12.11.2021 — Russian Ministry of Construction Plans to Allow Foreign Construction and Engineering Standards in Russia

The Ministry of Construction of the Russian Federation has drafted legislative amendments which allow the use of foreign construction and engineering standards in Russian construction projects. If adopted, the amendments would allow developers to rely on foreign technology, international construction codes and engineering standards to prove the safety of their buildings before Russian authorities.

The legislative bill drafted by the Russian Ministry of Construction amends Federal Law dated 30 December 2009 No. 384-FZ “Technical regulation concerning the safety of buildings and structures” and adds foreign standards into the list of documents that may be lawfully used as a basis for construction and engineering works in Russia. As follows from the documents accompanying the bill, it will be possible to use, among others, European standards to prove the bearing capacity of construction objects.

In addition, the bill allows the Russian Ministry of Construction to take independent decisions to allow the use of foreign construction and engineering standards, which may be especially important for foreign investors. The drafters of this bill are hopeful that the use of foreign standards would accelerate the adoption of innovative, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly standards in Russian construction projects, and will allow developers to use new materials and technology.

At present, the bill is published on the website of legislative preparatory materials and is being prepared for the submission to the Russian Parliament.

11.11.2021 — Constitutional Court: Construction Object Cannot Be Declared Unauthorized If Owner Did Not Know About Violated Land Use Restrictions

The Russian Constitutional Court expressed a position aimed at the protection of construction owners which violated land use restrictions but acted in good faith and did not know and could not have known about the restrictions they violated. If such a construction object nonetheless has to be demolished, for example due to safety requirements, the owner is entitled to a compensation of losses.

The Russian Constitutional Court considered a complaint filed by an individual and in the Ruling dated 11 November 2021 No. 48-П emphasized that in unauthorized construction disputes, Russian courts have to inquire whether the construction owner had an opportunity to learn that its construction project violated land use restrictions.  

This problem is quite typical in practice since not all land use restrictions (in particular, protection zones of linear objects and other zones with the special use conditions) are registered in the Unified State Register of Real Estate, and the information on such restrictions is not always publicly available, meaning that they may not be known to construction owners. At the same time, even where a construction owner unknowingly violated certain land-use restrictions, it is sometimes necessary to demolish the constructed building, particularly in case of protection zones of hazardous facilities.

In order to strike an appropriate balance between the public and private interests on this issue, the Russian Constitutional Court found that construction owners whose buildings are demolished due to unidentifiable land-use restrictions have the right to a compensation of their losses. In that case, the demolition of the building also may not be carried out at the expense of the construction owner.