Russia to tighten international financial restrictions?

News on 11 Dec 2018

Russian media reports Monday note that lawmakers in the Duma (parliament) are currently considering new restrictions on financial transactions with the outside world which will include some major realignments between banks and companies.

The amendments give increased powers to the Central Bank of Russia in its monitoring and control of international transactions, citing the need for national security and the integrity of Russia’s payment space.

It is particularly focused on the use of foreign e-wallets, international remittance firms and payment processors, which will be required to register with the Central Bank, and set up a locally available representative within Russia’s borders.

Third party payment aggregators assisting Russian merchants with online card payment services will be required to establish business partnerships with local banks and re-register contracts, whilst Russian financial institutions will be required to advise the Central Bank of any new international relationships with payment services they establish.

In general, companies and organisations will have a period of six months from the date the amendments are passed to comply with the requirements, although a more generous timeframe of 270 days is allowed for the termination of payment processor contracts with companies which fail to register with the Central Bank.

Earlier this week it emerged that the Russian federal government was considering the changes to the gambling payment hub TSUPIS system set up by self-regulating bodies to facilitate online betting financial transactions.

Government sources revealed that the Federal Tax Service was of the view that these vehicles had served their purpose and now are a duplication of Tax Service responsibilities (see previous report).

The Ministry of Economic Development’s announcement that it is framing new laws to scrap three self-regulating bodies in the sports betting and sweepstakes online verticals raised questions regarding a duplication of activity by the self-regulatory bodies and the federal Russian Tax Authority.

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