Belarus


Author: Valentin Anikin, Leading Associate, REVERA law firm (Minsk, Belarus).
Contact: E-Mail: va@revera.by, LinkedIn

Overview of legal measures as of May 23, 2020 as response to the coronavirus. Please note: Due to the extraordinary situation, the legislation is in continuous evolution and may change very fast.

Introduction

Belarus (oficially the Republic of Belarus) is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk.

One of the most iprotant acts adopted in order to minimize the impact of the global epidemiological situation on the Belarusian economy is Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 143 "On economic support" (hereinafter - Decree No. 143).

The main official source for the legislation and measures provided below is http://pravo.by/ofitsialnoe-opublikovanie/arkhiv/. Documets provided only in Russian language.

1. INTERVENTIONS AND RESTRICTIONS

1.1 Legal basis

The scope of documents adopted as response to the coronavirus:

For section 1.2 'border':

  1. Resolution of the Counsil of Ministers No. 171 dated March 25, 2020 (http://www.government.by/upload/docs/file97909c19ffc7a379.PDF);
    Changes and additions:
    Resolution of the Counsil of Ministers No. 256 dated April 24, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=C22000256&p1=1&p5=0);

  2. Resolution of the Ministry of Health No. 44 dated April 24, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=W22035313p&p1=1&p5=0).

For section 1.3 'export control':

  1. Decision of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission №41 (https://docs.eaeunion.org/docs/ru-ru/01425254/err_26032020_41 );

  2. Decision of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (hereinafter - EEC) №42 (https://docs.eaeunion.org/docs/ru-ru/01425277/err_02042020_42);

  3. Decision of the Board of the EEC №43 (https://docs.eaeunion.org/docs/ru-ru/01425280/err_02042020_43);

  4. Resolution of the Counsil of Ministers No. 149 dated March 17, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=C22000149&p1=1).
    Changes and additions:
    Resolution of the Counsil of Ministers No. 243 dated April 21, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=C22000243&p1=1&p5=0),
    Resolution of the Counsil of Ministers No. 276 dated May 8, 2020 http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=C22000276&p1=1&p5=0);

  5. Resolution of the Counsil of Ministers No. 185 dated March 31, 2020 (http://www.government.by/upload/docs/file74f9fe7d6aae0819.PDF).

For section 1.4 'import control':

  1. Decision of the Counsil of the EEC №21 (https://docs.eaeunion.org/docs/ru-ru/01425251/err_24032020_21);
    Changes and additions:
    Decision of the Counsil of the EEC №34 (https://docs.eaeunion.org/docs/ru-ru/01425327/err_08042020_34);

  2. Decision of the Counsil of the EEC №33 (https://docs.eaeunion.org/docs/ru-ru/01425324/err_08042020_33);

  3. Decision of the Counsil of the EEC №36 (https://docs.eaeunion.org/docs/ru-ru/01425333/err_08042020_36).

For section 1.5 'self-isolation':

  1. Resolution of the Counsil of Ministers No. 171 dated March 25, 2020 (http://www.government.by/upload/docs/file97909c19ffc7a379.PDF);
    Changes and additions:
    Resolution of the Counsil of Ministers No. 256 dated April 24, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=C22000256&p1=1&p5=0);

  2. Resolution of the Ministry of Health No. 24 dated March 31, 2020 (http://www.pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=W22035218&p1=1&p5=0);
    Changes and additions:
    Resolution of the Ministry of Health No. 36 dated April 10, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=W22035248&p1=1&p5=0);

  3. Resolution of the Counsil of Ministers No. 208 dated April 8, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=C22000208&p1=1&p5=0);

  4. Resolution of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of internal Affairs and the State Border Committee No. 27/73/4 dated April 2, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=W22035222&p1=1&p5=0);

For section 1.6:

  1. Resolution of the Counsil of Ministers No. 205 dated April 4, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=C22000205&p1=1&p5=0);

  2. Resolution of the Ministry of Antimonopoly regulation and trade of the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter - MART) No. 30 dated April 15, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=W22035275&p1=1);
    Changes and additions:
    Resolution of MART No.36 dated May 7, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=W22035342&p1=1&p5=0).

