14.12.2015 Application of the Key Rate of the Bank of Russia Starting from 1 January 2016 The Government of the Russian Federation has decreed that starting from 1 January 2016 all matters regulated by the acts of the Government will be subject to the key rate of the Bank of Russia instead of the refinancing rate, unless the federal laws provide otherwise (Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1340 dated 8 December 2015). 20.11.2015 The Use of Video Conferencing in Commercial (Arbitrazh) Procedure with the Assistance of Courts of General Jurisdiction The Russian Supreme Court has introduced Bill No. 902889-6, amending Art. 153.1 of the Commercial (“Arbitrazh”) Procedure Code of the Russian Federation to enable the state commercial (“arbitrazh”) courts to use video conferencing during hearings with the assistance of other commercial courts and courts of general jurisdiction equally. 22.10.2015 Environmental Fee: To Pay or Not to Pay? In late 2014, the legislator has introduced the obligation of companies to recycle product waste; as an alternative to recycling, the company can pay an environmental fee (Articles 24.2 and 24.5 of Federal Law No. 89-FZ dated 24 June 1998 “On Production and Consumption Waste”, hereinafter, the “Law on Waste”). However, the regulations setting forth the rates or the procedure for calculating the fee, etc. are yet to be adopted. 16.10.2015 Amendments of the LLC Law: New Rules Becoming Effective in 2016 The reform of corporate legislation has finally reached special laws. Thus, this year the Federal Law “On Limited Liability Companies” (hereinafter, the LLC Law) has been amended, with the changes affecting the procedures legal practitioners have grown accustomed to, namely, the transfer of shares to third parties and pledge of shares in LLCs, the participants’ withdrawal from the company, etc. Moreover, the list of actions that will require the involvement of a notary has been significantly expanded. 25.09.2015 Verifying Information in the Unified State Register for Legal Entities: Expectations for 2016 The verification of information entered into the Unified State Register for Legal Entities (USRLE, “EGRUL”) by the Federal Tax Service, imposing additional liability for submission of unreliable information, registration of companies through straw men, new powers of the notaries and introduction of the two-step procedure for changing the legal entity’s address – these are only a few of the amendments introduced by Federal Law No. 67-FZ dated 30 March 2015 “On Amending Individual Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation As Regards Ensuring the Accuracy of Information Presented upon State Registration of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs” (the Law on Reliability of Registers). 11.08.2015 Sole Shareholder: To Be Registered in the USRLE? Starting from 1 September 2014, the amendments into Article 98(6) of the Russian Civil Code have entered into effect. Pursuant to the same, the information that a joint-stock company comprises one participant shall be entered into the Unified State Register for Legal Entities (USRLE, “EGRUL”). 10.08.2015 Prohibition of Personnel Leasing in 2016 A little more than a year has passed since the adoption of Federal law No. 116-FZ of May 5, 2015 that substantially limited the use by employers of labor of non-employees (“out-staffing”). Now, three months before the law enters into force (January 1, 2016), we believe it necessary to remind what exactly the employers will face in view of the upcoming changes. 15.07.2015 Changes in the Regulation of Obligations and Contracts Starting from June 1, 2015, the new provisions of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation devoted to the law of obligations have entered into full force into effect. We have selected 20 amendments relevant to business that we consider to be the most significant ones: