Russian Government Amends Expert Evaluation Procedure for Design Documents and Engineering Survey Results.

15.06.2012

Legal Update No. 361

Goltsblat BLP advises that pursuant to adoption of Federal Law No. 337-FZ dated 28 November 2011 "On Amendments to the Russian Town-planning Code and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation", a number of regulations governing expert evaluation of design documents and engineering survey results are due to take effect in May - June 2012.

The Government's Resolution No. 270 dated 31 March 2012  amends its Resolution No. 145 dated 5 March 2007 approving the “Provision on Organising and Performing State Expert Evaluations of Design Documents and Engineering Survey Results".

The new Resolution requires state expert evaluations if:

  • design documents and (or) engineering survey results are developed for capital projects for which state expert evaluation is mandatory (including facilities that are  extremely hazardous, technically complex in nature, unique, involve neutralisation and disposal of class I-IV hazardous waste, are located on specially protected areas, etc.);
  • state or non-state expert evaluation is mandatory and developers or technical customers require its performance.
  • even though a state or non-state expert analysis is not mandatory, the applicant has decided to submit its design documents and (or) engineering survey results for state evaluation review.

Furthermore, it amends a number of provisions covering:

  • the term for carrying out expert evaluations (the maximum term for performing a state expert analysis of design documents and engineering survey results has been reduced from 3 months to 60 days);
  • appeals against unfavourable conclusions (conclusions by state expert reviewers may be challenged in a special expert commission organised by the Ministry for Regional Development of Russia or in court within 3 years of being approved);
  • the list of documents and the manner in which they are to be submitted for state expert evaluation (the list includes documents pertaining to the qualifications of persons developing the design documents; the Resolution specifies that these documents may now be submitted in electronic format and details the relevant procedure);
  • terms of reference of the experts performing state expert analysis (under the Resolution, they may perform an expert review analysis of design sections that correspond to the specialisation areas specified in their qualification certificates);
  • the possibility of state expert evaluation reports being issued in electronic format if electronic documents are submitted by applicants for state expert review.  

By its Resolution No. 271 dated 31 March 2012, the Russian Government has approved the Provision on the qualification procedure for the right to develop expert review opinions on design documents and (or) engineering survey results, specifying as follows:

  • qualification and re-qualification procedures;
  • terms for renewing and cancelling qualification certificates;
  • requirements on applicants;
  • documents to be submitted for qualification or re-qualification purposes;
  • applicant appraisal procedure;

The qualification procedure is intended for individuals wishing to be entitled to develop expert review opinions on design documents or engineering survey results.  The qualification procedure is organised by the Ministry for Regional Development of Russia. The five-year term of qualification certificates may be extended for the same period.

Individuals duly qualified by the Ministry for Regional Development of Russia before 1 April 2012 may prepare expert evaluation opinions on design documents and (or) engineering survey results until their qualification certificates expire, at which time they will be subject to qualification as per the new Provision.

By its Resolution No. 272 dated 31 March 2012, the Russian Government has approved a new provision on organising and performing non-state expert reviews of design documents and (or) engineering survey results. The "Provision on Performing Non-State Expert Reviews of Design Documents and Engineering Survey Results" approved by Resolution No. 1070 of the Russian Government dated 29 December 2011 is recognised as invalid.

Non-state expert reviews are undertaken:

  • under the following set of circumstances: (i)  state or non-state expert review is mandatory;  (ii) design documents and engineering surveys are developed or implemented for facilities not subject to mandatory state expert evaluation; (iii) the developer or the technical customer requires that a non-state expert analysis be carried out;
  • if, even though a state or non-state expert analysis of design documents and (or) engineering survey results is not mandatory, the applicant has decided to submit its design documents and (or) engineering survey results for non-state evaluation review.

Expert organisations may not perform non-state expert analysis if they were involved in developing the design documents and (or) carrying out the engineering surveys.

The New Provision does not specify a procedure for submitting documents for non-state expert review stipulating that the expert review procedure, timelines and fees are to be detailed in a relevant contract.   Non-state expert reviews procedures, including preparation of expert review opinions, their signing, approval and relevant appeals, comply with those prescribed for state expert evaluations of design documents and (or) engineering survey results (currently specified by the “Provision on organising and performing state expert reviews of design documents and engineering survey results" approved by Resolution No. 145 dated 5 March 2007 of the Russian Government.)

By its  Resolution No. 288 dated 12 April 2012, the Russian Government has approved amendments to the accreditation rules for qualifying companies to perform non-state expert reviews of design documents and (or) engineering survey results, approved by its Resolution No. 1070 dated 29 December 2008.

