07.10.2020 — Bankruptcy Moratorium Extended Until 7 January 2021

The Russian Government extended the bankruptcy moratorium from 7 October 2020 until 7 January 2021. The moratorium limits creditors’ initiation of bankruptcy proceedings in respect of companies most affected by the pandemic and stops accrual of penalties and enforcement proceedings in respect of such companies.

According to the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation dated 01.10.2020 No. 1587, the moratorium is extended in respect of the companies with the type of activity included into the list of the industries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the moratorium will not apply to strategic companies and core companies important for the Russian economic system, to which it applied before.

The moratorium continues to limit creditors’ right to initiate bankruptcy proceedings in respect of companies and stops accrual of penalties and enforcement proceedings. Additionally, it is prohibited to companies subjected to the moratorium to distribute profits and pay dividends to shareholders.

The companies eligible for the moratorium may choose not to be under the moratorium, for example, if the company has no financial difficulties and intends to pay dividends. For this purpose, submission of the application on the moratorium waiver to the Unified Federal Register of Data on Bankruptcy is required.

05.10.2020 — More Liberal Licensing for Foreigners

The Russian Government will consider the bill allowing foreign companies to obtain licenses required for particular types of activities in Russia directly through branch offices accredited in Russia. Earlier, only Russian companies could obtain licenses, while foreign persons had to establish Russian subsidiaries for this.

The respective bill on amendments to the Federal Law “On the licensing of particular types of activities” dated 04 May 2011 No. 99-FZ was prepared by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and submitted for consideration by the Russian Government. Its purpose is to simplify carrying out of the licensed types of activities by foreign companies in Russia. At the moment, only Russia based entities may apply for a license. This rule generally precludes foreign companies from obtaining licenses without establishment of a legal entity in Russia.

The bill entitles foreign companies to obtain licenses through branch offices accredited in Russia. These benefits are proposed to apply to 52 most popular licensed types of activities (in particular, to medical and pharmaceutical activities, passenger transportation). At the same time, the amendments will not apply to a number of essential spheres, in particular, banking.