Federal Law № 40-FZ on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation of March 8, 2015 (the “Law”) enters into force on March 20, 2015. The Law amends a number of criminal procedural rules, as well as revises the penalties for a range of corruption offenses.

The amendments concern the provisions on liability for minor corruption offenses in articles 290 and 291 of the RF Criminal Code (accepting and offering bribes, respectively). The courts now have the choice to impose fines together with imprisonment. The minimum fine for accepting or offering a bribe has been lowered and alternative criminal penalties have been added to the article.

The RF Criminal Procedure Code article containing the procedure for enforcing penalties in the form of fines has been amended: the period for paying a fine has been increased from 30 to 60 days, and the period for paying a fine in installments has been increased from three to five years.

The RF Criminal Procedure Code now provides for attachment of a suspect/accused’s property in order to secure the payment of a fine.

The period for collecting a fine imposed as punishment for an offense has been increased from two to three years. Federal Law № 229-FZ on Enforcement Proceedings of October 2, 2007 has been amended accordingly.

The Law has therefore softened certain provisions on the use of fines as penalties for various offenses, including corruption offenses. The amendments to the provisions on liability for such offenses are expected to make their application more effective.