INFORMATION on completed and planned reforms to improve business and investment climate in the Republic of Belarus

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13 Δεκ 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 19 μέρες)

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INFORMATION

on completed and planned reforms to improve business and investment climate in the

Republic of Belarus

BY SECTIONS OF THE DOING BUSINESS REPORT


STARTING A BUSINESS


Expected measures:


1.

The
draft Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus

On Amendments and
Additions to the Ordinance of the President of the Republic of Belarus of January
16, 2009 No. 1


and the draft Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic
of Belarus

O
n certain issues of the state registration of business entities”
,
envisioning

further improvements in the procedure of state registration of business
entities, including the phased introduc
tion of electronic registration, have been prepared.



DEALING WITH

CONSTRUCTION PERMITS


Measures

taken:


1.

In accordance with the
Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of
September 1, 2010 No. 450 ”On Licensing Certain Types of Activities“
, licensing of
the design and construction of buildings and constructio
ns of the levels I and II of
responsibility and
of
the engineering prospecting for these purposes was abolished from
January 1, 2011.


2.

According to the
Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of
February 4, 2011 No. 137 ”On amendm
ents and additions to certain regulations of
the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus“
, from February 21, 2011:




the need for reconciliation of technical terms (notices)
for
commercial
manufacturing of products used in construction was abolished
;



the period for (state) registration of specification
s

(notices)
for

commercial
manufacturing of products used in construction; specifications for a pilot batch of
such products; technical conditions (notices) the holder of the originals of which
are lega
l entities and individual entrepreneurs of other
CIS member
countries, was
shortened from 30 to 3 days;



the issuance period of permits to change the timing of construction was shortened
from 30 to 20 days;



the issuance period of the certificate of conformi
ty for products, services and
activities in construction was shortened from 3 months to 15 days;



the period of registration of the declaration of conformity of products and services
in construction
to

requirements of technical regulatory legal acts was sho
rtened
from 3 months to 5 days;



the issuance period of technical certificates for imported building materials was
shortened from 3 months to 30 days.


2


The changes allow legal entities and individual entrepreneurs, including foreign legal
entities, to
reduce the time required for administrative procedures in construction.


3.

The Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of December 31,
2009
No.

1748 enacted
,

from August 1, 2010
,

the Technical Regulation

Buildings and
structures,
building materials and products. Safety


(TR 2009/013/BY).


This technical regulation is based on the Directives 86/106/EEC and 2002/91/EC and
determines the safety requirements for buildings, building materials and products, the
rules of conformity assess
ment
to

requirements of technical regulations, as well as
marking with a label of conformity.

With the introduction of this technical standard
-
setting instrument, the number of mandatory requirements for projecting is limited to
ensuring sustainability of
buildings and structures, fire safety, hygiene, health and
environmental protection, protection from noise and vibrations, energy saving and
thermal protection, and operational safety. This approach is fully identical
with

the
one
currently practiced in EU

countries.


4.

The Resolution of the Ministry of Architecture and Construction of Belarus o
f

September
17, 2010
No.

24 approved the Guidelines for the order of action of the foreign investor
(the customer) for the implementation of the investment project in
the Republic of
Belarus, according to which the procedure for design and construction with the use of
project documentation developed abroad is simplified.


Please pay special attention to the following information:


1.

In accordance with the provisions of
th
e Decree of the President of the Republic of
Belarus

of December 27
,

2007
No.

667

On Withdrawing and Granting Plots of Land


and with the Regulations on the preparation and issuance of permits for construction
, as

approved by
the
Resolution of the Council

of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of
February 20
,
2007
No.

223, the procedures

”Obtain d
ecision from the Minsk City
Executive Committee for elaboration of design documentation on a spe
cified land plot“

and

Obtain the permit for building on
a
speci
fied land plot


constitute a single procedure
(preparation and processing of permits for construction of a facility, including obtaining
approvals for its design and collection of technical specifications for engineering and
logistics,
are
carried out by l
ocal executive and administrative bodies on the
application

principle (

one window

).


2.

In accordance with the Law of the Republic of Belarus of June 22, 2002

On the state
registration of immovable property, rights thereto and deals
therewith“,

the timing
for the
state registration of the establishment of real estate (

Registration of buildings in the
Register of Real Estate

) and state registration of
the title

to real estate
(”Registering
Property“) are identical and take no more than 7 working days.

However, the indicator

”Registering P
roperty


in the Doing Business Report

2011

reasonably
specified

9 calendar days, an
d the procedure ”Registering a B
uilding in the Real Property Register


unreasonably
specifies

14 calendar days.


