Registration fees for Tajikistan NGOs have been substantially reduced taking effect on December 26, 2005 after the adoption of the amended Tajik Law “On State fees”.
According to the new law the Ministry of Justice will collect the following fees for registration:
- For non-commercial organizations of any form – 5 times the minimum monthly state salary (about 19 USD), previously it was 20 times.
- For non-commercial organizations with the participation of the any foreign persons- 20 times the minimum monthly state salary (about 75 USD), previously it was 50 times.
- For registration of branch and representative offices of any form – 2 times the minimum monthly state salary (about 8 USD), previously it was $12.
- For local public associations – 5 times the minimum monthly state salary (about 19 USD), previously it was 10 times.
- For republican public associations – 10 times the minimum monthly state salary (about 38 USD), previously it was 20 times.
- For international public associations – 100 times the minimum monthly state salary (about 375 USD), previously it was 200 times.
The high fees for NGO registration have been a significant impediment to the growth of NGOs in Tajikistan (the minimum monthly state salary is around $4 and the average salary is around $15) and this reduction will help increase the number of individuals and organizations who wish to operate an NGO in Tajikistan, thus enhancing the civil society sector. It should be further noted that this is not the first time that ICNL’s efforts to reduce the fees have resulted in positive results. This is the third change that has resulted since 2001, and a dramatic increase in the number of registered NGOs has occurred during this time, especially in the rural areas of the country, and will continue in the future.
ICNL is proud to be associated with this success. ICNL has been consistently addressing the issue of high registration fees through technical advice and in several sets of comments to the new Tajik Laws “On state registration of legal entities”, “On charitable activity” and the Law “On state fees”. In addition, ICNL’s analysis of the Legislation Regulating the Implementation of the Freedom of Association in Tajikistan, which was prepared in 2004, also addressed this issue and was promoted by international stakeholders (i.e. the OSCE). This analysis created a strong resonance in response to the problems relating to high registration fees. Also, numerous roundtables addressing the issues of registration fees and registration procedures that were conducted along with government officials, parliamentarians and NGOs has also paid off.
This is a small success, but it encourages Tajik NGOs to continue advocating for legal reforms, and ICNL stands ready to help.