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Article 25.3 of the RF Tax Code accumulated all types of fees collected from citizens and organizations in the case they apply to the state authorities for acts relevant at law with the exception of acts performed by the Russian consular institutions. The single list includes many acts not mentioned in preceding Law No. 2005-1 of December 9, 1991, for instance, acts related to the official registration of computer programs, databases, and topology of integral microchips, the acts related to the federal assay supervision, state registration of floatation of securities, state registration of mass media, acts related to the granting of the right to export cultural values and the use of the words Russia and the Russian Federation. The rates of the state tax are set forth as a fixed amount denominated in Rubles in stead of multiples of the minimum wage. The rates have been changed significantly: they were diminished in the case of calculation as a percentage of the amounts of claims and civil law transactions and somewhat raised in other cases. For instance, in accordance with law No. 2005-1 of December 9, 1991, the rate of the state tax imposed on claims exceeding Rub. 500 million made 1.5 per cent of the amount of the claim, while in accordance with new law No. 127 FZ the maximal amount of the state tax collected with respect of similar claims as set forth for claims exceeding Rub. 500000 makes Rub. 6600 plus 0.5 per cent of the amount in the excess of Rub. 500000, but no more than Rub. 20000; at the same time the amount of the tax on the registration of marriages increased from Rub. 100 to Rub. 200, while the state tax on the issue of the foreign passport grew from Rub. 200 to Rub. 400.

Law of RF No. 2005-1 of December 9, 1991, On State Tax was abolished.

Law of RF No. 2023-1 of December 12, 1991, On the security transfer tax was abolished, in this relation the security transfer tax should not be collected since January 1, 2005.

2. ON AMENDMENTS TO THE CUSTOMS CODE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION No.

139 FZ of November 11, 2004.

Enters into force on January 1, 2005.

The amendments concern the imposition and collection of customs fees.

The law sets forth the definition of the custom fee, which is deemed as a payment required by the customs authorities for the conduct of acts related to the customs clearance, warehousing, and escorting of goods.

The RF Customs Code was supplemented with article 33.1 Customs Fees, which set forth the types, the calculation procedures, the forms and terms of payment and the payers of such fees, as well as the exaction, compensation, and exemption procedures pertaining to such fees. The rates of customs fees related to customs clearance should be set forth by the Government of the Russian Federation.

In accordance with the amendments, there was set forth the maximum amount of the custom fee imposed on the customs clearance of goods, which should be limited to the approximate cost of provided services and can not exceed Rub. 100 000. The customs escort fees should be related to the distance of delivery of the goods. For instance, for the customs escort to a distance up to 50 km it is necessary to pay Rub. 2 000 per each transport vehicle and each unit of rolling stock, and to a distance from 51 km to 100 km Rub. 3 000. However, in the case the freight is forwarded to a distance exceeding 200 km, the payment should make Rub. 1 000 per each 100 km, but not less than Rub. 6 000.

The amount of the customs fee for the customs escort of each sea, river, or air vessel should make Rub. 20 000 and be not related to the distance of forwarding. The customs fees for customs warehousing should be at Rub. 1 per each 100 kg of the weight of the goods a day, and Rub. 2 per each 100 kg of the weight of the goods a day for the storage in the warehouses specifically designed for the storage of specific goods. The weight short of 100 kg should be treated as the 100 kg weight and the time of storage less than a day should be treated as the storage for a complete day.

The goods stored in the customs warehouses should be exempted from the storage fee in the case such goods are stored directly by the customs authorities or in other cases determined by the Government of the Russian Federation. The cases where the goods are exempted from the customs escort fees should be also determined by the Government of the Russian Federation.

II. RESOLUTIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT of the Russian Federation 1. ON THE AMOUNTS OF THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS IN 2005 No. 591 of November 4, Enters into force on January 1, 2005.

In accordance with Article 33 of the RF law On employment of the population in the Russian Federation, the citizens officially registered as unemployed should be paid unemployment benefits at the minimum of Rub. 720 and the maximum of Rub. 2880 respectively.

2. ON THE DETERMINATION OF THE NATIONAL PER CAPITA SUBSISTENCE MINIMUM AND THE SUBSISTENCE MINIMUMS FOR MAJOR SOCIAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS OF POPULATION IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION IN THE 3RD QUARTER OF 2004 No. 689 of November 26, The Resolution sets forth the subsistence minimum across the different social and demographic groups of population in the 3rd quarter of 2004. Thus, the national per capita subsistence minimum should make Rub. 2396, for able bodied citizens Rub. 2629, for pensioners Rub. 1816, for children Rub. 2336.

3. ON APPROVAL OF THE RULES GOVERNING THE PROVISION OF EXTRA MEDICAL AID TO CERTAIN CATEGORIES OF CITIZENS IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE PROGRAM OF STATE GUARANTEED FREE MEDICAL AID TO THE CITIZENS OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION IN THE FEDERAL HEALTH CARE INSTITUTIONS No. 646 of November 17, Enters into force on January 1, 2005.

In accordance with the provisions of the new version of the federal law On veterans entering into force on January 1, 2005, there were approved the Rules governing the provision of extra medical aid to certain categories of citizens in the framework of the program of state guaranteed free medical aid to the citizens of the Russian Federation in the federal health care institutions. In particular, the Rules stipulate that the citizens should be provided the extra medical aid basing on the instructions issued by medical and preventive institutions treating such citizens at their places of residence or work, including pensioners. All federal medical institutions in the jurisdiction of any department should provide medical aid to such citizens in the case there are observed respective indications.

III. INSTRUCTIONS, REGULATIONS, AND ORDERS 1. Informational letter of the RF Tax Ministry No. 21-2-05/160@ of November 23, 2004 ON CALCULATION OF THE MINERAL EXTRACTION TAX RATE IN SEPTEMBER OF 2004 The letter informs about the data used for the calculation of the mineral extraction tax with respect to oil in October of 2004:

- the average level of Urals oil prices on the Mediterranean and Rotterdam markets (US $ 42.43 per barrel);

- the average US $ / Rub. exchange rate (all days of the tax period) Rub. 29.0780;

- value of the Kts coefficient (3,9728);

- tax rate adjusted for the Kts coefficient (Rub. 1378,5616 per metric ton).

I. Tolmacheva

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