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Sanctions for legal entities, their officers and individual entrepreneurs in connection with a high-alert regime being introduced

10.04.2020
13 min read
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Pepeliaev Group advises that since 4 April 2020 the procedure has been determined for imposing sanctions for violating Moscow city regulations aimed at introducing and maintaining a high-alert regime in Moscow.

According to the amendments, the Moscow Code of Administrative Offences has been supplemented[1] with a new article 3.18.1 which introduced from 2 April 2020 an administrative liability for the failure to comply with the requirements for temporary suspension of

  • holding events where citizens are physically present;
  • the activities of retail outlets, public catering organisations (enterprises), and relevant services when citizens visit such facilities or organisations (enterprises).

Administrative liability in the form of an administrative fine (ranging from RUB 200,000 to RUB 500,000 if the offence is recurring) is stipulated for the above offence.

The following authorised public officials may impose administrative liability under articles 3.18.1(1) and 3.18.1(3) of the Moscow Code of Administrative Offences:

  • the Association of Moscow Administrative and Technical Inspectorates, as well as their inspectors – with respect to individuals under articles 3.18.1(2) and 3.18.1(3) of the Moscow Code of Administrative Offences,
  • the Moscow Main Control Department,

Protocols of administrative offences will be drawn up by public officials of the above authorities entitled to consider administrative cases, as well as by public officials of the police and transport police (article 16.5(3)(1.1) of the Moscow Code of Administrative Offences).

The liability introduced by article 3.18.1 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences for companies and individual entrepreneurs does not apply.

Starting from 1 April 2020, the Russian Code of Administrative Offences has been supplemented[2] with new article 20.6.1, while article 6.3 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences has been supplemented with parts 2 and 3ALERT

In the case of a conflict between article 20.6.1 and article 6.3 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences, article 6.3 shall prevail. Article 3.18.1 of the Moscow Code of Administrative Offences shall apply only if the offence does not trigger administrative liability under the Russian Code of Administrative Offences.

On 4 April 2020 the Moscow Mayor issued Decree No. 40-UM “On particulars of applying sanctions to companies and individual entrepreneurs violating the high-alert regime in Moscow.”

It follows from the Decree that article 20.6.1 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences will apply if companies and individual entrepreneurs violate the Moscow Mayor’s Decree No. 12-UM “On introducing a high-alert regime” (as amended) dated 5 March 2020, which defines the rules of conduct when the high-alert regime has been introduced in Moscow.[3] It provides for the least strict sanction for offenders.

This can serve as a model for other Russian constituent entities (up until recently the Chairman of the Russian Government has been recommending that Moscow practices should be taken into account where restrictive measures have been undertaken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection).

Only judges of district courts can impose administrative liability under article 20.6.1 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences. Public officials of governing authorities and forces of the unified state system for the prevention and liquidation of emergency situations and public officials of executive authorities of Russian constituent entities will be entitled to draw up relevant protocols.

By his Decree No. 40-UM the Moscow Mayor has approved that protocols under article 20.6.1 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences will be drawn up in Moscow by public officials of the following authorities. This is how the Mayor has allocated responsibilities among those authorities:

  • the Association of Moscow Administrative and Technical Inspectorates.

Area of responsibility: the violation of the ban on holding sports, entertainment, public and other large-scale events, and on events held outside buildings, edifices and structures (premises in same), where citizens are physically present and at which no trade is being carried out; the violation of requirements for arranging social distancing between employees and visitors.

  • the Moscow Department of Trade and Services, the Prefects’ Offices of Moscow Administrative Districts and the Administrations of Moscow Districts.

Area of responsibility: the violation of the ban on holding events where citizens are physically present and during which trade is being carried out, of the ban on visiting buildings, edifices and structures (premises in same), entertainment and leisure facilities, bookmaker's offices, gaming terminals and outlets for the placing of bets, of the ban on the activities of restaurants, cafés, canteens, buffets, bars, diners and other public catering enterprises (except for take-away services, delivery of orders, or catering enterprises providing their services to a certain company’s employees), retail outlets (except for statutory exceptions, such as pharmacies and pharmacy branches); the violation of requirements for arranging social distancing between employees and visitors in buildings, edifices and structures (premises in same) where trade is being carried out.