For section 1.7

  1. Letter of the Ministry of Health No. 5-1-12 dated April 9, 2020 (http://minzdrav.gov.by/upload/dadvfiles/letter/5-1-12_6361.pdf);

  2. Resolution of the MART No. 27 dated April 6, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=W22035231&p1=1);
    Changes and additions:
    Resolution of the MART No. 41 dated May 15, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=W22035382&p1=1);

  3. Resolution of the Counsil of Ministers No. 285 dated May 14, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=C22000285&p1=1&p5=0);

For section 1.8 'health care':

  1. Resolution of the Ministry of health No. 9 dated February 18, 2020 (http://pravo.by/document/?guid=12551&p0=W22035134&p1=1&p5=0);

  2. Order of the Ministry of health No. 296 dated March 16, 2020 (http://minzdrav.gov.by/upload/dadvfiles/law/296.pdf);

  3. Order of the Ministry of health No. 433 dated April 15, 2020 (http://www.infectology.bsmu.by/Files/2019CoV/Normat_Docs/prikaz_433_ot_15.04.2020_ob_organizacii_medicinsko.pdf);

For section 1.9 'sanctions':

  1. Decree No. 143;

  2. Resolution of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of internal Affairs and the State Border Committee No. 27/73/4 dated April 2, 2020;

  3. Resolution of the Counsil of Ministers No. 208 dated April 8, 2020.

1.2 Border

Behavior after arrival

It is established that persons arriving in the Republic of Belarus from the countries that registered cases of infection COVID-19, within 14 calendar days from the date of arrival in the Republic of Belarus:

  • must be in self-isolation ;

  • not subjected to subsequent admission through the State border of the Republic of Belarus (before the expiry of the isolation) with a few exceptions (foreign diplomats, consuls, employees of international organizations and their representative offices, as well as members of their families; heads and members of official delegations; drivers when performing international road transport of goods; crew members of aircraft and other vessels; foreigners in transit through the territory of the Republic of Belarus to return to their place of residence).

Further information about Self-isolation see in section 1.5.

Transit

Drivers performing transit road transport of goods through the territory of the Republic of Belarus must pass only on national highways where it is possible to stop (park) for rest and food for drivers, refueling vehicles, according to the list established by Resolution 171 (see section 1.1).

Such drivers must leave the territory of the Republic of Belarus by the shortest route no later than the day following the day of entry into its territory (with the exception of cases when failure to meet the specified deadline due to the accident (breakage) of the vehicle as well as unloading, reloading (transshipment) of goods, replacement vehicle, if required by the terms of the contract road transport and indicated in the transport documents).

1.3 Export control

Legal basis see in section 1.1.

Republic of Belarus

The Counsil of Ministers established a temporary ban on the export of certain categories of goods from the country. The list of goods that are subject to this ban:

  1. food products (is valid until July 3, 2020)):

  • Buckwheat, buckwheat grout

  • Onion-sevok

  • Onion

  • Garlic

  1. medical goods (is valid until June 1, 2020):

  • Respirator for working with protective glasses, 3rd degree of protection, FFP3, up to 50 MPC;

  • Anti-aerosol respirator FFP3;

  • Sealed safety glasses;

  • Full-face mask for use with anti-aerosol filters FFP3 and filters for it;

  • Disposable chemical protection suits;

  • Reusable type I anti-plague suit;

  • Extra strong Shoe covers;

  • Equipment for oxygen therapy, artificial respiration or other therapeutic respiratory equipment;

  • Other medical goods.

NOTE! Medical masks, disposable and for repeated use are allowed to be exported in case of their origin from the Republic of Belarus.

Eurasian Economic Union

A temporary ban on the export of certain types of food products from the countries of the Eurasian economic Union has been introduced. Among them are onions, garlic, turnips, rye, rice, buckwheat, millet, cereals, coarse flour and granules from cereals, collapsed buckwheat, ready-made food products from buckwheat, crushed and unbroken soybeans, sunflower seeds.

Moreover, such temporary ban introduced in relation to personal protective equipment, protective and disinfecting agents, medical products and materials. These products include cotton wool, gauze, bandages, masks, half-masks, masks-respirators, respirators, filters for personal respiratory protection, protective glasses, disinfectants, Shoe covers, certain types of clothing and accessories, gloves. This measure will be valid until September 30, 2020.

1.4 Import control

Eurasian Economic Union

The list of goods imported to the customs territory of the Eurasian economic Union has been approved in order to implement measures by the member States of the Eurasian economic Union aimed at preventing and preventing the spread of coronavirus infection 2019 – nCoV. There is an exemption from import customs duties for goods imported to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection on the territory of the EEU. Importation with exemption from payment of import duties is carried out on the basis of confirmation of their intended purpose by national authorized bodies in the field of health.

The list of critical import goods that are exempt from import customs duties when imported to the member States of the Eurasian economic Union for the period from April 1 to June 30, 2020, inclusive has been approved. The list of these products includes certain agricultural and food products (potatoes, onions, garlic, cabbage, carrots, peppers, rye, long-grain rice, buckwheat, juices and ready-made products for baby food), as well as certain medicines and medical products (endoscopes, thermometers contactless, disposable pipettes, mobile disinfection units, thermos bags, films for sealing bottles, medical freezers, etc.).

The current procedure for granting "A" certificates of origin issued by developing and least developed countries has been simplified on a temporary basis. It is allowed to use a paper or electronic copy of certificates for 6 months and not to submit their originals during customs Declaration. These changes will be effective until September 30, 2020.

