Changes to the list of subsurface users
Under the current law, permission to use Russian subsurface sites may be granted to business entities, including members of a simple partnership, and foreign citizens and companies. The use of subsurface sites of federal significance is reserved for legal entities established in accordance with Russian law (some exceptions apply).
Once the law is passed, only Russian legal entities and private entrepreneurs with Russian citizenship will be permitted to operate as subsurface users. To help bring this about, a “transitional period” will be implemented with a view to eliminating foreign subsurface users.
Specifically, within 30 days of the law coming into force, the federal subsurface development agency, Rosnedra, will notify foreign entities of the need to transfer the right to develop a subsurface site to a Russian legal entity and to transfer to the latter such property and property rights as are needed to carry on licensed activities.
Within 90 days of receiving the notification from Rosnedra, the foreign entity concerned must establish a Russian legal entity through which to continue activities at the site in question and submit an application to transfer its licence to that entity.
If, when mineral development rights are transferred, agreement is not reached on the terms of transfer of property and property rights, those terms will be established by decision of an arbitration court in the area where the subsurface site is located.