Russia - Commercial Guide
Limitations on Selling US Products and Services

Provides information on any manufacturing sectors or services where only citizens or a sub-set of the population in that country are allowed to own or sell.

Last published date: 2019-10-13

The subsequent “Trade Barriers” and “Prohibited and Restricted Imports” sections of this report provide additional information on restrictions that may affect U.S. companies’ ability to provide certain goods and services to the Russian market.

In Russia, several important laws have been adopted in recent years in the field of personal data.  These efforts to improve the legal framework have resulted in significant complications for market players, as many aspects of the legislation on personal data collection, storage and use have become particularly demanding and implementation may be burdensome and costly for international market participants.  The 2014 law requiring that companies operating in Russia store their users’ or clients’ personal data on servers located physically in Russia is an example of how evolving regulatory practices can place a burden on U.S. firms.

Another restrictive law, Federal Law No. 188-FZ “Concerning the Introduction of Amendments to the Federal Law “Concerning Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection” and Article 14 of the Federal Law “Concerning the Contract System for Procurements of Goods, Work and Services to Meet State and Municipal Needs” signed on June 29, 2015, provides for the creation of a “unified register of Russian computer programs and databases”and a partial prohibition on the procurement of foreign software and databases for Russian government needs.  The law was enacted on January 1, 2016.  The signing of this law forms part of the import substitution policy laid down in the Russian Government’s crisis response plan.  Under the new rules, software will be recognized as Russian only if it has been entered in the Unified Register. The law defines basic criteria for including software products in this register. Russian right holders should possess exclusive right on software, software should be freely handled and distributed in Russia, the amount of licensed and other contributions in favor of foreign right holders should be no more than 30% of revenue from software implementation. Data stored on foreign software should not contain national security information and Russian right holders should possess the exclusive right for the entire operating term.  Only software listed in the Unified Register may be purchased to meet federal and municipal needs.  The law states that in order for exceptions to be applied, the buyer will have to prepare a statement explaining why the restrictions cannot be observed.

Corruption Reporting Hotline

Legislation passed by Congress in December 2012 that authorized the President to extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations to Russia and Moldova requires the Secretary of Commerce to establish and maintain a phone hotline and secure website for U.S. entities, and to report to Congress, on instances of bribery, attempted bribery and other forms of corruption in the Russian Federation.

Individuals and companies that wish to report instances of bribery or corruption that impact, or potentially impact their operations, and to request the assistance of the United States Government with respect to issues relating to issues of corruption may call the Russia Corruption Reporting hotline at (202) 482-7945, or submit the form provided at report a barrier  to the Office of Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance.  Every effort will be made to protect the confidentiality of the information provided.