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The notions of tourist product, tourist operator activity, tourist voucher, applied in Federal Law of 24 November 1996, No 132-FZ, On the fundamental principles of tourist activity in the Russian Federation, were defined more precisely; and the following new notions were introduced: international tourism, excursion guide (or guide), guide interpreter, instructor guide, excursionist, customer for tourist product, formation of tourist product, and realization of tourist product.

For purposes of protecting the rights and lawful interests of citizens and juridical persons it is established that the pursuance of tourist operator activity in the territory of the Russian Federation by a juridical person is allowed in the event of the latter having a contract for insuring civil responsibility for the non-execution or improper execution of the obligations under a contract concerning the realization of tourist product or a bank guarantee of the execution of the obligations under a contract concerning the realization of tourist product (financial provision).

The Law is augmented by a new chapter Chapter VII.1 Financial Provision , which establishes the requirements to financial provision, the amount of financial provision, the period of its being in effect, the grounds and the procedure for the payment of insurance compensation under a contract concerning a tourist operators responsibility, or the payment of a certain amount of money against a bank guarantee. In this connection, no financial provision is required of the organizations providing excursion services in the territory of the Russian Federation for no more than 24 consecutive hours; of state and municipal unitary enterprises and institutions engaged in the activity relating to the organization of journeys within the limits of the territory of the Russian Federation in accordance with the prices established by the State for purposes of finding solutions to social problems.

The amount of financial provision is to be determined in a contract concerning a tourist operators responsibility or in a bank guarantee, and is differentiated depending on the type of tourist operator activity. Thus, the amount of financial provision cannot be less than: 10 million roubles for tourist operators working in the sphere of international tourism; 500 thousand roubles for tourist operators working in the sphere of domestic tourism; 10 million roubles for tourist operators working in the sphere of both domestic and international tourism. This norm is to enter into force from 1 June 2008. Prior to 1 June 2008, the amount of financial provision determined in a contract concerning a tourist operators responsibility or in a bank guarantee cannot be less than: 5 million roubles for tourist operators working in the sphere of international tourism; 500 thousand roubles for tourist operators working in the sphere of domestic tourism; 5 million roubles for tourist operators working in the sphere of both domestic and international tourism.

Also for purposes of realizing the financial provision mechanism, it is envisaged that the federal executive agency in the sphere of tourism should establish a Single Federal Register of tourist operators. It is determined that the information concerning any tourist operator should be entered into the Register.

II. DECREES OF THE GOVERNMENT of the Russian Federation 1. ON THE APPROVAL OF A MODEL CONCESSION AGREEMENT CONCERNING OBJECTS OF CULTURE AND OBJECTS RELATED TO SPORTS, THE ORGANIZATION OF RECREATION OF CITIZENS AND TOURISM, AND OTHER OBJECTS FOR SOCIO-CULTURAL USE of 9 February 2007, No In accordance with Part 4 of Article 10 of the Federal Law On concession agreements, a new model concession agreement has been approved, to be applied in respect of objects of culture and sports, objects related to the organization of recreation of citizens and tourism, and also other objects for socio-cultural use.

The form of the aforesaid agreement is attached. A concession agreement in respect of concrete objects listed above must be concluded in accordance with the aforesaid model concession agreement and may contain provisions that are not regulated by the model agreement provided they are not contrary to prevailing legislation. If the property of the objects listed above contains monuments of history and culture of the peoples of the Russian Federation, which are in state or municipal ownership, a concession agreement should be concluded with due regard to the requirements of legislation on the protection of objects of cultural heritage (or monuments of history and culture) of the peoples of the Russian Federation.

2. ON THE PROCEDURE FOR NAMING RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS AND EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENTS, PUBLIC HEALTH CARE INSTITUTIONS, CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS, SOCIAL PROTECTION INSTITUTIONS, INSTITUTIONS FOR SPORTS AND PHYSICAL CULTURE, WHICH ARE IN THE JURISDICTION OF THE FEDERAL BODIES OF EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY, AS WELL AS TO THE OBJECTS OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY CONSOLIDATED TO THE AFORESAID INSTITUTIONS, AFTER THEIR BENEFACTORS of 31 January 2007, No 57.

The approved Provision determines the procedure for naming research institutions and educational establishments, medical institutions, those in the spheres of culture, social protection, physical culture and sports, which are in the jurisdiction of the federal bodies of executive authority, and also to the objects of immovable property consolidated to these institutions after the citizens and juridical persons who made or are making charitable donations theeto. It is envisaged that the name of a benefactor (a citizen or a juridical person) may be thus used in an event of charitable donations having been made or being made on a permanent or long-term basis (during no less than 5 years). In this connection, the total value of donations must be no less than the volume of budget funding for a given institution or object of immovable property provided during a corresponding period.

The names of benefactors cannot be thus used with regard to those institutions or objects of immovable property which presently bear the names, granted previously in the established procedure, of eminent state, political, and public activists, thinkers, persons famous in the spheres of science and education, literature and art, physical culture and sports. Likewise, institutions and objects of immovable property cannot be named after: persons who have used fraudulent information and (or) submitted information known to be fraudulent, including on their own charitable activity; persons with record of conviction that has not been expunged or quashed; persons campaigning for forcible alteration of the fundamental principles of the constitutional order or by other actions posing threat to the security of the Russian Federation; foreign citizens in respect of whom, in the established procedure, a decision was made concerning the undesirability of their sojourn (or residence) in the territory of the Russian Federation; persons recognized in the established procedure to be lacking dispositive legal capacity (with the exception of cases when a court decision concerning the recognition of a person to be lacking dispositive legal capacity was made after that person had made a donation);

persons who have arrears of taxes or other mandatory payments to the budget system of the Russian Federation.

