New rules for the accreditation of branches and representative offices of foreign organizations and their foreign workers
Russia has adopted a new law amending the rules for accreditation of branches and representative offices of foreign organizations. The law takes effect January 1, 2015.
Agency conducting accreditation
Currently accreditation of representative offices and branches of foreign organizations may be carried out in the State Registration Chamber of the Ministry of Justice of Russia, and in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (hereinafter – CCI). After January 1, 2015, accreditation can be carried out only by the authorized state agency. That agency has not yet been designated, but presumably it will be the Federal Tax Service.
Procedure for accreditation of branches and representative offices
The authorized agency will develop a new procedure for accreditation, entering changes in information contained in the registry, and termination of the validity of accreditation of branches and representative offices. New lists and formats of documents will also be developed. Deadlines for adoption of these documents have not yet been approved, but BRICS Consulting expects that the documents will be approved before January 1, 2015.
After January 1, 2015, prior to submitting an application for accreditation of a branch or representative office of a foreign legal entity, the applicant will have to verify the information as to the number of foreign employees of such branches (representative offices) at the CCI.
Changes that affect accredited branches and representative offices
Information about already accredited branches and representative offices will be entered in the state registry of branches and representative offices of foreign legal entities and published on the Internet on the official site of the state agency conducting accreditation. For entry in the registry of information of branches and representative offices whose accreditation expires after April 1, 2015, they must submit the appropriate information to the agency by April 1, 2015. After April 1, 2015, the accreditation of branches and representative offices that have not submitted information to the authorized agency by the deadline will terminate.
The new law establishes a list of information that must be included in the regulations on representative offices and branches of foreign organizations. If the information about branches, representative offices or foreign companies that is entered in the registry changes, the branch or representative office must inform the agency no later than 15 calendar days after the change.
Accreditation of foreign employees
Changes at the legislative level reinforce the necessity for all foreign employees working at branches or representative offices of foreign companies to undergo personal accreditation at the CCI. Previously the obligation was set out by regulations and such accreditation could be carried out at the CCI or the State Registration Chamber of the Ministry of Justice of Russia. As of January 1, 2015, personal accreditation will be carried out only by the CCI. The new procedure for personal accreditation has to be confirmed by the CCI. Upon completion of the personal accreditation process, a certificate of personal accreditation will be issued instead of the previously issued personal accreditation cards (service card, sluzhebnaya kartochka).
BRICS Consulting recommends foreign organizations operating in Russia through branches and representative offices take note of the changes in the law, as well as:
- Check for the need to amend regulations on branches and representative offices for their compliance with the new requirements;
- Provide information on branches and representative offices to the authorized agency if the term of their accreditation expires later than April 1, 2015.
Specialists at BRICS Consulting will be happy to assist you in resolving the above-mentioned issues, as well as answer any questions you may have.
 Order of the Ministry of Justice of Russia dated 20.07.2011 N 269 “On confirmation of the Charter of federally funded institution ‘State Registration Chamber of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation’”
 Article 15 Law of the RF dated 07.07.1993 N 5340-1 On the Chambers of Commerce in the Russian Federation”
 Explanatory note to draft federal law N 365820-6 “On amendments to certain legislative regulations of the Russian Federation”
 Order of the Ministry of Justice of Russia dated 25.11.1999 N 341