Law on port zones to encourage investments into infrastructure
State Duma (Lower House) of the Russian Federal Assembly has approved in the third reading the draft law on introducing amendments to the federal law "On Special Economic Zones in the Russian Federation" as well as separate legislative acts of the Russian Federation in the part of establishment of port special economic zones.
According to the document, a port special economic zone may be established on the territories of marine and river ports open for international communication and calling of foreign vessels, on the territory of airports engaged in international air shipments, as well as on the territories where such ports are being constructed.
The law stipulates restrictions as to the area of the port economic zone which should not exceed 50 square kilometers. Besides, according to the law, the area of the port special economic zone can be extended by the respective government order.
According to the document, port economic zones shall be established for the period of 49 years and the term of their existence is not subject for extension.
Along with the above, the law specifies requirements to residents of the port zones. In particular, if the agreement on operating in the port special economic zone provides for building and reconstruction of the objects of port infrastructure, resident should invest at least 100 million Euro into the construction of the infrastructure of a new marine port, at least 50 million Euro into the construction of the infrastructure of a new river port and airport and at least 3 million Euro into the reconstruction of the existing ports.
Besides, the law obliges the resident of the port zone to pay at least 30 million RUB as customs duties deposit for the operations connected with stocking, cold storage, wholesale and exchange trade of goods, including excised and mineral raw material, 10 million RUB for goods other than excised and mineral raw material and 2.5 million RUB for other operations in ports.
The law has been approved unanimously by 351 deputies.
The first reading of the law took place on 14 June 2007 and the second reading was scheduled for 5 October 2007, but the date was shifted. Thus, the law on ports' special economic zones has been passed prior to the law concerning the stevedore industry in general.