1.5 Self-isolation

Ministry of health has approved the procedure for interaction between government agencies and other organizations to ensure compliance with self-isolation measures.

Self-isolation as a restrictive measure is being introduced in the Belarus by Counsil of Ministers.

Belarusian citizens, foreigners and stateless persons should be placed in self-isolation in the following cases:

  • if they have a COVID-19 infection;

  • if they relate to contacts: first-level with persons with COVID-19 infection — within 14 calendar days from the date of the last contact; second-level with persons with COVID-19 infection, if there are one or more respiratory symptoms - for the period of the presence of these symptoms;

  • if they arrived in Belarus from countries where cases of COVID-19 infection are registered, within 14 calendar days from the date of arrival.

The Ministry of health in Resolution No. 24 has established rules of behavior in self-isolation for people who come from countries where cases of COVID-19 infection are registered. They are following:

1. Not to leave the place of residence, i.e not to visit places of work (study), shops, shopping centers, catering facilities, sports, exhibition and concert halls, cinemas, train stations and other places of mass stay of people, except in cases of extreme necessity:

  • visiting the nearest grocery store or pharmacy to buy the necessary goods (if it is not possible to use the services of online stores to buy them);

  • walking pets at a distance not exceeding 500 meters from the place of residence;

  • carrying out the trash to the nearest waste collection point.

When leaving the residential premises in cases of extreme necessity specified in paragraphs two–four of part one of this sub-paragraph, use a medical mask and gloves, as well as keep a distance of at least 1.5 m from other persons;

2. Use the services of online stores to purchase goods, excluding direct contact with the persons who delivered the goods;

3. When living together with other persons:

  • ensure that you stay in an isolated living room that allows you to exclude or limit as much as possible any contact with people who are not in self-isolation, including those over 65 years of age, people with chronic heart diseases, lung diseases, diabetes and other diseases;

  • if there are no conditions for staying in an isolated living room: ensure a distance of at least 1.5 m from other persons; use a medical mask, separate bed linen, separate towels, separate dishes; touch the surfaces of door handles, sanitary equipment mechanisms, and other items using a disposable napkin;

4. Perform the following hygiene measures:

  • wash hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds or use an antiseptic to treat hands;

  • regularly ventilate the room and conduct wet cleaning, handle door handles, furniture, telephones, remote controls, computer keyboards, mice and other devices, and sanitary equipment;

  • use disposable handkerchiefs or napkins and dispose of them in a closed trash container or plastic bag;

5. In case of ill of health (increase in body temperature of 37 °C or higher, appearance of cough, shortness of breath), contact the emergency medical service by phone 103 or SMS, informing them about stay in countries where cases of COVID-19 infection are registered, and about being in self-isolation.

Rules of behavior in self-isolation for other citizens are the same as for people who come from countries where cases of COVID-19 infection are registered.

The grounds for extending the period of stay of citizens in self-isolation by decision of the territorial health organization are:

  • obtaining a positive result of laboratory testing of biological material for the presence of COVID-19 infection in a person belonging to the first-level contacts, during repeated laboratory testing;

  • obtaining a positive laboratory test result in a person with COVID-19 infection when repeated laboratory tests are performed;

  • incomplete medical examination of a person who has first-level contacts with people with COVID-19 infection on the last day of the self-isolation period.

The grounds for reducing the period of stay in self-isolation of the arrived person by the decision of the health organization are:

  • appeal of the arrived person in healthcare organizations of the Republic of Belarus to reduce the period of stay in self-isolation;

  • request of an organization located on the territory of the Republic of Belarus to reduce the period of stay in self-isolation of foreign specialists arriving on the territory of the Republic of Belarus to perform works (provide services) under contracts concluded with them.

Ministry of helth has established the criteria for classifying citizens as being first-and second-level contacts:

  • first-level contacts include those who had close contact with a person with COVID-19 infection within the last 14 calendar days from the date of the last contact until a positive laboratory test result was obtained for a person with COVID-19 infection.

  • second-level contacts include other persons who had possible contact with a person with COVID-19 infection within the last 14 calendar days from the date of the last contact until a positive result of laboratory examination of a person with COVID-19 infection (at the place of residence (temporary stay), study, work, medical care, etc.), as well as employees of healthcare organizations who provided medical care to the patient and provided care for him using a biological protection kit.

1.6 Prices for socially important products

In Belarus the list of socially important goods which prices are regulated by the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade for no more than 90 days within one year is established. Such list has been updated by Resolution of the Counsil of Ministers No. 205 (see section 1.1) . In particular, now the list includes respiratory protection and disinfectants. The full list is available in Annex 1 to the Resolutions of MART No. 30 / No.36 (see section 1).
In conformity with the above mentioned norms the MART establishes:

  1. limitation of the maximum ratio of profitability used to determine the amount of profit to be included in the output prices for socially important goods in the amount of:
    the actual level of profitability of sold products, developed in January–February 2020 under the relevant items, or
    10 percent if the actual level of profitability of products sold in January–February 2020 for the corresponding product line was less than 10 percent;

  2. the maximum marginal rate of return used to determine the amount of profit to be included in the selling prices set by importers for socially important goods in the amount of 10 percent;

  3. maximum wholesale surcharges, trade surcharges (including wholesale surcharges) for socially important goods to the selling prices of manufacturers (importers) in accordance with special list.

