In 2014 the requirements for finance lessors, finance lease agreements and the process for performing finance lease activities were changed (Edict of the President of the Republic of Belarus of 25 February 2014 No. 99, Resolution of the Board of the National Bank of 18 Augus 2014 No. 526).
From 1 September 2014 finance lessors must be registered with the National Bank and their authorised fund must be equivalent to at least EUR 50,000.
The minimum authorised fund requirement does not apply to finance lessors that were engaged in finance lease activity before 1 September 2014. Nevertheless such organisations should increase their authorised funds to the equivalent of at least EUR 25,000 by 1 July 2015, and to the equivalent of EUR 50,000 by 1 July 2016.
The minimum authorised fund requirement and registration with the National Bank are not applicable if during a calendar year a finance lessor concludes less than three lease agreements or the total value of leased assets does not exceed 10,000 basic units (about EUR 100,000). These requirements also do not apply to foreign legal entities which perform finance lease activities through permanent establishment and legal entities with the right to perform finance lease activities according to decisions of the President of the Republic of Belarus. Banks and non-bank credit and financial institutions also have the right to perform finance lease activities without being included in the register.
Additional reporting requirements for finance lessors were established. Furthermore, finance leasing organisations included in the register should publicly disclose information on their activities and financial standing.
From January 2015 lease payments are exempt from VAT on part of a finance lessor’s remuneration (income) and investment expenses, excluding investment expenses reimbursed from the cost of a leased asset (Law of the Republic of Belarus of 30 December 2014 No. 224-Z).