Laws for TV and radio broadcasting in Kazakhstan were amended twice – in October and November 2015. Amendments affect advertising on foreign TV and radio channels retransmitted in Kazakhstan, as well as operations of foreign TV and radio companies in Kazakhstan as of 2017.

Ban on Advertising

As of 1 January 2016, advertising on foreign TV and radio channels retransmitted in Kazakhstan will be banned.

The law will hold Kazakhstani TV and radio broadcast operators liable for any violation of the ban, while no liability is provided for foreign TV and radio companies. The only consequence of such a ban for foreign TV and radio companies could be the refusal by operators to retransmit their channels on the territory of Kazakhstan.

The newly enacted legislative acts do not introduce any specific liability for the violation of the ban on advertising. TV and radio operators in Kazakhstan would bear general liability for any violation of the rules for retransmitting a TV or radio channel, i.e. a penalty in the amount of US$650 to $2,600.

To transmit foreign TV and radio channels in Kazakhstan, establish a representative office

A new Law On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts on Informatization in Kazakhstan (hereinafter the Informatization Law) was published on 26 November 2015 and made some amendments to laws, including the TV and radio broadcasting law.

Pursuant to the Informatization Law, owners of foreign TV and radio companies retransmitting TV and radio channels in Kazakhstan must establish a representative office in Kazakhstan.

Foreign TV and radio companies with a state interest in its capital may only continue broadcasting if they establish a legal entity in Kazakhstan. Meanwhile, foreign companies may hold not more than 20% of shares or participatory interest in such legal entity, and foreign citizens or stateless persons may not act as head or editor-in-chief of such mass media.

Representative offices or legal entities must be established before 1 January 2017.