Amendments to the Russian Town-planning Code regarding expert review of design documents, technical customer and safe operation of buildings and construction.

08.12.2011


Legal Update No. 296

Goltsblat BLP advises of adoption of Federal Law No. 337-FZ dated 28 November 2011 "On Amendments to the Russian Town-planning Code and Individual Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation" (hereinafter the Law).

 New opportunities for non-state expert review of design documents

 The Russian Town-planning Code is supplemented with rules allowing the developer to submit, at its own discretion, design documents and results of engineering surveys for state or non-state expert review, subject to certain exceptions (for example, design documents for unique or technically difficult facilities will be subject to state expert review only). It should be pointed out that a positive state expert review opinion of will constitute the basis for issuing a construction permit.

 These rules will come into effect on 01 April 2012.

 Reduced duration of state expert review of design documents
 
 From 01 April 2012, the maximum period for performing a state expert review of design documents will be reduced from 3 months to 60 days.

 Detailed functions of the Technical Representative of the Customer

 From official publication of the Law (on the Official Legal Information website at http://www.pravo.gov.ru on 29 November 2011), a concept of “Technical Representative of the Customer” is to be introduced into the Russian Town-planning Code to replace the former “Customer”. The Technical Representative of the Customer is defined as an individual acting on a professional basis or a legal entity, authorised by or on behalf of the developer:

  • to enter into contracts for performing engineering surveys, developing design documents, construction, reconstruction or overhaul of capital structures;
  • to prepare the terms of reference for performance of the above works, provide the persons performing engineering surveys and/or developing design documents, construction, reconstruction or overhaul of capital structures with the materials and documents required for this purpose;
  • to approve design documents, sign the documents required for obtaining a start-up permit for capital structures;
  • to perform other functions provided for by the Russian Town-planning Code.

At the same time, the developer is entitled to perform the functions of the Technical Representative of the Customer using its own resources.

 Legal regulation of building and structure operation

 On 01 January 2013, amendments to the Russian Town-planning Code regarding operation of buildings and structures are to take effect. For instance, a general rule is established that the persons listed below bear responsibility for operation of a building or structure:

  • the owner of the building/structure, or
  • a person holding the building/structure on other lawful grounds (by virtue of a lease, right of economic management or operational management, etc.), if a relevant contract/government authority decision makes this person responsible for operation of the building/structure, or 
  • a person engaged by contract by the owner to ensure safe operation of the building/structure.

The person responsible for operation of a building/structure is to keep a building/structure operation log and ensure operational control.

Until 1 January 2013, owners of buildings/structures, other than owners of buildings/structures that may be constructed/reconstructed without design documents and/or construction permits, must ensure that safe operating rules are developed for the buildings/structures if the design documents for such buildings/structures lack a section establishing requirements on ensuring safe operation of capital structures.  Requirements on said rules are established by Article 17 of the Law.

 Amendments to the rules governing compensation for harm resulting from loss of or damage to capital structures

  • In the longer-term - from 1 July 2013 - a general rule will be introduced establishing the responsibility of the owner of a building/structure for any harm inflicted on persons or property as a result of loss of or damage to the building/structure, in whole or in part, and for failure to comply with the requirements on ensuring its safe operation. In particular, it is the owner who is to make reimbursement for harm in accordance with the civil legislation and pay compensation in addition to damages unless it proves that the loss/damage/non-compliance derived from intent by the injured party, actions by third parties or force-majeure. The owner of the building/structure who has made reimbursement for harm and paid the relevant compensation has the right of recourse against the person that caused the loss/damage to the building.

For additional information, please contact:

to Vitaly Mozharowski,
Partner, Real Estate and Construction,
Goltsblat BLP
T: +7 (495) 287 44 44,
E: info@gblplaw.com

to Yuri Chernobrivtsev,
Partner, Real Estate and Construction,
Goltsblat BLP
T: +7 (495) 287 44 44,
E: info@gblplaw.com

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