The list of documents is attached, which must be submitted to the federal body of executive authority to whose sphere of jurisdiction a given institution (or object of immovable property) belongs, for the decision concerning the granting of a benefactors name to an institution or an object of immovable property to be made.

III. ORDERS, LETTERS 1. Telegram of the RF CB On the rate of refinancing established from 29 JANUARY 2007 of 26 January 2007, No 1788-U.

The rate of refinancing of the Bank of Russia has been changed. From 29 January 2007, the rate is to become 10.5 % per annum.

2. Telegram of the RF CB ON THE INTEREST RATE FOR THE OVERNIGHT CREDIT, ESTABLISHED FROM 29 JANUARY 2007 of 26 January 2007, No 1789-U.

The interest rate for the Overnight credit from 29 January 2007 is also established at the level of 10.5 % per annum.

3. Letter of the RF FTS ON THE DATA FOR JANUARY 2007 NECESSARY FOR COMPUTING THE TAX ON THE EXTRACTION OF MINERAL RESOURCES LEVIED ON OIL of 19 February 2007, No MM-6-21/130@ The data for January 2007 are published, to be applied in actual practice for computing the tax on the extraction of mineral resources levied on oil:

- average level of prices of Urals - 49.79 USD per barrel;

- average USD to Rrb exchange rate for all days of the tax period 26.4751;

- Value of Cp coefficient - 4,1376.

In the annex to letter, the official USD to Rrb exchange rates for January 2007 are cited.

I. V.Tolmacheva A review of normative documents concerning taxation issues for January February 1. Letter of the RF Federal Tax Service, of 8 February 2007, No MM-6-03/95@, has clarified the issue of issuing invoices by the organizations which switched over, in 2005, from the simplified system of taxation (on a cash basis) to the general system of taxation (by shipped goods).

It is explained that those organizations and individual entrepreneurs who apply the simplified system of taxation when realizing goods (or work, or services) and property rights, should not issue the corresponding invoices. In accordance with point 4 of article 346.13, Chapter 26.2 of the Code, if, by the results of a tax (or accounting) period, the income of a taxpayer who applies the simplified system of taxation exceeds 15 million roubles, or the residual value of fixed assets and non - tangible assets, determined in accordance with RF legislation on accounting, exceeds 100 million of roubles, such taxpayer should be considered to have switched over to the general regime of taxation, starting from the beginning of the quarter in which this excess took place.

If an organization switched over to the general regime of taxation in December, this means that, while realizing goods in November and December 2005 it did not issue invoices to the buyers, and accordingly did not present VAT to the latter. Which means that the goods realized by the organization in Q IV 2005 are to be taxed by VAT in accordance with the general procedure.

In the event of switching over to the general regime, the invoice should be issued no later than within days after the fact of shipment. I. e., the invoice can be issued if the five day period expires in December.

2. Letter of the RF Federal Tax Service, of 8 February 2007, No MM-6-03/90@ has clarified the issues relating to the filling in a VAT tax declaration with regard to turnovers not taxable by VAT. When effecting transactions exempted from VAT, the taxpayer, nevertheless, must fill in Section 9 of the tax declaration with regard to the added value for the tax period during which the good (or work, or service) has been shipped (or performed, or provided). Similarly, he must fill in Section 4 with regard to the goods (or work, or services), the place of realization of which is not recognized as the territory of the Russian Federation, and also the sums of payments and partial payments on account of the forthcoming shipments of goods (or performance of works, or provision of services), the duration of the production cycles of which exceeds six months.

3. Letter of the RF Federal Tax Service, of 9 February 2007, No GI-6-04/100@, and of the RF Ministry of Finance, of 16 January 2007, No 03-04-07-01/16, has clarified the issue of granting vocational tax deductions with regard to the income tax from natural persons in accordance with subparagraph 1, Article 221 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation (hereinafter to be referred to as the Code).

It is clarified that the deductions are to be granted only when corresponding primary documents are available.

4. Letter of the RF Federal Tax Service, of 5 February 2007, No ChD-6-09/74@, contains the Provisional Requirements regarding the structure and formats of the files designed to be used for information exchange between the tax authorities and the banks with regard to the opening or closure of taxpayers accounts in the banking system, and on changing the requisites of an account.

5. Regulation of the RF Supreme Arbitration Court, of 19 December 2006, No 11723.06, explains that, in accordance with Article 4 on the RF Tax Code, the federal agencies of executive power, authorized to exercise control and supervisory functions in the sphere of taxes and levies (including the RF Federal Tax Service), do not have the right to issue normative legal acts on the issues of taxes and levies.

In accordance with Edict of the President of the Russian Federation, of 9 March 2004, No 314, On the System and Structure of Federal Agencies of Executive Power, the functions of developing state policy and normative legal regulation in the sphere of taxes and levies are vested in the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.

6. A Regulation of the Presidium of the RF Supreme Arbitration Court clarifies that its competence extends to considering the normative legal acts issued by the RF Ministry of Finance, but the RF Ministry of Justice has the right to issue clarifications with regard to these acts. A normative legal act is understood as an official document, in writing, adopted (or issued) in a special form by a lawmaking agency, within the sphere of its competence, which is aimed at establishing, altering, or abolishing legal norms; a legal norm is understood as a compulsory state regulation, of permanent or temporary nature, designed for repeated application (Decree of the State Duma, of 11 November 1996, No 781-II GD, On Appealing to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation) and recommended for use in the course of preparation of normative legal acts by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation (Order, of 13 August 1997, No 109). Also, in accordance with point 2 of the Regulations with Regard to Preparation of Normative Legal Acts of the Federal Agencies of Executive Power and Their State Registration, approved by Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation, of 13 August 1997, No 1009, the issuance of normative legal acts in the form of letters and telegrams is not permitted.

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