It is determined that the formation of prices for socially important goods is made taking into account market conditions, but not above the restrictions provided for in paragraphs 1-3.

The above mentioned rules paragraphs 1-3 are valid for 90 days after April 18, 2020.

1.7 Turnover of essential medical goods

See export control comments.

The ban on the sale of medicines whose prices are not registered is temporarily lifted

In accordance with Decree No. 345 of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated August 22, 2018 No. 345 "On registration of prices for medicinal products", the maximum selling prices of manufacturers for medicinal products specified in Annex 1 to this Decree and in the List of essential medicines determined by the Ministry of health were subject to registration. At the same time, a phased ban on the sale of such medicines was introduced (if prices for them are not registered). From April 26, 2020, this ban was lifted due to the adoption of the Decree No. 143. This document suspends the validity of Decree No. 345.

Remote retail of medicines

Pharmacies are allowed to retail over-the-counter medicines based on samples (i.e. remotely, including via the Internet). The measure is temporary and is valid until July 1, 2020. However, only companies who list will be determined by the Council of Ministers will be able to deliver medicines. Such list is available in the Resoltuion No. 285 (see section 1.1). Previously, remote sale of medicines was prohibited (Council of Ministers Resolution No. 31 of 15.01.2009, item 65 of Good pharmacy practice, approved by the Resolution of the Ministry of health of the Republic of Belarus No. 120 of 27.12.2006).

Licensing

Until January 1, 2021, holders of a license for the wholesale of medicines are also allowed to wholesale alcohol-containing disinfectants (along with medicines). At the same time, you do not need a license for wholesale and storage of alcoholic, non-food alcohol-containing products, non-food ethyl alcohol and tobacco products.

Measures provided for manufacturers

Until December 31, 2020, it is allowed to produce antiseptics and disinfectants related to non-food alcohol-containing products for sale on the territory of Belarus without taking into account quotas established by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of December 27, 2019 No. 923.

Manufacturers of medicines are allowed not to take into account the already registered maximum selling price of the manufacturer when selling the corresponding drugs. In the same way, it is possible to set wholesale and retail prices for medicines. In both cases, it is necessary to coordinate with the Commission on state regulation of pricing under the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus.

The term of consideration of application on granting of the license (amendment) for the activities associated with the production of alcoholic, not food alcohol-containing products, inedible ethyl alcohol and tobacco products, or changes in such license for the production of disinfectant alcohol-based vehicles reduced from the standard 15 working days (article 22 of the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 450) up to one working day. The same period is set for consideration of applications for issuing opinions required for obtaining this license. This reduces the time needed to start producing disinfection products.

Measures for retail
The norms of one-time sales in pharmacies to the population for certain products that will be valid from April 10, 2020 to July 1, 2020 have been defined. by Ministry of health:

  • 40 tablets-paracetamol, tablets (200 mg);

  • 40 tablets-paracetamol, tablets (500 mg);

  • 40 tablets-arpetol, tablets (100 mg);

  • 40 tablets-arpetol, tablets (50 mg);

  • 10 capsules-flustop, capsules (75 mg);

  • 2 packages-antiseptic medicines, including pharmaceutical production;

  • 10 pieces-medical mask, bandage;

  • 10 pieces (5 pairs) - medical gloves (surgical gloves);

  • 2 packages-hand sanitizer (gel, solution) in a package of no more than 100 ml;

  • 1 package – hand sanitizer (gel, solution) in a package of more than 100 ml, but not more than 1000 ml.

Prices for medical goods

The MART established:

  1. the marginal standard of profitability used to determine the amount of profit to be included in manufacturers' selling prices for masks and disinfectants in the amount of 10 percent;

  2. the maximum premium of the importer for masks and disinfectants of 10 percent;

  3. the maximum wholesale premium to the manufacturer's (importer's) selling price for masks and disinfectants in the amount of 15 percent.

  4. the maximum trade premium (including the wholesale premium) to the manufacturer's (importer's) selling price for masks and disinfectants in the amount of 15 percent.

Formation of prices for masks and disinfectants is made taking into account market conditions, but not above the restrictions provided for in above paragraphs 1-3.

1.8 Health care

Infection caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus in Belarus is defined as a public health hazard. That leads to special medical aid measures, as compulsory medical examination, hospitalization and treatment, etc.

