Legislative News

This CLIENT UPDATE includes amendments and additions to the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan (“RK”) from 1 December through 31 December 2014.

The legislation outlined in this Client Update concerns both public and private sectors. Some of them may be of interest to you as it may affect your business in Kazakhstan in certain way.

This month we would like to draw your attention to the following legal acts:

2015 BENCHMARK RATES CHANGED

The following benchmark rates are effective as from 1 January 2015:

• minimum wage – KZT 21, 364;

• state benchmark pension payment – KZT 11,182;

• minimum pension – KZT 23,692;

• monthly calculation index for estimating allowances and other social benefits, as well as for imposing punitive sanctions, taxes and other payments in accordance with the RK legislation – KZT 1,982;

• minimum daily allowance for calculation of benchmark social benefits – KZT 21,364.

LAW ON SUBSURFACE USE

1) On 30 December 2014, the President of RK signed the Law “On changes and amendments into certain legal acts of RK on subsurface use”.

The Law provides, among others, for the following important amendments:

• exercise of the Government priority right is limited to only subsurface areas, which are of strategic significance;

• introduction of a signature bonus auction as a new method of identifying a tender winner for subsurface use right;

• subsurface users are not required to agree contract amendments with the competent body if the production volume is less than 20 % of project targets;

• the Law envisages a simplified procedure for granting a subsurface use right for exploration of understudied deposits (each deposit with no more than 10 blocks). Subsurface users who obtained a subsurface use right under the simplified procedure are released from local content obligations.

The Law comes into force on 9 January 2015.

ACCESSION OF ARMENIA TO THE EURASIAN ECONOMICAL UNION (“EEU”)

1) On 24 December 2014, the President of RK signed the Law “On ratification of the Treaty on Accession of the Republic of Armenia to the EEU dated 29 May 2014”.

Armenia will become an EEU member and will assume obligations under the EEU Treaty as from 1 January 2015.

DRAFT LAW

FREE TRANSIT BETWEEN BELARUS AND KAZAKHSTAN

1) On 22 December 2014, the Senate of Parliament reviewed the Draft Law “On ratification of the Protocol on changes to the International Motor Service Agreement between the Government of Belarus and the Government of RK dated 18 January 2004” (“Protocol”).

This Protocol sets forth the free movement and transit by automobile vehicles for transportation of goods between Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Information contained in this Client Update is of general nature and cannot be used as legal advice or recommendation. Please seek a lawyer for a specific advice. Please note that Kazakhstan is an emerging economy and its legislation and legal system are in constant development. Should you have any questions or would like to discuss matters addressed in this Client Update, please contact us.