Import substitution in Russia - Information and Computer Technologies

Russia

Regulations

Since 1 January 2016, foreign software is banned from public procurement except when:
  • the Unified Register of Russian Programmes for Computers and Databases (the “Register”) does not contain the software of the required category; or

  • the software included in the Register does not meet the user’s requirements.

References (sources)

  • Procurement Law (44-FZ);

  • Federal Law “On Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection” No. 149-FZ dated 27 July 2006;

  • Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation “On Approving the Development Strategy for the Information Technology Industry in the Russian Federation for 2014-2020 and prospectively up to 2025” No. 2036-r dated 1 November 2013;

  • Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation “On Prohibiting the Admission of Foreign-Made Software to Public and Municipal Tenders” No. 1236 dated 16 November 2015;

  • Order of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation “On Approving the Plan for Import Substitution of Software” No. 96 dated 1 April 2015;

  • Order of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation “On Approving the Regulations on the Expert Council for Russian Software at the Russian Ministry of Communications and Mass Media” No. 615 dated 30 December 2015;

  • Order of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation “On Approving the Classifier of Computer Programmes and Databases” No. 621 dated 31 December 2015;

  • Order of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation “On Approving the Rules on the Use of the Classifier of Computer Programmes and Databases” No. 622 dated 31 December 2015;

  • Instructions on how to submit an application for inclusion in the Register by the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation dated 31 January 2016 (reestr.minsvyaz.ru/news/58194).

Affected entities

State and municipal entities.

Affected products

All software including operating systems.

Existing practice

Foreign software remains in demand from the affected entities. Public customers set their requirements in such a way as to specifically target only the desired foreign programme. The authorities are trying to close this loophole by imposing the criterion of equivalence. Thus,the localisation option looks more promising for foreign developers than trying to stay in or penetrate the Russian software market.

Relevance for imports to Russia

While the foreign software market is not completely closed to public authorities thanks to the exceptions above, Russian developers are likely to squeeze foreign developers out in the long run by filling in the Register with domestic software.

Criteria for obtaining a certificate of origin

Under the current procedure for including software in the Register, the owner of the programme must be:
  • the Russian Federation;

  • a region of the Russian Federation;

  • a municipality of the Russian Federation;

  • a Russian non-commercial legal entity;

  • a Russian commercial legal entity, provided that 50 % of the shares in this legal entity are directly or indirectly owned by the Russian Federation, a Russian region, a Russian municipality, a Russian non-commercial legal entity or Russian citizens; or

  • a Russian citizen.

Recommendations

Foreign developers may pair with Russian partners and rebadge their products as Russian. This process is already taking place.

A number of current legislative initiatives should be taken into account. Some are aimed at the prohibition, or significant limitation of use, of not only foreign software, but also foreign IT equipment in state information systems in cases where there are some Russian analogues. If adopted, this ban may also apply to state corporations and state-owned companies. Purchasing services and works for the creation and maintenance of IT systems as well as leasing foreign software may also be limited for these entities. Another legislative proposal currently discussed is to completely prohibit public authorities from using foreign EDM (Electronic Document Management) systems.

This article is a part of a series based on the publication "Import Substitution in Russia" which we compiled for the Swiss embassy in Moscow. To learn more, register for the webinar on 14. September with Dr. Thomas Heidemann.

9 Jun 2016 Import substitution in Russia - General Introduction
16 Jun 2016 Import substitution in Russia - Mechanical and electrical engineering and metal industries
23 Jun 2016 Import substitution in Russia - Food and food processing
30 Jun 2016 Import substitution in Russia - Automotive industry