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In this page: Business Contract | Intellectual Property | Legal Framework of Business | International Dispute Resolution


Business Contract

General Observation
You must define precisely the seller's obligations and the methods of quality control.
Law Applicable to the Contract
Russia is a signatory to the Vienna Convention on International Contracts.
Advisable Incoterms
For preference choose CIF or more.
Language of Domestic Contract
Other Laws Which Can Be Used in Domestic Contracts
Many Russian companies use British law for their financial transactions.

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Intellectual Property

National Organisations
The Russian Federal instrument for the protection of intellectual property is the Russian Patent & Trademark Office.
Given the risks of pirating in Russia, it is imperative to register with the register of trademarks to ensure protection (be careful: judicial procedures in the country are very slow).
Regional Organisations
Russia is a member of the Eurasian Patent Organisation.
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
Patent Law
20 years Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Law on Trademarks, Service marks and Appellations of Origin of Goods
10 years Trademark Law Treaty
Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
Patent Law
10 years  
Law on Copyrights and Relative Rights
70 years after the death of the author Berne convention For the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
Industrial Models
Patent Law
5 years  

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreigners cannot expect an impartial hearing in judicial matters.
The Language of Justice
Recourse to an Interpreter
Legal Similarities
The main source of the law is the Constitution of December 1993. The country's judicial system is based on a system of civil law and judicial reviews of various legislation.

The Different Legal Codes

Foundation of the State, individual rights Constitution(1993)
Business law, property law, protection of civic rights Civil Code
Criminal law Criminal Code (1997)
Labour law Labour Code (2001)
Tax law Tax Code (1998)
Checking National Laws Online
Kodeks ( in russian)
Other Useful Resources
Russian Law News
Consultant Plus, (in Russian)
Country Guides
Lexadin, Courts and Cases Russia

The Jurisdictions

The Constitutional Court Examines the conformity of laws with the Constitution
The Supreme Court The highest authority for civil, criminal and administrative cases. Power of Appeal.
Federal or regional Court of Appeal Can judge serious cases in first instance
District court and Justices of the peace Court of first instance

Court Officials

Advise, represent and defend their clients.
About 20 000 spread over 100 colleges which intersect with judicial districts (like the Bar).
There are also about 20 000 lawyers who only work for a company (jurisconsults) and more and more American-style independent offices.
Examine cases and pass sentence.
About 20 000 who have passed an examination and then been co-opted.
Once in place, a judge has immunity and cannot be transferred.
Poorly paid and overworked, they are often suspected of corruption and lack of independence.
In charge of supervising enquiries, of investigation and accusation.
About 40 000 under the Public Prosecutor.
They still have considerable power, even if this has been reduced over the last few years.

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International Dispute Resolution

Arbitration is carried out by specialized courts, including for international cases.
Arbitration Law
"On International Commercial Arbitration"
"On the Arbitration Courts in the Russian Federation"
Conformity to International Commercial Arbitration Rules
Party to the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
Appointment of Arbitrators
They are  permanent judges specialized in commercial disputes.
According to its importance, a case may be judged by just one judge or by the presiding judge and associated judges. There are always an odd number of judges and the decision is taken by simple majority.
Arbitration Procedure
A commercial dispute may be taken to arbitration if the civil court declines jurisdiction or if the 2 parties have signed a contract expressing their common decision to appeal to this system.

The rules of procedure are simple. The system has 4 levels: 85 Courts for Federation Matters (first instance), 20 Arbitration Appellate Courts, 10 Federal District Arbitration Courts (courts of cassation) and the Supreme Arbitration Court. The arbitration decision can be appealed and possibly lodged with the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Consult the Russian Arbitration Court website for further information.
Permanent Arbitration Bodies
Supreme Arbitration Court (Sectors Covered: Commercial, personal property, real estate)

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Latest update: July 2024

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