On 21 December 2013 President of the Russian Federation signed the Federal Law N 379-FZ "On amending part one of the Civil code of the Russian Federation and the annulment of certain legislative acts (provisions of legislative acts) of the Russian Federation", which provides, inter alia, some changes in law governing the activities of notaries public. Most part of the aforementioned amendments will come into force on 1 July 2014.

The most significant changes include the following:

  • Establishment of the Unified Information System of Notariate (UISN), comprising:
    • the register of notarial acts;
    • the register of probate cases;
    • the register of notifications on pledge of movables.

UISN operator is the Federal Chamber of Notaries Public of the Russian Federation. Information is entered into the system by notaries. It is established that notaries have to go on to the registration of all committed notarial acts in the register of notarial acts not later than 1 January 2018. Whereas, starting from 1 July 2014 to 1 January 2018 notaries are required to enter into the register only information on notarization of powers of attorney, wills and marriage contracts.

Unrestricted public access to certain information in UISN is established by the law. We hope that this information may be obtained via a special web-site on the Internet.

  • The list of notarial services is expanded to acknowledgement of the equivalency of documents – i.e. confirmation of identity of documents and their equal legal force:
    • electronic document made by a notary (signed by its qualified electronic signature) and a paper document provided to the notary public; or
    • paper document made by a notary and an electronic document with a qualified electronic signature provided to the notary. This should be checked and confirmed by a qualified signature by the applicant in accordance with the Federal Law of 6 April 2011 N 63-FZ "On electronic signature".
  • Submission of statements and other documents through a notary to third parties

At the applicant's request the notary will provide submission of the documents to legal entities or individuals with a cover letter. The applicant may choose delivery options, including: delivery by hand against receipt, sending via Russian post, transmitting by sending an electronic document produced by a notary. Notary shall issue a certificate of direction and/or a certificate of transfer of the documents, and in case of impossibility of document’s transfer; the reasons shall be stated in the certificate.

  • Provision of documents for state registration of rights to real estate through a notary (effective from 1 February 2014)

Application and documents for registration of real property rights can be directed by the notary if it has certified the transaction, has issued the certificate or produced executory endorsement on the retention of pledgor’s title on the mortgaged property. Procedure and deadlines for submission of documents for the state registration are determined by the Federal Law of 21 July 1997 № 122-FZ "On government registration of rights to real estate and transactions involving real estate". Accordingly, this method does not guarantee the success of the state registration, but is able to simplify the filing to the Russian State Register.

When entered into force, the new regulation will allow any interested person to obtain information about the notarial acts. It will have significant importance for establishment of such legal facts as issuance or cancellation of the notarized power of attorney, testamentation or revocation of wills, the establishment of pledge over movable property, etc. Other changes deal in general with expanding the range of notarial services related to the electronic document flow.