The list of hospital healthcare organizations for providing medical care to patients with COVID-I9 infection and persons belonging to level l and 2 contacts, and requirements to such organizations, has been approved by Order of the Ministry of health of the Republic of Belarus No. 296 on 16 March 2020. This document also defines measures to ensure the readiness of health organizations, taking into account the current epidemiological situation, as well as other organizational measures during the period of providing medical care to patients with COVID-19 infection and persons related to level 1 contacts.

Ministry of Health approved the procedure for providing medical care at home to patients with community-acquired pneumonia with a mild course, not associated with COVID-19 infection and the procedure for providing medical care to patients with COVID-19 infection in outpatient conditions of health organizations.

1.9 Sanctions

For business

By Decree No. 143 in case of violations of the legislation on prices and pricing, trade and public catering, consumer protection, advertising, sanitary and epidemiological welfare of the population, on conformity assessment in terms of mandatory confirmation of compliance with the requirements of technical regulations, the relevant Ministers have the right to suspend the activities of trade and public catering facilities for a period until the violations are eliminated, but for no more than 90 days.

For citizens

On the basis of a joint resolution of the Ministry of health, the Ministry of internal Affairs and the state border Committee of the Republic of Belarus, those who violate the 14-day self-isolation regime upon arrival from countries with registered cases of COVID-19 infection are denied re-entry at checkpoints across the state border.

Failure to comply with the rules of behavior in self-isolation, failure to comply with other sanitary and epidemiological requirements entails administrative liability in the form of a fine of up to 50 basic units (1350 BYN) or administrative arrest.

2. EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIPS

2.1 Legal basis

For section 2.2:

For section 2.3:

  • Decree No. 143.

For section 2.4:

For section 2.6:

For section 2.7:

2.2 Financial incentive for healthcare workers

A special monthly Surcharge is set for healthcare workers of budgetary organizations providing medical care to patients with infections and persons classified as first-level contacts, and / or working in conditions connected with infections (hereinafter referred to as healthcare workers).

The Surcharge is established for healthcare workers in the following amounts:

  1. In health organizations (structural divisions) that provide outpatient medical care and in the state institution "Republican center for medical response organization":

  • medical specialists - 1000 BYN.

  • medical workers with secondary special medical education – 500 BYN;

  • other healthcare workers – 300 BYN;

  1. in health organizations (structural divisions) that provide in-hospital medical care**:

  • medical specialists - 1500 BYN;

  • medical workers with secondary special medical education – 1300 BYN;

  • other healthcare workers - 900 BYN;

  1. in the departments of anesthesiology intensive care and resuscitation, organizations (structural divisions) of emergency medical services of health organizations:

  • medical specialists - 3000 BYN.

  • medical workers with secondary special medical education – 2000 BYN;

  • other healthcare workers – 1000 BYN;

  1. in the structural divisions of healthcare organizations specified in para 2 and 3, whose employees are transferred to a closed triple shifting:

  • medical specialists - 4000 BYN.

  • medical workers with secondary special medical education - 3000 BYN;

  • other healthcare workers - 1500 BYN.

2.3 Changing essential working conditions

Employers have been allowed to change the essential working conditions of an employee in relation to reasonable causes for the adverse impact of the epidemiological situation on the activities of the employer with a warning for one calendar day (general rule - a month).

At the same time, any essential working conditions of the employee may change (setting part-time working hours, transferring to remote work, changing guarantees, etc.), with the exception of reducing the amount of wages.

If an employee refuses to change the essential working conditions, then, in accordance with labor legislation, he could get fired with compensation in the amount of two weeks' earnings.

2.4 Temporary disability

Changes have been made to the procedure for issuing and processing sheets of disability and certificates of temporary disability in connection with sanitary and anti-epidemic measures. The law also defines a new type of violation of the regime - "violation of self-isolation". This violation is recorded in the sheet of disability (certificate of temporary disability).

The law establishes the right of persons who actually care for a child (up to 10 years old, attending school or kindergarden) to receive temporary disability benefits, if such a child belongs to the first-level contacts with people with COVID – 19 infection, or if he has one or more respiratory symptoms and belongs to the second level. This right can be confirmed by a certificate of temporary disability.

2.5 Temporary relocation of employees

Employers without the consent of employees have the right, due to the need caused by the epidemiological situation, as well as due to the absence of another employee, to make their temporary transfer (both to another structural division and to another employer) for a period of up to 3 months. By agreement of the parties, the term of such relocation may be extended.

2.6 Business trips abroad

It is established that if an employee cannot return to the Republic of Belarus from the country where cases of infection caused by COVID-19 coronavirus are registered, the period of business trip is extended until the day of arrival in Belarus. At the same time, the place of work (service) and position are saved, as well as expenses are reimbursed.

From the date of extension of the business trip to the day of arrival in the Republic of Belarus, inclusive, and if it is impossible to perform work under an employment contract during the period of stay after returning from a business trip in self-isolation, employees are paid at least 2/3 of the established tariff rate / salary.