3.

With respect to the pro
cedure


Technical inventory and receipt of technical passport

, the
Doing Business Report 2011 indicates the cost of 2,660,000 rubels. According to the
3


State Property Committee, this cost is significantly overstated, since the cost of the
technical invento
ry of the warehouse with the area of
1,300 square meters, calculated on
the basis of price list for work (services) of legal and technical nature associated with the
state registration of immovable property, rights to and transactions with it, as approve
d
by the Resolution of the State Property Committee of 12 May 2010 No.34, is about
1,130,000 rubels.


We believe that the aforesaid allows talking about the need to adjust the data on

”Dealing
With Construction P
ermits


in the
Doing Business Report
2011. T
he aforesaid must also
be taken into account in the Doing Business Report 2012.


REGISTERING PROPERTY


Measures taken:


Under the
Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of November 9, 2010 No. 581
”On the acquisition of real property for local
needs“, from November 16, 2010
, the
procedure for alienation of capital structures through the streamlining of the right of local
councils (the executive committees and local administrations on their behalf) to the acquisition
of real estate on the
corresponding territory that can be used for local needs was simplified.


This measure
has
allowed avoiding the need to reclaim a formal waver from local authorities of
their
preemptive right to acquire real estate, which has led to a significant reduction

in
paperwork, time and cost, and has also contributed to the involvement of real property into
economic turnover.


GETTING CREDIT


Measures taken:


1.

The integrated information resource on the property rights which are restricted by
bail bond, created in ac
cordance with the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of
the Republic of Belarus of March 30, 2010 No. 466, is being successively filled with
information on the mortgaged property.

The resource has already included
information about real estate (land, c
apital structures (buildings), unfinished conserved
capital structures, isolated premises,
and
enterprises as property complexes), vehicles,
and securities, rights to which are restricted by collaterals.


2.

Work on the inclusion in the integrated information

resource of other

(other than
those indicated in paragraph 1 of this information)
types of movable property

is
underway

to allow access to information on the mortgaged property concerned.




3.


The
Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus

of Novem
ber 11, 2010

No. 583 ”On Addenda and Amendments to the Decree of the President of the
Republic of Belarus of April 28, 2006 No. 277“
, as well as the
Resolution of the
Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of December 10, 2010 No. 1798 ”
On
4


some me
asures for the implementation of the Decree of the President of the
Republic of Belarus of November 11, 2010 No. 583“

concerning the establishment of
a
public information resource on securities,
the
rights
to
which are restricted
by

bail bonds
,

have been passed.
As of April 7, 2011
,

the resource includes information on 321 cases of
encumbrance of securities by collateral and 115 cases of termination of the pledge, the
subject of which were securities.


4.

The automated information system ”Informat
ion resource of movable property
restricted by collateral obligations of the banking system of the Republic of
Belarus“, which is a subsystem of the integrated information resource on the
property rights which are restricted to bail bonds, was created and
put into trial
operation on March 31, 2011.


Planned measures


1.

A
draft legal act on the pledge aimed at approximating the domestic rules of law to
the advanced world’s standards, including those on the roster of mortgaged
property, has been prepared.


2.

The
draft Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus ”On Amendments to
Some Decrees of the President of the Republic of Belarus on the procedure for
settlements between legal entities and individual entrepreneurs and repeal of certain
Decrees of the Pr
esident of the Republic of Belarus and of individual structural
elements thereof“

has been prepared, of which the provisions are aimed at:




abolishing state support in the form of establishing a normative distribution of
proceeds;



abolishing preferences in

the form of reservation of funds for payments on
account of urgent needs;



creating equal conditions for economic entities in respect of the implementation
of cashless payments with insufficient funds in the current (settlement) accounts.


In this case, pa
yments for performance of
secured
obligations
on
bank loans
from

funds
received from the sale of the mortgaged property, implemented on a priority basis,
remain a priority, along with social payments and budget revenues.


3.

The draft Decree of the President
of the Republic of Belarus ”On some issues of
creditors' claims in the proceedings of economic insolvency (bankruptcy)“

has been
formulated. The draft
ensures

the priority of
creditors’
claims secured by pledge of
property owned by business entities for wh
ich the Commercial Court has opened
proceedings on economic insolvency (bankruptcy). This will
enhance

the rights of
secured creditors and increase the availability of financing and lending transactions in the
economy.


4.

