Amendments have come into force to the Commercial Procedure Code

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Pepeliaev Group advises that on 5 January 2024 amendments Federal Law No. 667-FZ 'On amending the Russian Commercial Procedure Code' dated 25 December 2023 (the “Law”).
 came into force to the Russian Commercial Procedure CodeThe “Commercial Procedure Code” or the “Code”.
 concerning the timeframes and procedure for commercial legal proceedings.

The amendments are aimed at reducing the workload of commercial courts, speeding up the obtaining of legal protection by parties and enhancing the accessibility of economic justice.

The Law provides for the amendments as follows.

Expanding the area of simplified and writ proceedings

The amount of claims that can be examined using the writ proceedings regime has been increased from RUB 500,000 to RUB 750,000 (article 229.2 of the Commercial Procedure Code).

The upper limits of claims have also been increased for simplified proceedings (article 227 of the Commercial Procedure Code):

  • claims against individual entrepreneurs: from RUB 400,000 to RUB 600,000;

  • claims against companies: from RUB 800,000 to RUB 1.2 million.

The grounds have been expanded for cases to be considered using the simplified procedure. Applications to recover legal costs will be considered taking into account the chapter on simplified proceedings.

The Law entrenches the right of the court to summon the parties to the case to court hearings under the simplified procedure at its own initiative or further to a petition of such parties. This will enable the court to shorten the time for identifying facts that have importance for the case without changing the regime to the general rules for considering claims.

New article 291.16 has been added to the Commercial Procedure Code, according to which cassation appeals of judicial decisions in cases examined using the writ or simplified regime will be considered without the parties being summoned. However, the court may take into account the difficulty of the case or arguments used in the appeal or the objections and may summon the parties to a court hearing.

Сhallenging court judgments

The Law is aimed at lowering the workload of courts by reducing the number of court judgments being appealed since for some of them the Code stipulates different forms of judicial control.

In its new version, article 93(7) of the Commercial Procedure Code eliminates the right to appeal a ruling to apply provisional remedies; only a commercial court’s ruling to deny injunctive relief can be appealed. At present, in order to lift provisional remedies, one can only file an application for the provisional remedies to be revoked.

Article 263 of the Commercial Procedure Code no longer includes a right to appeal a ruling to leave an appeal unconsidered. Such regulation is in line with proceedings in the cassation court where no right is available either to appeal a ruling to leave an appeal unconsideredClause 19 of Resolution No. 13 of the Plenum of the Russian Supreme Court dated 30 June 2020 “Оn the application of the Russian Commercial Procedure Code when cases are considered in a state commercial court of cassation”.
. Later, if an unconsidered appeal is returned, the appellant will have a right to appeal the ruling to return the appeal.

Extension of procedural deadlines

The Law provides for the extension of certain procedural deadlines which previously were insufficient because the courts were overwhelmed with work and were not observing them:

  • The maximum permitted break in a court hearing has been extended to 10 days (instead of 5 days);

  • The deadline by which the court should prepare a judgment in full has also been extended from 5 to 10 days;

  • The chairman of the court, deputy chairman of the court or the chairman of the panel of judges may postpone proceedings in the case where a judge is ill or for other reasons for up to one month (previously, for up to 10 days);

  • The timeframe for the consideration of an appeal is now three months instead of two months; The court of appeal can consider an appeal under the rules established for the court of the first level within a term that may not exceed six months (instead of three months).

The possibility for parties to a case to obtain electronic copies of the minutes or audio recordings of the hearing, as well as of the judges’ obligation to provide grounds for a dismissal of a motion to participate in a hearing using web conferencing aim at making justice more accessible.

A range of changes were also aimed at bringing the Commercial Procedure Code in line with the practice and clarifications of the Russian Supreme Court. For example, certificates of registration as a legal entity or an individual entrepreneur have been removed from the list of attachments to a claim because they have lost their value since extracts from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities became available to the public. However, the list of attachments has been supplemented with copies of documents that confirm legal education or other documents that confirm the status of a representative to whom requirements for professional representation do not apply.

Agreed jurisdiction remains

At the outset, the draft law intended that agreed jurisdiction be abolished for all disputes except for cases with foreign parties. The Russian Supreme Court (which had initiated the draft law) supported this amendment by stating that the existing system of commercial courts and particularly the elements of electronic justice in it make possible participation in court proceedings in different regions which makes the concept of agreed jurisdiction redundant.

However, after this draft law had been considered, this amendment was not included in the final version of the law.

What to think about and what to do

The amendments which have come into force should be taken into account when preparing strategies, planning and handling cases in commercial courts.

Help from your adviser

Pepeliaev Group's experts are ready to provide the necessary advice concerning amendments to the Russian Commercial Procedure Code and how it affects specific cases, and to provide comprehensive legal support for proceedings in commercial courts of all levels, foreign state courts, as well as commercial tribunals and international commercial arbitration courts.

Translated by the Translation Department of Pepeliaev Group.

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