2.7 Occupational safety in healthcare organizations

Employees in providing medical care are provided with sanitary clothing (SC), personal protective equipment (PPE), taking into account the harmful and (or) dangerous industrial factors affecting them. The employee has the right to refuse to perform the assigned work if there is an immediate danger to the life and health of him and others before this danger is eliminated, as well as if he is not provided with a PPE.

3. PROCEDURES

3.1 Legal basis

3.2 Administrative procedures

Certification of products

Some stages of certification of products, services, management systems, personnel can be carried out using videoconferencing, information systems and technologies, or postponed to a later date.

3.3 Public procurement procedure

The Ministry of health has updated the list of medicines and medical nutrition for centralized procurement. The full list is available in Order of the Ministry of Health No. 508 (section 3.1).

Changing the price of a public procurement contract for a number of product categories

The price of a public procurement contract can now be changed if the following conditions are met:

  1. the product belongs to medicines, medicinal food, medical devices (spare parts for them) or food products;

  2. the change of price could not have been foreseen during the public procurement procedure;

  3. the amount of the contract price change is confirmed by the corresponding calculation of the supplier (contractor, performer).

Tthis rule is valid until July 1, 2020.

The procedure of public procurement from a single source

Situation 1

For the repair of medical equipment, it is possible to apply the procurement procedure from a single source for the purchase of:

  • repair services;

  • spare part;

  • expendable material.

UE "Belmedtekhnika" and RUE "BELFARMATSIYA" are allowed to carry out the procurement procedure from one source in agreement with the Ministry of health in case of recognition of the failed procedure for the purchase of medical devices, spare parts for them, medicines and medical nutrition, including the centralization of public procurement.

Situation 2

According to MART, the spread of infection caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus is of an extreme and unavoidable nature, and therefore is a force majeure event.

Public procurement procedures can be carried out when there is a need to purchase certain goods (works, services) due to force majeure only if there is a causal relationship between the subject of public procurement and the goals that the customer intends to achieve. In a situation with a coronavirus this is:

  • prevention;

  • warning;

  • elimination of the consequences of the spread of infection caused by the COVID-19.

Situation 3

In the event of termination of agreements due to their non-fulfilment, the customer (the organizer of the auction) is granted the right to purchase goods (works, services) using the procurement procedure from a single source. However, this is only possible in the part of daily and (or) weekly demand goods (the list of such goods is subject to approval by the Council of Ministers) and in the amount necessary to meet the customer's needs within two months.

Fulfilment of public procurement contracts

The Counsel of Ministers settled the possibility to change the term of fulfilment of obligations by the supplier (contractor, performer) due to the inability to perform them due to force majeure.

Decree No. 143 settled the issue of non-fulfilment of public procurement contracts on both sides. For customer it is possibility to use the procurement procedure from a single source (mentioned above).

Suppliers that failed to perform the contract for public procurement now are not being included in the list of suppliers (contractors, executives) temporarily not allowed to participate in public procurement procedures, in case the failure (improper performance) is caused by force majeure or change established by the national Bank of the Belarusian ruble to the dollar, Euro or Russian ruble by more than 20 % against the rate prevailing on the date of the proposal for participation in the auction. In the case of an electronic auction — on the date of the auction, and in the case of purchases from a single source-on the date of conclusion of the contract.

The supplier is responsible for proving these circumstances. The existence of force majeure circumstances must be certified by the BelTPP or other authorized body in accordance with the law. If the impossibility of execution is due to a change in exchange rates, the supplier must attach a corresponding calculation of the change in exchange rates when terminating the public procurement contract.

3.4 Exceptional inspections

Decree No. 143 grants the right to appoint exceptional inspections to the Minister of health, the Minister of Antimonopoly regulation and trade, and the Chairman of the State Committee for standardization.

Enterprises and sole proprietors operating in the field of trade and public catering can be inspected before the expiration of the generally established period of two years from the date of their state registration.

3.5 Subsidiary liability in case of bankruptcy

In 2017, Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 7 "On the development of entrepreneurship" established that the owner of property, founders, participants, and head of a legal entity recognized as economically insolvent (bankrupt) bear subsidiary liability only if the bankruptcy was caused by the guilty (deliberate) actions of such persons.

The provision of Decree No. 7, starting from its entry into force (26.02.2018), significantly changed the current judicial practice, significantly reducing the number of claims for subsidiary liability in bankruptcy.

The new Decree No. 143 extends the rule on vicarious liability only for culpable (intentional) actions to relations that arose before the date of entry into force of Decree No. 7.

However, this action has several significant limitations. First – for non-application of subsidiary liability, another court decision is necessary. Persons who have been brought to vicarious liability have the right, from the date of entry into force of the Decree, to submit an application for reconsideration of the decision on newly discovered circumstances. In this case, the court will decide whether the bankruptcy was caused by the guilty (intentional) actions of these persons and whether these persons are subject to subsidiary liability, respectively.

