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New Amendments to Media Law

Effective January 1, 2018, several amendments make Russia’s media law clearer.

INTELLECT-S’s Senior Associate Mikhail Hoholkov reviews the amendments to the Russian Federation Law On Mass Information Media to take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Filing for registration

  • Applicants can now sign the applications electronically and file with the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor, RKN) online via the Uniform Government Services Portal.
  • Registration time extends from one calendar month to 30 business days.
  • Extracts from the media register, which replace registration certificates, are to be issued within 5 business days, to applicants appearing in person, or may be sent by mail. Entries in the media register are to be made on the date of RKN's decision.

Filing amendments and notices

Amendments to entries in the register and notifying RKN will replace "re-registrations" as per article 11. You must file for your registration entry to be amended upon any change of:

  • control, including the founder(s);
  • the name;
  • the language(s);
  • the general subject and/or field;
  • the territory of distribution/coverage;
  • the domain name on (for the online publication); and/or
  • the form and/or type of periodical distribution.

Amendments are filed in the same way as primary registration.

You must notify RKN upon:

  • any change of the founder's or the editorial offices' location;
  • any change in periodicity of issue or maximum volume;
  • the termination, suspension or resumption of publication.

Roskomnadzor must be notified within 30 days of the trigger event, by delivery of notice by hand or by registered mail return receipt requested. Alternatively, notices can be signed electronically and filed online via the Uniform Government Services Portal.

Mastheads

Amendments relevant to mastheads have affected printed and online periodicals.

Printed periodicals are now free not to state in the mastheads the sent-to-press time and date, scheduled or actual, but must state:

  • the name;
  • the name(s) of the founder(s);
  • the editor's surname and initials;
  • the number and date of each issue;
  • the postal index for periodicals distributed by mail;
  • circulation;
  • price or the "Free Price" or "Gratuitous" notation;
  • the editorial offices', publisher's and printer's addresses;
  • the statutory minimum age limit rating/classification labels where the publication must rated/classified under child safety law (Federal Law No. 436-FZ); and
  • the registration number and registry.

Online periodicals must state:

  • the name;
  • the name(s) of the founder(s);
  • the editor's surname and initials;
  • the editorial offices' e-mail address and telephone number;
  • the statutory minimum age limit rating/classification labels where the publication must rated/classified under child safety law (Federal Law No. 436-FZ); and
  • the registration number and registry.

Filing fees/stamp duties

The June 27, 2017 amendments to article 333.33 of the Tax Code standardized filing fees/stamp duties over the whole range of media types:

  • RUB8,000 for the initial filing or filing any amendment (including the change of the subject or field) of a medium distributed largely inside or outside the Russian Federation (at least in its two member entities);
  • RUB4,000 for the initial filing or filing any amendment (including the change of the subject or field) of a medium distributed largely inside one member entity the Russian Federation or inside a municipal entity; and
  • RUB8,000 for the authorization to distribute a foreign printed periodical within Russia.

The amendments to article 333.34 of the Tax Code left the filing fee multipliers unchanged:

  • filing fees for the initial registration or subsequent amendments of advertizing media (including subject and field amendments) are multiplied by five;
  • filing fees for the initial registration or subsequent amendments of erotic media (including subject and field amendments) are multiplied by ten; and
  • filing fees for the initial registration or subsequent amendments of media for children, adolescents and disabled, educational, cultural and enlightening media are multiplied by 0.2.

Miscellaneous

Article 2 of the law defines now "registry" as "Roskomnadzor, a federal executive body or its territorial instrumentality, authorized by the Russian Federation government to register [mass media]".

Articles 7 and 9 added restrictive qualifications for media founders and editors, barring minors, legally incompetent persons, convicts serving unexpired terms or having past convictions related to mass media or telecommunication networks (including the Internet), or past convictions for extremism.

One amendment includes annulments of registrations by courts, corporate founders' reorganizations and dissolutions, and physical founders' deaths as grounds for invalidating the registrations and termination of the media.

Article 16 of the media law defines "warning" as a "non-binding notice issued by Roskomnadzor to prevent trespasses against media law and indicating their impermissibility".

Amendments to article 54 of the media law expand grounds for refusing permits to disseminate foreign printed periodicals in Russia.

This article was first published in the blog at mediapravo.com

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