In order to legislatively secure the

creation of an information resource containing
information on the implementation by legal and natural persons of commitments to effect
utility payments, payments for services, payments on commercial loans (trade credit,
trade in installments) provided by
retail organizations, the
draft Decree of the President
5


of the Republic of Belarus ”On the uniform settlements and information area in the
Republic of Belarus“
. The adoption of this draft will establish mandatory provision on
the part of interested organiz
ations to the National Bank of information necessary for the
operation of the information resource. In addition, engineering and technical work on the
creation of this resource is being done.


Please pay special attention to the
following information:


In order to ensure maximum efficiency
in
the implementation of planned measures to create an
information resource, containing information on the execution by legal and natural persons of
obligations to utility payments, payments for

services, commercial loans (trade credit, trade in
installments) provided by retail organizations, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, in
its letter dated January 27, 2011
No.

13
-
19/16 requested the World Bank’s advise on creating the
named reso
urce. So far, no information about the readiness of the World Bank staff to assist in
carrying out the above me
ntioned reform has been received
.


PROTECTING INVESTORS


Measures taken:


On February 3, 2011, the Law of the Republic of Belarus of July 15, 201
0 ”On
Amendments to the Law of the Republic of Belarus ”On Business Associations“

entered into
force, which enabled ensuring transparency of transactions effected by business entities and
significantly increased the degree of shareholder protection through

the establishment of the right
of shareholders to claim damages caused by the directors to a business association and
to
the
shareholders as a
result of a

transaction, as well as loss of profits in the amount not
lower
than
the income received by the dire
ctors.


PAYING TAXES


Measures taken:


1.

With the enactment from January 1, 2011 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus of
November 15, 2010 "On Amendments and Changes to the Tax Code of the Republic
of Belarus”
:




the
local tax for the development of
territories and local tax on services were
abolished;



three taxable items were excluded from the environmental tax;



turnovers on transfer of property for uncompensated use as well as goods placed
un
der the customs regime of re
-
export

were excluded from tax
able items;



payment for services for the management of an organization was allowed to be
included in the
composition of
costs
account
ed

for
with respect to taxation of
profit
s
;



it was allowed to
account for the

interest on loans and credits associated with the
acquisition of fixed assets, intangible assets and other non
-
current (long term)
assets

with respect to taxation of
profit
s
;

6




the obligation to track the purchase price of goods and the residual value of fi
xed
assets for the calculation o
f value added tax (hereinafter,

VAT) was abolished. In
the case of sale at a price below the acquisition price or at prices lower than the
residual value in 2011, VAT is calculated on the selling price;



land tax rates were c
ombined to reduce their number from 48 to 6;



income tax return is to be submitted once a year and the payment is made on a
quarterly basis;



the right of organizations to not pay
the
profit tax
with

current payments during
the tax period in which they are c
reated;



payers have the right to file
the
VAT return and pay VAT quarterly;



the procedure for applying the income tax concessions to finance capital
investment
s

was streamlined by reducing conditions for such use

to three instead
of five;



the issues of tax
ation of parties to the transaction relating to the trust management
of property were legislatively envisioned;



periodic (advance) payments of VAT and excise duties were abolished;



the possibility for renters (lessees) to deduct VAT on the basis of contrac
t and
accounting documents or on the basis of the primary accounting documents was
introduced;



payment of compulsory insurance contributions to the Social Protection Fund for
organizations with up to 100
staff

is made once a quarter;



form of returns
(payments) were simplified on: (i) income tax due to the
exclusion of some sections and parts of the tax return (calculation) in connection
with the annual frequency of filing, (ii) land tax (rent for land) from
organizations, as well as the tax on real e
state from organizations
,

by eliminating
the indicators determining the amount of such taxes attributable to the released
objects of taxation;



the amount of background information in tax returns (calculations) was reduced to
reflect only those indicators f
or which the obligation to provide
is
expressly
envisioned;



payers may choose without limitation to deduct

input


VAT paid on purchase of
investment goods (capital investments);



previously established restrictions on the right to deduct the VAT from the
a
mounts of tax on fixed assets sold below the net book value or perished as a
result of accidents

were abolished
.


2.

In accordance with
the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of
March 15
,
2011 No. 114 ”On some issues of the use of primary reco
rds“ and the Resolution of
the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of 24.03.2011 No. 360
”On
Approving the List of primary records“
, only 8 forms are envisaged. Taxpayers have
the right to establish other forms of primary records as necessary.


3.

