On 21 July 2011, the President of the Russian Federation signed Federal Law No. 255-FZ "On Amending the Federal Law 'On Technical Regulation'". Several days earlier, on 19 July 2011, Federal Law No. 248-FZ "On Amending Separate Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Relating to Implementing the Provisions of the Federal Law 'On Technical Regulation'" was also signed.

Both laws (with the exception of various provisions) come into force 90 days following their official publication, those dates respectively being 25 and 21 of October 2011.

Technical Regulations provide for safety and quality requirements to various products imported, manufactured and sold in Russia. Technical Regulations also apply to buildings, construction, design, survey works and different product-related processes such as transportation, storage, packaging and marking. Technical Regulations are aimed at replacing the old system of state standards (GOST).

The amendments made in July 2011 aim to establish uniform principles of technical regulations in Russia. They are also intended to bring the legal regime of technical regulation in Russia into conformity with the requirements of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The goal of the legislator was specifically to (i) eliminate technical and legal barriers to the circulation of goods imported into the Russian Federation; (ii) simplify the procedure for confirming the compliance of goods with the Technical Regulations; (iii) create a national body for accreditation of the certification centres and test laboratories; and (iv) form a regulatory framework for the international recognition of the accreditation system in Russia.

In brief, the main amendments to the Federal Law "On Technical Regulations" (the "Law") are as follows:

  1. now Technical Regulations may be adopted not only by federal laws and Government resolutions but also by Presidential edicts and regulatory legal acts of the federal executive body in the sphere of technical regulation;
  2. the scope of the Law is narrowed, for example, standards of valuation activities, minimal social standards and standards of providing the services for state needs are not subject to Technical Regulations;
  3. a "national body for accreditation" of certification centres and test laboratories is set up and a unified national system of accreditation based on international and European principles and approaches is created;
  4. detailed regulations for declarations of compliance, including a list of technical documents which applicants must present is set out in the Law;
  5. a unified electronic register of submitted declarations of compliance is introduced; 
  6. the period for which an applicant must keep a declaration of compliance and material evidence is extended up to 10 years from the date of expiry of the declaration, unless the Technical Regulations provide otherwise;
  7. a concept of temporary or preliminary national standard is introduced;
  8. state authorities are now entitled to request any material evidence originally used for mandatory confirmation of compliance of the goods with the Technical Regulations from producers or their local representatives if the state authorities obtain information that the goods may not comply with the Technical Regulations; and
  9. a declaration of compliance may now be submitted in electronic form and no confirmation is needed from the state authorities.

In order to bring the legislation in line with the new legal regime for Technical Regulations the laws of the Russian Federation "On Fire Safety", "On Environmental Assessment", "On Industrial Safety at Dangerous Production Sites" as well as the Civil, Tax, Labour the Merchant Marine Code and the Inland Water Transport Code of the Russian Federation have been amended.