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On 2 April 2020, a Federal law came into force with stricter punishments for violations of sanitary-epidemiological rules, with harsher fines for administrative offenses and longer prison terms for criminal offenses.

On the same day, Moscow passed a city law imposing fines for violating the city’s self-isolation regime.

Administrative liability

Amendments to the Russian Code of Administrative Offenses:

  • New fines for violating sanitary-hygienic rules and standards and for non-compliance with anti-epidemic measures specifically during emergencies or epidemics: up to 40,000 rubles (approx. 510 USD) for individuals, up to 150,000 rubles (approx. 1,900 USD) for company officers, and up to 500,000 rubles (approx. 6,350 USD) for companies. State authorities may also suspend a company’s business activities for up to 90 days.
  • If the violation results in an illness or death, but does not fall under the Criminal Code (i.e. where the offender did not want and could not foresee such consequences, and therefore is not criminally negligent), the fines increase up to 500,000 rubles (approx. 6,350 USD) for company officers (or disqualification for up to three years), and up to 1,000,000 rubles (approx. 12,700 USD) for companies (or suspension of the company’s business activities for up to 90 days).

Amendments to the Moscow Code of Administrative Offenses:

  • Failure to comply with the rules under a high alert regime, including the current self-isolation regime in Moscow, may entail a fine of 4,000 rubles (approx. 50 USD) for citizens, up to 40,000 rubles (approx. 510 USD) for company officers, and up to 300,000 rubles (approx. 3,800 USD) for companies.
  • Failure to comply with the rules of self-isolation regime committed with a vehicle may entail a fine of 5,000 rubles (approx. 65 USD). The vehicle may be detained.
  • Citizens and companies are liable under the Moscow Code of Administrative Offenses if their actions do not fall under the Russian Code of Administrative Offenses or Criminal Code.

Criminal liability

  • For violations of sanitary-epidemiological rules that lead to (or are capable of causing) mass disease or poisoning through negligence, the punishment is now imprisonment for up to two years (previously the maximum punishment was a restriction of freedom for up to one year).
  • If such violation causes, through negligence, the death of one person, it is punishable by up to five years in prison; if two or more persons die, the prison term can be up to seven years (previously the maximum term of imprisonment was five years).

Recommendations

Russian authorities are determined to force the population to comply with all the rules under the current high alert regime. Companies should regard the activities of their managers and employees with utmost seriousness, and should ensure that they comply with all requirements introduced to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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Author

Igor Makarov is a partner in Baker Mckenzie's Moscow office. Igor Makarov practices in the areas of corporate/M&A, as well as labor and migration law. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Mr. Makarov worked as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and headed St. Petersburg and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers CIS Law Offices BV. He also worked as an attorney at Hedman Law Offices, where he headed its St. Petersburg office until 1994. He joined Baker McKenzie as an associate in its St. Petersburg office. Mr. Makarov is currently a partner in the Firm’s Moscow office.

Author

Elena Kukushkina is a counsel and coordinator in Baker Mckenzie's Moscow office. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, she worked at another leading global law firm. Ms. Kukushkina has written articles as well as spoken in conferences and seminars about labor and immigration law. She is recommended by Chambers Europe and Legal 500 EMEA for her employment work. Sources describe Ms. Kukushkina as “fast, practical and business-oriented” as well as "result- driven."

Author

Evgeny Reyzman is a counsel in Baker Mckenzie's Moscow office. Evgeny Reyzman has extensive experience practicing in Russian labor law and employment litigation matters, as well as in the areas of commercial litigation, and Russian criminal law and procedure. Top ranked by Chambers Global 2009, clients describe him as a "genuine veteran of the employment scene who knows absolutely everything there is to know." PLC Which Lawyer? also recognized him as leading lawyer in its 2008 and 2009 editions. Chambers Europe 2007 regards him as one of the big three employment lawyers in Moscow. Mr. Reyzman joined Baker McKenzie in 1998 and became a partner in 2001. Prior to joining the Firm, he was a senior legal adviser for a major Russian bank and practiced as an advocate with the Inter-Republican Bar Association and the Moscow City Bar Association. In addition to his practice, Mr. Reyzman actively participates in the activities of the American Chamber of Commerce in Moscow as a member of its Human Resources Executive Committee.

Author

Maxim Kalinin serves as managing partner of Baker & McKenzie’s St. Petersburg office and head of the Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate, Real Estate & Construction and Employment practice groups. He was named a European legal expert in Russia by European Legal Experts 2008, and was recognized by Chambers Europe "for his expertise in M&A and real estate work". He is also cited by Legal 500, Who’s Who Legal 2009, The International Who’s Who of Real Estate Lawyers 2008 and the Private Equity Handbook 2007/2008 for his corporate and real estate work