Buckwheat Export Ban

Buckwheat Export Ban

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What do buckwheat exports, pension claims, conscription physicals, tougher rules for migrants, mobile customer service and educational campaigns have in common? They are all brought together by changes in Russian legislation, effective since June 1.

Sugar and buckwheat prices

In late March, the authorities extended the price freeze to June 1 for sugar refineries and to October 1 for sunflower oil producers. The Ministry of Agriculture recommended sugar producers to keep the fixed price, if possible, even after the lifting of restrictions. The decision on the three-month "freeze" dates back to last December as sugar and sunflower oil prices increased. The operation of the government price control decree ended in early June.

Novelties are expected in the groats market. Buckwheat export ban will be effective till the end of summer due to poor harvest and packaging price hikes. The government believes that the ban will help keep the same price level in the country.

Mobile communications

Starting June 1, users will be able to sign contracts with mobile operators online, but this service will not be available to those who refuse to provide personal data. That is, the operator has to stop servicing a person if his or her identity is not confirmed.

Tougher requirements are now effective for business cell phone plans and services for natural persons. For example, self-employed entrepreneurs or legal entities will not be able to provide their employees or other persons with corporate mobile communications without entering their personal data into the Unified System of Identification and Authentication (USIA.) As for the unique device identifier (IMEI), it can now be linked to the user ESIA account. If a phone is lost, its owner will be able to request the authorities to block it.

Migrants Among Us

Tougher rules for non-residents require migrants and other foreigners staying in Russia without proper documents to legalize their status by June 15 or face deportation. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree signed in April 2020, stateless persons, foreigners or persons whose documents expired between 15.03.2020 and 15.06.2021 can claim exemptions. The operation of the decree was extended after it expired in mid-December 2020.

From now on, the migration services of the Interior Ministry branches have to assist the migrant workers who have no work permit. Those foreigners whose documents have expired within the specified period will be able to leave Russia with their existing documents through the so-called transit corridors.

The law on educational activities comes into force

This document introduces the concept of "educational activities" and entitles the state authorities to regulate them. According to this law, an educational activity is defined as "an activity aimed at disseminating knowledge, experience, acquiring abilities, skills, values and competencies for the purposes of intellectual, spiritual, moral, creative, physical and (or) professional development of a person, satisfaction of his or her educational needs and interests."

State government bodies, local self-government bodies and authorized organizations, as well as individuals, self-employed entrepreneurs, or legal entities that follow the requirements of the law are allowed to perform educational activities. The Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Education (Ministry of Enlightenment) are the only bodies that shall make decisions on the expediency of cooperation of educational institutions with international organizations. The legislators explained that this document was aimed at “eliminating the incitement of social, racial, national or religious strife in the framework of educational activities.”

Recruits exempted from medical examination

On May 26th, Vladimir Putin signed the law according to which recruits who have been granted deferment are exempted from medical checkup “if this deferment is not related to health reasons.” In other words, the medical examination can be carried out only at the request of a draftee.

Vladimir Shamanov, chairman of the State Duma Committee on Defense, explained that "if a person has reasons for delay of call to military duty, unrelated to the condition of his health or their right to draft exemption, he is no longer obliged to have a medical examination. Medical checkup for this group are henceforth done at their request.” The lawmakers believe that this innovation will reduce the number of medical examinations and improve the quality of examination of those draftees who have no deferments on account of their health.

Future pensioners not forgotten

As it is known, the fast track pension procedure was adopted at the time when the COVID-19 pandemic was raging in Russia. Back then the future pensioners saw the authorities ease rules for them so that they could fill in their claim form online. The information from other agencies was collected by the Pension Fund. On June 1, as it was prepared to reopen offices for employees, the fast track procedure was extended to the end of 2021.

Moreover, people can now claim pensions or welfare benefits by phone or using their personal account on the Pension Fund website. The registration or payments renewal will rely on information registers data. As for the gathering of information from other institutions and agencies, local agencies will have to assist people in this as well.

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