From 1 January 2018, transaction passports and currency operation certificates are to be replaced by a new procedure of recording contracts and filing currency control documents with Russian banks.

A new Instruction of the Bank of Russia No. 181-I, dated 16 August 2017 (Instruction 181-I), will enter into force on 1 January 2018 and will replace the existing Instruction of the Bank of Russia No. 138-I. Instruction 181-I will abolish transaction passports and currency operation certificates and will set up a new procedure under which banks will be required to record contracts.

What the Law says

No more transaction passports

Instruction 181-I introduces a procedure for recording the contracts of Russian residents at Russian banks. A Russian resident exporter, resident importer or resident that is party to a loan agreement shall submit to its Russian bank:

  • either a copy of the contract or an extract from such contract, or
  • information about the contract required in order for it to be recorded according to the requirements of the relevant bank.

All transaction passports that were opened for existing contracts shall be considered closed as of 1 January 2018. All existing contracts will be considered recorded for the purposes of Instruction 181-I.

Increase in threshold for recording of contracts

From the 1st of January 2018, a contract shall be recorded by a Russian bank if the total amount of such contract exceeds:

  • RUB 3,000,000 (approximately USD 51,000) for import contracts and loan agreements; and
  • RUB 6,000,000 (approximately USD 102,000) for export contracts.

No more currency operation certificates

Russian residents will not need to provide their banks with currency operation certificates for each payment: instead, they will have to submit documents relating to the relevant currency operation.

This requirement does not apply to payments in foreign currency under contracts for an amount equal to or less than RUB 200,000 (approximately USD 3,300), for which the Russian resident shall provide only the currency operation code (VO Code) for the payment.

If the payment is made in rubles under a contract for an amount equal to or less than RUB 200,000 there is no need to provide a currency operation code.