On July 17, 2009, Russian President Medvedev signed amendments to Federal Law No. 7-FZ of January 12, 1996, “On Non-Commercial Organizations,” which will come into force on August 1, 2009.
Among other provisions:
- The amendments provide for a simplified reporting procedure for NGOs that have annual revenue below 3 million rubles and no foreign founders or members;
- The Government’s mandatory audits of NGOs will no longer occur annually, but rather will take place with the same frequency as for commercial companies – every three years;
- If the founders of an NGO do not submit all of the documents required for registration, or if there are mistakes in the submitted documents, the registration process may now be suspended for up to three months to provide the applicant with an opportunity to address the deficiency, instead of denying the registration altogether;
- During the registration process, the registration body is limited to requesting only those documents specified in the law; and
- The authorities are no longer permitted to deny the registration of an affiliate office of a foreign NGO based on whether it threatens the “unique character, cultural heritage, or national interests of the Russian Federation,” as these criteria have been removed from the law.