MOSCOW, 9 March. /TASS/. The government of the Russian Federation at a meeting on Thursday will discuss a draft industry law on tobacco regulation and a package of related amendments, including criminal liability for the production and sale of tobacco products without a license. This was reported by the press service of the Cabinet.
As noted in the Cabinet, the proposed measures are aimed at reducing the volume of illegal production and circulation of tobacco and nicotine-containing products.
The bill was submitted to the government by the Ministry of Finance in July 2022. It introduces state regulation of the production and circulation of tobacco products and raw materials within the framework of a separate sectoral law with the establishment of specialized control. As a model, it is planned to use the already established system of state regulation of the alcohol market, the ministry explained. The current fragmented legal regulation in the tobacco sector leads to a lack of coordinated decisions and, as a result, an increase in illegal production and trafficking of tobacco, the Ministry of Finance emphasized.
At the time the bill was submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers, the department noted that the document involves licensing the production and import, but not the retail sale of tobacco, and this “will eliminate the possible risks of an excessive administrative and financial burden” on both small and medium-sized businesses and authorities regions of the Russian Federation.
The package with the main bill includes draft amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which provide for criminal liability for the production and circulation of tobacco products without an appropriate license, and draft amendments to the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation, where administrative measures are prescribed for violations in the tobacco sector, similar to those that are already in force for alcohol abuse violations.
If approved at a Cabinet meeting, a package of bills will be submitted to the State Duma.
Export of LNG from the Arctic
The government will discuss on March 9 the draft amendments to the gas export law. “It is envisaged to grant the exclusive right to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to users of subsoil plots on land, wholly or partially located north of 67 degrees north latitude <…>,” the Cabinet’s materials say.
The document was prepared by the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation. As noted in the ministry, these gas fields are located in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the Nenets and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Districts. They are far removed from the unified gas supply system, so the monetization of gas from these fields is economically viable only through the production of LNG.
Eight legal entities have the right to export LNG from Russia: Gazprom, Gazprom export, Gazprom gas product holding, Rosneft, Yamal LNG, Arctic LNG – 1, Arctic LNG – 2, Arctic LNG – 3″.
The bill implies the removal from the scope of the gas export law of operations on bunkering (refueling) of ships with natural gas in a liquefied state. This will stimulate the use of LNG as a bunker fuel, which is a more environmentally friendly and alternative fuel for sea and river navigation.
In addition, the agenda of the government meeting included draft amendments to the Tax Code of the Russian Federation, designed to determine the base oil price when calculating the tax deduction for the MET for oil production in certain subsoil areas.
Other agenda items
The government will discuss a draft law that preserves the right of military personnel serving outside the Russian Federation or in certain regions and localities of the country to service housing at their former duty stations. In addition, the document provides for the improvement of the procedure for calculating monetary compensation to servicemen for renting housing.
Another bill on the agenda of the Cabinet meeting concerns amendments to the law on the privatization of state and municipal property. It is aimed at improving the mechanism for the sale of confiscated residential property.
The Cabinet of Ministers of the Russian Federation will discuss the issue of allocating funds for the development and operation of a unified information system for electronic vouchers, a unified federal register of tour operators and a register of tourism industry facilities.