EaPTC News & Events

Belarus in focus: new Presidential Decree on foreign aid

October 21, 2015

On October 2, 2015 the House of Representatives of the Republic of Belarus approved Aleksandr Lukashenka’s Presidential Decree on foreign aid signed on 31.08.2015.

Speaking at the first meeting of the fall session of the lower parliamentary chamber, Valery Skakun, Director of the Presidential Administration’s Humanitarian Activity Department, said that the Decree was aimed at improving the procedures of registering gratuitous foreign aid, exempting it from customs duties and ensuring that the aid is used for its stated purpose.

Under the Decree, foreign donations cannot be used for financing political parties or unions of political parties, for holding elections or referendums, for staging demonstrations, and for political campaigning. Foreign assistance may be used for dealing with the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters, conducting scientific research, preserving historic and cultural heritage, financing cultural activities, and protecting the environment.

Foreign aid may also be provided for enforcing court-ordered penalties, preventing crime, promoting healthy lifestyles, and supporting vulnerable social groups, among other purposes. Legal entities receiving foreign aid in amounts of up to 500 times the so called base rate, or 90 million rubles ($5,100 at the October 2015 exchange rate) do not need to register donations at the Office for Humanitarian Activities at the Presidential Administration’s property management department. Likewise, no registration is necessary for foreign donations in the form of advertising products and product samples and for foreign aid to individuals who do not seek exemption from income tax.

View/download the text of the Presidential Decree (in Russian): http://www.eaptc.eu/struct_file.php?id_pr=100

Analysis of the Decree prepared by Olga Smolyanko from Center of Legal Transformation can be found at: http://www.eaptc.eu/struct_file.php?id_pr=101

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