In particular, under the Resolution, corporate applicants may now file with the competent federal authority (the Federal Accreditation Service "Rosaccreditatsiya") copies of their method statements for performing non-state expert reviews of design documents, as posted on their web-sites, in conjunction with applications for accreditation. These are to include the full names of at least 5 of their employees qualified to prepare expert opinions on either design documents or engineering survey results (specifying details of their qualification certificates) working under employment contracts with the applicants as their primary employers.

Companies accredited to perform non-state expert reviews of design documents or engineering survey results before 1 April 2012 may engage in this activity subject to compliance with the accreditation requirements for corporate entities, in which case they do not need to be re-accredited.

The format of accreditation certificates is to be approved by the Ministry for Economic Development of the Russian Federation (currently by the Ministry for Regional Development of Russia).

Resolution No. 327 dated 16 April 2012 approves the Rules for maintaining a state register of legal entities accredited to perform non-state expert reviews of design documents and/or engineering survey results. The information entered in the Register is specified in parts 5 and 7, article 50 of the Town Planning Code of the Russian Federation. This includes: 

  • corporate name, address (location) and contact telephone number;
  • membership of corporate entities' management bodies;
  • full names of their employees qualified to prepare expert opinions, indicating their fields of activity.

The Register is maintained electronically by Rosaccreditatsiya.  Information is entered into the Register free of charge within one day of the accreditation certificate (duplicate certificate) being issued (cancelled, suspended or resumed).  All information is open to and freely accessible by the public. Access thereto is ensured by information being posted on Rosaccreditatsiya's official web-page and provided to interested parties at their request in hard copy or electronically, including through the Combined State and Municipal Services Portal.

Order No. 102 dated 16 March 2012 of the Ministry for Regional Development of Russia approves the procedure for maintaining a state register of persons qualified to prepare non-state expert review opinions on design documents and (or) engineering survey results.

The register is maintained electronically by the Ministry's structural subdivision qualifying (re-qualifying) individuals as being entitled to prepare expert opinions on design documents or engineering survey results.

Information is entered into the register of individuals qualified to prepare expert opinions on design documents within one day of the qualification certificate being issued (cancelled or extended).

The information stored in the Register is posted on the web-site of the Ministry for Regional Development of Russia and is available for reading free of charge.

Order No. 100 dated 15 March 2012 of the Ministry for Regional Development of Russia approves the format for executing qualification certificates for the right to prepare expert review opinions on design documents and (or) engineering survey results. 

Order No. 127 dated 27 March 2012 of the Ministry for Regional Development of Russia approves the list of areas of activity and requirements on their contents for legal entities to be accredited to perform non-state expert reviews of design documents and (or) engineering survey results. The list includes 21 areas of activity and the set of requirements on their contents.

Order No. 126 dated 23 March 2012 of the Ministry for Regional Development of Russia approves the Procedure for appealing against expert evaluations of design documents and (or) engineering survey results. The Order takes effect on 12 June 2012.

The Procedure applies to state and non-state expert evaluations. Expert evaluation opinions may be contested by developers or technical customers within 3 years of their approval. 

Appellants must provide the Ministry for Regional Development of Russia with the requisite documents, including their objections to the contested opinion, supplying information about violations committed, signed by experts qualified to prepare expert evaluation opinions in relevant expert areas given the specific features of the capital projects under consideration.

Decisions as to whether or not appeals against expert review opinions should be satisfied are adopted by an expert commission approved by the Ministry for Regional Development of Russia, the relevant information being published on the Ministry's official web-site.  The expert commission includes experts qualified to prepare expert evaluation opinions on design documents and (or) engineering survey results, which may validate any relevant expert opinion.  Experts participating in preparation of or approving a contested expert opinion  or signing objections thereto may not be members of the commission. The expert commission consists of five experts: two for each party and one representing the Ministry for the Regional Development of Russia. The commission chairman is appointed by the Ministry for Regional Development of Russia.

The expert commission decides whether or not to validate the expert opinion within a maximum of two months of the parties providing it with materials needed for the decision to be adopted.   The decision by the expert commission takes effect once it is adopted and is binding on the organisation performing the expert evaluation analysis. The decision taking effect is, however, suspended if it is challenged in court as per the established procedure.

For additional information, please contact:

Vitaly Mozharowski, Partner, Real Estate and Construction, Goltsblat BLP, +7 495 287 4444, email: info@gblplaw.com;

Yuri Chernobrivtsev, Partner, Real Estate and Construction, Goltsblat BLP, +7 495 287 4444, email: info@gblplaw.com;

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