  • the Moscow Department for Education and Science.

Area of responsibility: the violation of the ban on visiting organisations providing general education, further education, vocational educational organisations implementing mid-level vocational education and training (except for physical training and sports, as well as culture and arts) except for skeleton groups that have been set up.

  • the Moscow Administrative Traffic Inspectorate.

Area of responsibility: employers engaged in transportation services and the violation by them of requirements of the high-alert regime when they arrange working conditions, including measuring the temperature of employees at workplaces (including randomly to taxi drivers).

  • Moscow State Inspectorate for Real Estate Control.

Area of responsibility: the violation of the ban on the operation of beauty parlours, beauty and SPA salons, massage parlours, tanning salons, bath houses and saunas (except for facilities providing their services under medical licences), the ban on visiting educational organisations offering sports training and implementing educational programmes in physical training and sports, as well as culture and arts (except for skeleton groups that have been established), the ban on holding events where citizens are physically present and on providing relevant services in buildings, edifices and structures (premises in same) where no trade being is carried out; and the violation of requirements for arranging social distancing between employees and visitors in buildings, edifices and structures (premises in same) where no trade is being carried out.

We should not forget about article 6.3 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences, which provides for administrative liability for breaching sanitation and epidemic prevention measures which must be determined in sanitation rules and other regulations of the Russian Federation (article 29 of Federal Law No. 52-FZ “On sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population” dated 30 March 1999). This is the article that provides for the strictest sanction out of those that have been introduced recently.

Public officials from the police and the Federal Service for Supervision over Consumer Rights Protection and Human Welfare (abbreviated in Russian as ‘Rospotrebnadzor’) are entitled to draw up protocols under the above article. Only judges of district courts can impose administrative liability under articles 6.3(2) and 6.3(3) of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences.

Rospotrebnadzor is entitled to check, and is now actively engaged in checking, compliance with the measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus infection,

Therefore, we cannot rule out that Rospotrebnadzor will identify violations on the part of organisations and individual entrepreneurs with respect to measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus infection in Russian constituent entities and adopted in accordance with clause 2 of Resolution No. 5 of the Russian Chief Sanitary Inspector dated 2 March 2020 may result in the liability stipulated by articles 6.3(2) and 6.3(3) of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences. The coronavirus infection (2019-nCoV) has been included in the list of diseases which constitute a danger to the public (the Russian Government's Resolution No. 66 dated 31 January 2020), while the threat of its spread has been widely recognised.

Comparison of sanctions introduced:

Legal entity

Officer

Individual entrepreneur

Article

For violating statutory requirements

An administrative fine of RUB 200,000 to RUB 500,000

or an administrative suspension of activities for up to 90 days

An administrative fine of RUB 50,000 to RUB 150,000

An administrative fine of RUB 50,000 to RUB 150,000

or an administrative suspension of activities for up to 90 days

Article 6.3(2) of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences

A warning

or an administrative fine of RUB 100,000 to RUB 300,000

A warning

or an administrative fine of RUB 10,000 to RUB 50,000

A warning

or an administrative fine of RUB 30,000 to RUB 50,000

Article 20.6.1(1) of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences

An administrative fine of RUB 200,000 to RUB 300,000

An administrative fine of RUB 30,000 to RUB 40,000

An administrative fine of RUB 30,000 to RUB 40,000

Article 3.18.1(1) of the Moscow Code of Administrative Offences

For violating statutory requirements which resulted in harm to human health or damage to property (article 20.6.1 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences), harm to human health or death (article 6.3(3) of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences) and for recurring violations (article 20.6.1(2) of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences and article 3.18.1(3) of the Moscow Code of Administrative Offences)