The second restriction: this rule applies only to unenforceable court decisions. Thus, even if the bankruptcy was not caused by the guilty (intentional) actions of persons brought to vicarious liability, but the decision was executed, it is not subject to review and subsequent cancellation.

4. FULFILMENT OF OBLIGATIONS

4.1 Legal basis

4.2 Tenancy

Reducing the amount of rent for a land plot

  • The measure concerns tenants who lease land plots in state ownership. The decision to reduce the amount of rent may be made by the local Executive Committee. The benefit will be applied to land lease payments due in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2020. The amount of rent will be reduced regardless of whether there is an agreement to change the land lease agreement, which provides for changing the amount of rent for the land plot.

Moratorium on increasing the base rental amount and rent for the use of real estate until September 30, 2020.

  • From April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020, the basic rental amount will be 16.90 BYN.

Deferred payment of rent

  • The measure concerns tenants who rent real estate that is in state ownership. The postponement is granted at the request of the lessee. The application must specify the terms and amounts of monthly payments on the provided installment plan. An additional agreement to the lease agreement is concluded between the lessee and the lessor within 3 business days after the receipt of the application for granting a deferral. Other lessors are reccomended to take such measures.

4.3 Taxation

Decree No. 143 grants local authorities the right to change the deadline for paying taxes and rents for state-owned land plots, which must be paid from April 1 to September 30, 2020.

This benefit applies only to those private enterprises and sole proprietors whose main activity falls under the list of economic activities approved by Decree No. 143.

This rule is not mandatory. Each of the local authorities will be able to make a separate decision on this issue, acting on their territory. At the same time, local authorities have the right to change the terms only in respect of taxes and fees paid fully to the local budget. These include income tax, tax under the STS (simplified tax system), flat tax, state duty, income tax (for organizations with less than 50% state ownership), and some others. A list of such taxes paid to the local budget can be found on the Ministry of taxes and duties website.

Deferred tax payments are paid in equal shares every month from October 1 to December 31, 2020.

Local authorities have been granted the right to make decisions on reducing the amounts of real estate tax and land tax, as well as rent for land plots, payable by them by the terms falling on the II and III quarters of 2020.

Sole proprietors who have already paid a flat tax in 2020 have the right to switch to a different taxation procedure (first of all, to a STS). In addition, sole proprietors who didn't carry out activities will be able to claim a refund (offset) of the flat tax paid for the period of non-implementation of activities, even if it exceeded 30 calendar days.

Local authorities are recommended to reduce the flat tax rates for the II and III quarters of 2020 up to two times. However, to do this, as well as to change the terms of payment of taxes, you must wait for a separate decision of local authorities.

In addition, there are a number of other, smaller measures that should support business entities (the cost of conducting sanitary and anti-epidemic measures according to the list established by the Ministry of health, companies can refer to expenses that are taken into account when calculating profit tax, etc.).

Non-deduction of depreciation

Organizations and sole proprietors can decide not to deduct depreciation from January 1 to December 31, 2020 for all or individual items of fixed assets and intangible assets used by them in business (in this case, the standard service life and useful life of these items of fixed assets and intangible assets are extended for the period in which depreciation wasn't calculated).

4.4 Various types of defferals

Deferred reimbursement of expenses to the lender for accrued depreciation, real estate tax, land tax / rent for land

The measure concerns lenders who use state-owned real estate. Deferral is granted on the application of the lender. The application must specify the terms and amounts of monthly payments on the provided installment plan. Within 3 working days after the receipt of the application for granting a deferral the lender and the lender conclude an additional agreement to the contract for the gratuitous use of real estate

Deferral and installment of fulfillment of amortization obligations

Deferral and installment are provided on the terms of deferral and installment provided to the lessee (lender). No interest is charged for using deferred payments or installments. The decision to postpone or pay by installments is made by the local authority.

Deferred payment for state property sold in installments

The deferral is granted to the buyer upon its application for the period specified in such application, but no later than September 30, 2020. The buyer repays the installment amount in equal installments every month.

Completing foreign trade operations

The Government and the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus have decided to extend by 100 calendar days the deadlines for completing foreign trade operations that fall within the period from April 1 to June 30, 2020, as well as the validity of permits for resident legal entities to open accounts with non – resident banks that expire in the period from April 1 to June 30, 2020. The extension of the above-mentioned terms does not require business entities to send any applications and documents to the National Bank.

5. CREDIT AND FINANCIAL SPHERE

5.1 Legal basis

See section 1.1

5.2 Measures

From March 1 to December 31, 2020, banks will be able to raise funds in Belarusian rubles at higher interest rates without applying increased regulatory requirements.