The resolution of the Ministry of Taxes and Dues of the Republic of Belarus of
December 31, 2010 No. 103 ”On amendments and additions to the resolution of the
Ministry of Taxes and Dues of the Republic
of Belarus of November 15, 2010

No. 82“
, provides for

the simplification of documentation of business transactions by
eliminating records used previously by individual entrepreneurs: books for accounting for
7


the actual operating time of machinery and equipment, books for accounting receivables,
and statement
s for purchase of recycled materials.


4.

As part of the implementation program for the electronic filing, as
at January 1, 2011,
46,833 commercial organizations are subscribers to the electronic declaration
system, representing 64.3% of the operating commerc
ial organizations
.


TRADING ACROSS BORDERS


Measures taken:


1.

An automated system of electronic declaration

of import
/export of goods to/
from the
territory
of the Republic of Belarus has been introduced.


During the period from January 2011 to April 2011
,

a
bout 250,000 electronic customs
documents were processed in the system of electronic declaration, including declaring
about 95% of all exports and over 30% of total imports. On the average, 3,600

electronic
documents are processed in one day.


The
introduction of the electronic declaration system for import/export of goods has
reduced the time for customs clearance of goods 8
-
fold (from 4
-
6 hours to 10
-
15
minutes).


As part of the increased use of electronic declaration system of import/export of go
ods by
customs authorities of the Republic of Belarus, the work has been completed on
establishing a unified information resource which collects, in the form of digital
documents, information from licenses (permits) previously issued by the government and
other agencies. The economic agents can subsequently not re
-
submit such licenses
(permits) with the customs declaration of goods, which is the practical realization of the
principle of "one window" for
the
customs declaration of goods.


2.

In order to reduce the time of economic agents for foreign trade operations,
a system of
prior information on the movement of goods across the border of the republic is in
place and successfully used
.


The use of this system allows speeding up customs proc
edures before the actual
movement of goods across the border. As a result, the time spent on customs clearance of
goods has been reduced by approximately 50
-
60% and the cost has been decreased by 20
-
25%.
As of April 2011, about

26
-
27% of goods imported int
o the territory of the
Republic of Belarus are cleared by using the system of prior notification.


3.

The Customs authorities of the Republic of Belarus have elaborated

the Concept of Risk
Analysis and Management for the period 2010
-
2015 and in the run up to
2020.
The
implementation of this concept would allow creating partnership between
the
customs
authorities and economic entities, while also increasing the safety of international trade
supply chain.


8


In order to define precisely the list of officials entit
led to customs inspection, the
Resolution of the State Customs Committee of January 3, 2011
No.

1

On Amending the
Resolution of the State Customs Committee of Belarus of June 30, 2007
No.

72


was
passed. The use of this document has reduced the time costs

of foreign economic activity
agents on the completion of procedures for customs clearance of transported goods. The
customs inspection is currently being made based on the available information about
possible violations of the rules of import / export
of
goods, the appropriate risk profile,
and risk indicators. In practice, this reduces the number of inspections of goods and loads
moved (vehicles) by about 5 times. The time costs of foreign economic activity agents on
the movement of goods have reduced acc
ordingly.


4.

In accordance with the
Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus

of
January 28, 2010
No.

52


On Making Amendments and Addenda to the Decree of the
President of the Republic of Belarus of July 13, 2006
No.

443
“,

the fee for the issuance

of
stamps, identification marks or other signs to indicate the goods in order to confirm the
operation of customs clearance or a decision of the customs authorities in respect of
goods transported across the customs border of Belarus was abolished.


5.

The s
cope of the single settlement and information space has been expanded.


In order to provide economic agents with the opportunity of using modern payment
instruments for paying customs duties, work has been done to connect the customs
authorities to the
single settlement and information space (SSIS).


To this end, in order to connect the customs authorities to SSIS, the National Bank and
the
State Customs Committee signed an agreement on August 31, 2010
No.

47/2010/398/D and
the Framework for information
exchange between the National
Bank and State Customs Committee was elaborated.

In March 2011,
the technical
measures were completed to connect the customs authorities to SSIS and the test
payments for selected customs authorities were cleared.

A phased upd
ate of the
corresponding software of banks (and their branches and offices) is underway.


The connection of the the customs authorities to SSIS provides economic agents with the
opportunity to pay customs duties as follows:




in cash through automated cash
receipt devices (payment and settlement
terminal);



by using a bank plastic card through an external payment device (ATM machine,
payment/reference terminal);



with details of the bank plastic cards via internet, and mobile communications
devices;



by using e
lectronic money.


The implementation of this measure helps reduce the time needed to effect customs
payments by 5
-
8 hours.


6.

