Communique of the Twenty-Eighth Plenary Session of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council in Russia

(Moscow, 20 October 2014)

On 20 October 2014 the Foreign Investment Advisory Council in Russia held its Twenty-Eighth Session (the "session"), attended by chief executives of major international companies and banks.

The Foreign Investment Advisory Council in Russia (FIAC) was established in 1994, and its members develop proposals to create a favorable business and investment climate in the Russian Federation.

It was noted at the session that improvement in the country’s investment climate is a top priority of the Russian Government.

In 2015, high priority areas for FIAC will include the following.

Technical regulations and elimination of administrative barriers

Work to improve federal legislation to achieve a balanced division of responsibility for industrial wastewater treatment between central drainage systems and their users as well as the establishment of realistic standards for pollutant discharges into bodies of water and central drainage systems, based on international experience.

Development of proposals to implement and improve the system of manufacturers' (importers') responsibility for recycling product (consumer packaging) waste.

Improvement of the technical regulation system, including consideration of the possibility of implementing a unified mechanism in the Eurasian Union for clarifying technical regulations and law-enforcement practice for business entities.

Further improvement in labor law. Development of proposals to eliminate inconsistencies between the Federal Laws "On the Special Assessment of Working Conditions" and "On Public Sanitary and Epidemiological Welfare."

Improvement of customs law

Simplification of the procedure for confirming a zero VAT rate when goods are exported.

Elimination of requirements that shipping documents be physically stamped by the customs authorities when goods are exported.

Expansion of the range of products that qualify for the procedure of processing for domestic consumption.

Improvement in electronic declaration technology, including electronic cooperation in releasing goods from a customs control zone, conversion to electronic documentation, enhancement of expense reports, and introduction of personal account pages for foreign trade participants on the portal of the Russian Federal Customs Service.

Financial institutions and capital markets

Development of proposals for applying FATCA requirements.

Trade and the consumer sector

Development of an efficient packaging waste recycling system.

Ensuring efficient and transparent product control on the consumer market and reforming Russian veterinary and phytosanitation law, including implementation of an electronic certification system for veterinary documents on food products.

Innovation development

Formulation of a consistent policy to promote the localization of manufacturing in the Russian Federation, while maintaining the competitiveness of end products.

Support for incentives to use and manufacture environmentally safe transport and develop related infrastructure.

Energy efficiency

Changes in the building regulation system and development of a set of economic incentives for using energy-efficient technologies and materials to reduce energy consumption in residential, public and industrial buildings and structures.

Health care and pharmaceuticals

Development of new drug provision models for citizens eligible for drugs’ benefits under Russian legislation; increase access to innovative drugs.

Development of a mechanism to prevent generic drugs entering the market prior to expiration of intellectual property rights on the original pharmaceuticals.

Improvement of tax law

Exempting credits and loans issued to taxpayers by Russian banks and legal entities on arm's-length terms from thin capitalization rules (Article 269 of the Russian Tax Code), if such credits and loans are guaranteed by foreign and Russian related parties.

The option of treating expenses transferred under a cost allocation agreement from a foreign company to a related Russian corporate taxpayer as costs for profits tax purposes.

FIAC will continue to work on such areas as "Efficient use of natural resources in Russia," "Development of the Far East and Siberia" and "Improvement of Russia’s Investment Image."

With these priorities in mind, FIAC members will continue to work with the concerned federal executive bodies in 2015.

The Russian government regards FIAC's efforts as among the most significant and promising areas for strengthening the Russian economy. FIAC's twenty-ninth session is to be held on the third Monday in October 2015.