition law in such turbulent market conditions?
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.
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 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?
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.
On December 2, 2019 the RF President signed a new law that establishes significant fines for violations of the localization rule in respect to the personal data of Russian citizens.
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.