Countercyclical measures

When classifying assets subject to credit risk and forming special reserves, banks are given the right not to recognize debt as restructured, regardless of the number of changes made to the relevant agreements, based on an assessment of the debtor's cash flow and its ability to meet obligations to the Bank.

The maximum risk ratio per debtor (a group of related debtors) has been raised to 35% of the Bank's regulatory capital. The minimum amount of the regulatory capital of a Bank or non-Bank credit and financial institution is set at the amount effective as of March 1, 2020, without applying indexing.

When classifying assets subject to credit risk and forming special reserves, banks are given the right not to take into account the criterion of sufficiency of foreign currency receipts from the debtor.

Easing prudential requirements for banks

Since March 25 banks were granted the right when classifying assets subject to credit risk and forming special reserves to:

  • special reserves to cover possible losses on assets subject to credit risk and contingent liabilities in foreign currency, in Belarusian rubles at the official exchange rate of the Belarusian ruble set by the National Bank in relation to the corresponding foreign currency on March 1, 2020;

  • classify debt on assets subject to credit risk and contingent liabilities in foreign currency as secured, insufficiently secured and unsecured, without taking into account the requirements for covering the amounts of remuneration (interest, Commission and other similar remuneration) due within the next 12 months;

  • classify collateral received for assets subject to credit risk and contingent liabilities in foreign currency as high-quality collateral, excluding requirements for covering remuneration amounts (interest, Commission and other similar remuneration) due within the next 12 months, including accrued and payable in the current month;

  • assess the quality and sufficiency of collateral received as collateral for assets subject to credit risk and contingent liabilities in foreign currency, without taking into account the requirements for the frequency of such assessment.

Moreover, since April 22 banks were granted the right:

  • when calculating the regulatory capital adequacy indicator, apply the credit risk level for credit debt and securities of systemically important borrowers in the amount of 100%, and if the debt is secured by Government guarantees – 20% for debt in foreign currency and 0% for debt in Belarusian rubles;

  • apply the value of the capital conservation buffer of 2 percentage points (since March 25, 2020, this indicator has been reduced from 2.5 percentage points to 2.25 percentage points);

  • do not reduce core capital level I in the amount of intangible assets (net of accumulated depreciation) for computer programs, databases or their copies to be purchased in 2020 for the license (copyright) contracts, or other grounds provided by legislation as well as on the amount of increase to 2020, amortized cost intangible assets (net of the corresponding part of accumulated depreciation) for computer programs, databases or instances, formed as a result of modernization of such assets;

  • apply a liquidity coverage ratio of 80% (previously 100%).

  • At the same time, if the banks' liquidity level decreases, the National Bank is ready to extend the refinancing period and provide loans to banks for a period of three to six months at the refinancing rate.

Measures for citizens

Banks are recommended to consider the possibility of granting individuals a deferred repayment of the loan and payment of interest for using it, while simultaneously extending the term of repayment of the loan

6. MISCELLANEOUS

6.1 Legal basis

See section 1.1

For section 6.2:

For section 6.3:

For section 6.4:

6.2 International mail

Sendindg International mail ( from the Republic of Belarus) is accepted only to the countries indicated in the special list. Current list is published on the website http://www.belpost.by/.

6.3 Social measures

Special plans

During the period of registration of cases of COVID-19 infection, a comprehensive plan for the prevention of COVID-19 infection can be developed and approved by local authorities and accepted for implementation.

In accordance with the above Vitebsk, Minsk, Grodno city Executive Committees approved a plan of additional measures to prevent and reduce the spread of SARS, including those caused by COVID-19.

That plans provide measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection in health care organizations, education, other social facilities, transport, and other public facilities.

Charity account

The Ministry of health has opened a charity account for such purposes as conducting sanitary and anti-epidemic measures and promoting public health activities in the framework of identifying and treating patients with COVID-19. The account is opened in the state institution "Republican center for medical response organization" for accumulation and further distribution of received funds, in accordance with the needs of specific health institutions, in agreement with the Ministry of health

Educational process

Changes were made to the educational process of higher education institutions. Universities have replaced lectures with workshops, consultations, or laboratories. There was also a restriction on holding scientific and cultural events on the basis of higher educational institutions of the country.

Evacuation to Belarus

The procedure for evacuation of belarusians to their homeland in the conditions of a pandemic has been defined. According to the document, funds for the evacuation of Belavia airlines will be allocated by the Ministry of Finance on the basis of a government decision.

6.4 Sanitary measures

The Ministry of health has established requirements for conducting sanitary and anti-epidemic measures during the registration of COVID-19 infection.

At the national level, special measures are provided for: healthcare organizations, pharmacies, educational institutions, people in self-isolation, drivers during transit transport.

Main measures are: conducting wet cleaning with the use of disinfectants, providing personal respiratory protection for employees directly engaged in servicing the population.

In healthcare organizations, pharmacies, and educational institutions, other measures should be implemented in addition to the above, taking into account the specifics of these organizations.