The range of products (works, services) subject to mandatory conformity
confirmation has been reduced.

9



In the period from 2008 to 2010, this reduction was about 40% of the total range of
products (works, services) subject to mandatory conformity. In addition, on December
31, 2010
the Law of the Republic of Belarus

On Amending Certain Laws of the
Republic o
f Belarus on the assessment of conformity to technical regulations in the
field of technical regulation and standardization


was passed, which envisions the
following:




the manufacturer and supplier of the product are given the opportunity to change
on th
eir discretion the declaration of conformity by the manufacturer and supplier
itself for the certification of conformity of products with participation of the
certification authority;



the objects of conformity assessment can be included in the list of prod
ucts
(services, personnel) subject to mandatory conformity in the Republic of Belarus
only at reasonable proposals of state agencies;



from January 1, 2016 mandatory conformity will apply only to the objects of
conformity assessment in respect of which the
requirements of technical
regulations are set out. The existing list of products (services, personnel) subject
to mandatory conformity in the Republic of Belarus for a five
-
year transitional
period will be abolished.


7.

In order to reduce the costs of foreig
n economic activity agents on the transportation of
goods by the road transport:




the decision of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of August 2, 2010
No.

56

On the Repeal of Certain regulations of the Ministry of Transport and
Communications an
d a structural element of the regulatory legal act


was passed
according to which regulations establishing the norms of expenses for
maintenance and repair of the road transport were abolished;



the Order

of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of A
ugust 2, 2010
No.

403
-
p approved the methodological recommendations
for

the calculation and
application of the above rules.


Measures planned:


1.

Regulations governing the procedure for VAT refund on fuel purchased in the Republic
of Poland on the principle
of reciprocity have been drafted.


2.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications, together with
other interested agencies
,
has prepared: the list of documents for
the
export/import
of
goods; the list of documents
and the time required for
the
export and import transactions; and the list of documents
and the costs of clearance for
the
export and import operations. In view of these
documents, proposals have been made to amend the regulations aimed at reducing the
number of documents used for the
export
/import of goods, and decreasing the costs of the
foreign economic activity agents.


ENFORCING CONTRACTS


10


Measures taken:


With the enactment on January 31, 2011
of
the Law of January 10, 2011

On amending some
codes of the Republic of Belarus on
improving economic justice


the efficiency of procedures
for resolving the economic (commercial) disputes, including the reformed rules of procedure for
cases with low financial cost, has been increased.


This measure has allowed to:




accelerate (simplify)

procedures for receiving the enforcement document;



minimize the costs of businesses and commercial courts to resolve disputes considering
undisputed minor requirements not by costly action proceedings but by cheaper ways
such as mandatory trial or the con
ciliation procedure;



increase the significance of pre
-
trial order of settlement of disputes between legal entities
and (or) individual entrepreneurs, which
has
contributed to the ability of economic
entities to resolve disagreements on their own with a sig
nificant reduction in time and
savings on legal costs, to ensure the preservation of business relationships and
connections, and to improve the economic performance of said subjects (excludes the
cost of payment of state fees).


CLOSING A BUSINESS


Measure
s taken:


1.

In accordance with the
Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus

of June 25,
2010
No.

328

On some measures for optimization of procedures of economic insolvency
(bankruptcy)


(entered into force on January 1, 2011):




the conditions for
cancellation of illiquid assets and the procedure of state
registration of real estate without the availability of documents attesting to their
state registration, in the absence of funds available to the debtor for such
registration have been established,

whereby reducing the time for the involvement
in the commercialization of the estate;



an improved procedure for restructuring the debts of a business entity that is in
the
process of economic insolvency (bankruptcy) has been adopted, including through
the

provision of opportunity to sell the debt of this entity in the auction at a
discount or
through
write
-
offs, as well as to dispose of the assets
of
that entity.


These measures have created the conditions for the liquidation of economic entities in
bankru
ptcy proceedings within the time recommended by the World Bank and allowed to
increase the proportion of recoveries in the total volume of the collected debt and to
reduce the time of liquidation.


Measures to be taken:


A draft Decree of the President of
the Republic of Belarus

On some issues of creditors' claims
in the proceedings of economic insolvency (bankruptcy)

, which is to secure, at the legislative
level, pre
-
emptive rights of the creditor having security for a debt, to receive compensation in th
e
11


event of insolvency of the debtor in bankruptcy

has been prepared
. This measure will enhance
the rights of secured creditors in the implementation of bankruptcy procedures, which will
increase the availability of financing and lending transactions in the

economy.