21 Feb 2024 12:38

Russian govt opposes excluding fines for not selling forex earnings from bill to amend Code of Administrative Offences

MOSCOW. Feb 21 (Interfax) - The Russian government has not supported a decision made by members of the State Duma Legislation Committee last week to exclude fines on exporters for failing to meet obligations to sell forex earnings from a bill to amend the Code of Administrative Offences (CAO).

The government's opinion on the lawmakers' bill (No. 475201-8) has been posted in the parliament's electronic database.

The bill was submitted to parliament last November by a group of lawmakers. In the first reading an amendment was proposed to Article 15.25 of the COA, which establishes liability for violating currency legislation. The amendment would have added a provision (Part 3.1) to introduce fines for failing to meet obligations to sell foreign currency on the domestic market or violating the procedure for such sales. The fines were supposed to range from 40,000 to 50,000 rubles for officials and from 75% to 100% of the amount of forex not sold as required for legal entities.

It was proposed that this provision apply to legal relations arising since October 11, 2023, the day that President Vladimir Putin signed the decree on mandatory sales of forex revenue earned by certain Russian exporters.

Last week, the Duma's Legislation Committee voted to remove these fines from the bill in the run-up to its second reading, when amendments can be made to bills. "We believe this is premature," the committee's first deputy chairman, Daniil Bessarabov said at the meeting. Measures already in place make it possible to regulate these issues without the coercion of the state, he said.

In the opinion on the bill sent to the Duma after the committee made this decision, the government said that the obligation to sell forex earnings is stipulated by presidential decree. The introduction of this measure ensured monitoring of forex sales and purchases by Russian exporters on the domestic forex market and stanched the rapid outflow of capital from Russia, the Cabinet said.

"The implementation of the established procedure for repatriation and mandatory sale of forex revenue, which is aimed at ensuring the economic sovereignty and economic security of the Russian Federation, has demonstrated its effectiveness and the Russian government is now exploring the issue of extending its duration," the opinion said.

"In light of the above, the Russian government does not support the bill prepared for consideration by the State Duma in the second reading," the opinion said.