Trainee associate Valeria Gaikovich contributed to this post.

Following adoption of the law on the preinstallation of Russian software on electronic devices in December 2019, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has developed draft guidelines to determine the types of electronic devices that will be subject to the new regulations, as well as the deadlines and procedures for the preinstallation of domestic software. The draft guidelines will not apply to electronic devices manufactured or released into circulation in Russia before July 1, 2020.

According to the draft guidelines, as of the dates set forth below, all touchscreen electronic devices with two or more functions (e.g., smartphones, tablets, smart watches) must have the following apps preinstalled:

  1. Web search engines and browsers (effective from July 1, 2020)
  2. Cartographic and navigation services (effective from July 1, 2020)
  3. Antivirus (effective from July 1, 2021)
  4. Email services (effective from July 1, 2021)
  5. “Electronic government” services (effective from July 1, 2021)
  6. Messenger and social network services (effective from July 1, 2021)
  7. National payment services (effective from July 1, 2021)

Effective from July 1, 2021, all system units, desktops, and portable PCs including laptops must be equipped with the services indicated in 1–5 above and, effective from July 1, 2022, with audiovisual services and services allowing free access to all-Russian mandatory public TV or radio channels, or both.

Effective from July 1, 2022, all TV sets with digital control units must have preinstalled antivirus, audiovisual services, and services allowing free access to all-Russian mandatory public TV or radio channels, or both.

FAS will keep the list of domestic software and publish it on its website.

Preinstallation rules will be mandatory for manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors of affected electronic devices. Manufacturers will be able to choose the method of preinstallation: (1) preinstallation of the app on the device, or (2) preinstallation of shortcuts that allow the user to install domestic software or a dialogue box that enables the user to choose the software to be preinstalled (and that the user cannot skip or close). Manufacturers will also have to ensure that preinstalled apps are not automatically deleted after reboots or upgrades.

Currently, the draft guidelines are open for “public discussion” and the anticorruption expertise. Thereafter the draft guidelines will be finalized and introduced to the Russian government for consideration; however, the exact timing will depend on the results of the public discussion.