An administrative fine of RUB 500,000 to RUB 1,000,000

or an administrative suspension of activities for up to 90 days

An administrative fine of RUB 300,000 to RUB 500,000

or disqualification for a period from 1 to 3 years

An administrative fine of RUB 500,000 to RUB 1,000,000

or an administrative suspension of activities for up to 90 days

Article 6.3(3) of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences

An administrative fine of RUB 500,000 to RUB 1,000,000

or an administrative suspension of activities for up to 90 days

An administrative fine of RUB 300,000 to RUB 500,000

or disqualification for a period from 1 to 3 years

An administrative fine of RUB 500,000 to RUB 1,000,000

or an administrative suspension of activities for up to 90 days

Article 20.6.1(2) of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences

An administrative fine of RUB 300,000 to RUB 500,000

An administrative fine of RUB 40,000 to RUB 50,000

An administrative fine of RUB 40,000 to RUB 50,000

Article 3.18.1(3) of the Moscow Code of Administrative Offences

What to undertake

It is important for organisations and entrepreneurs to make every effort possible to comply with the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection as determined by the Russian Government, the Russian Chief Sanitary Inspector, Russian constituent entities and municipalities.

At the same time, it is important to understand and use, if possible, the following arguments.

Article 3.18.1(1) and 3.18(3) of the Code of Administrative Offences of the city of Moscow provides for liability of legal entities (their officials) and individual entrepreneurs for the failure to perform the request for a temporary suspension of events where citizens are physically present, and the work of retail outlets, public catering organisations (enterprises), and relevant services presupposing that citizens visit such facilities or organisations (enterprises). The requirement for such a temporary suspension is established by Decree No. 12-UM (clause 3) of the Mayor of Moscow dated 5 March 2020.

According to general rule, in the area of legislation on administrative offences, the Russian Federation is responsible for the establishment of administrative liability with respect to matters of federal importance, including for the violation of rules and provisions provided for by federal laws and other regulations of the Russian Federation (article 1.3(1)(3) of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences).

The constituent entities of the Russian Federation in the area of legislation on administrative offences are responsible for the establishment of administrative liability for the violation of regulations of constituent entities of the Russian Federation (article 1.3.1(1)(1) of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences).

Article 20.6.1 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences should not be applied for a violation of the requirements of the Decree of the Moscow Mayor, because this article establishes liability for the violation of Rules of Conduct that are binding on citizens and organisations when a high-alert regime or a state of emergency is introduced, approved by Resolution No. 417 of the Russian Government dated 2 April 2020.

Neither should article 6.3 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences be applied for a violation of requirements of the Decree of the Moscow Mayor, since it concerns sanitary and epidemiological preventative measures which must be determined in sanitation rules and other regulations of the Russian Federation (article 29 of Federal Law No. 52-FZ “On the sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population” dated 30 March 1999). And Decree No. 12-UM of the Moscow Mayor dated 5 March 2020 contains events aimed at preventing the transmission and spread of, and at the timely identification and isolation of persons with signs of, the new coronavirus infection (clause 2 of Resolution No. 5 of the Russian Chief Sanitary Inspector dated 2 March 2020).

And this approach is confirmed by methodological recommendations with respect to the application by law enforcement officials of the new provisions of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences which were enacted owing to the need for an emergency response to challenges related to the spread of the new coronavirus infection.

Help from your adviser

Pepeliaev Group’s specialists have accumulated vast experience of how to prepare their clients for state and municipal control measures; we offer legal support during such control measures and can challenge the results of them. The final outcome of such control measures conducted with respect to our clients generally corresponds to their interests to the maximum extent possible.

Thanks to the experience we have accumulated of handling cases arising from administrative relationships with state and local authorities, Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers are able not only to promptly identify a problem. We can also efficiently apply the tools that exist to eliminate it.


[1] Moscow Law No. 6 dated 1 April 2020 “On amending articles 2 and 8 of Moscow Law No. 77 “On public security points in Moscow” dated 10 December 2003 and Moscow Law No. 45 “The Code of Administrative Offences of the city of Moscow” dated 21 November 2007”. Published on 2 April 2020. According to article 3, it takes effect when it is officially published.

[2] Federal Law No. 99-FZ “On amending the Russian Code of Administrative Offences” dated 1 April 2020.

[3] Federal Rules of Conduct that are binding on individuals and organisations when a high-alert regime or an emergency situation has been introduced have been approved by Russian Government’s Resolution No. 417 dated 2 April 2020.

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