On 2 December 2019, the Russian President signed the bill that requires electronic equipment sold in Russia to have pre-installed Russian software. This requirement will come into force on 1 July 2020.

Under this bill, the Russian Government will determine the types of equipment that would fall under this restriction, the Russian software to be used and the respective pre-installation procedures.

This bill still allows the use of foreign manufacturer's and developers' standard software, but requires having Russian "alternative software" installed to protect the local tech firms.

In the context of the recent amendments to Russian TMT regulations on the "Sovereign Internet," it looks like another instrument to tighten the state control over this sphere.

There are also some legislative initiatives to establish liability for non-compliance with the above requirements in the form of administrative fines for sellers. We expect them to be passed by the end of next year.

What does it mean for your business?

As with many TMT-related initiatives in Russia, it remains to be monitored how the bill will operate in practice.