Decree No. 8 “On the digital economy”, December 22, 2017 Republic of Belarus (machine translation)

Decree No. 8
“On the development of the digital economy.”

In order to develop the hi-tech Park, innovation sphere and build a modern digital economy in the Republic of Belarus, I decide:

  1. To extend until January 1, 2049 the term of the special legal regime of the hi-tech Park with the preservation of the principle of extraterritoriality, additionally granting the residents of this Park the right to exercise in accordance with the established procedure:
    educational activities in the field of information and communication technologies;

activities in the field of e-sports, including the training of e – sports teams, the organization and conduct of competitions, the organization of their broadcasts;

activities in the field of artificial intelligence, the creation of unmanned vehicle control systems;

other activities specified in the Regulations on the hi-tech Park, approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of September 22, 2005 № 12.

2. To create conditions for the introduction into the economy of the Republic of Belarus of the technology of the register of transaction blocks (blockchain)*, other technologies based on the principles of distribution, decentralization and security of operations performed with their use. Taking into account that before the adoption of this Decree, the circulation of digital signs (tokens) (hereinafter – the token) was not regulated by law and, accordingly, they were not the object of legal relations, to establish that:

2.1. legal entities have the right to own tokens and, taking into account the peculiarities established by this Decree, to perform the following operations:

through the resident of the hi-tech Park, carrying out the corresponding type of activity, to create and place own tokens in the Republic of Belarus and abroad;

store tokens in virtual wallets;

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* For the purposes of this Decree, the terms are used in the meanings defined in Annex 1.

using operators of cryptoplatforms, operators of cryptocurrency exchange, and other residents of the Park of high technologies, carrying out the activity, to acquire, to dispose of the tokens to make them any other transaction (operation).

Legal entities-residents of the hi-tech Park have the right to exercise the powers specified in part one of this subparagraph, as well as other activities using tokens in the manner prescribed By the regulations on the hi-tech Park;

2.2. individuals have the right to own tokens and, taking into account the features established by this Decree, to perform the following operations: mining, storage of tokens in virtual wallets, exchange of tokens for other tokens, their purchase, alienation for Belarusian rubles, foreign currency, electronic money, and gift and bequeath tokens.

Mining, acquisition, alienation of tokens, carried out by individuals independently without the involvement of other individuals under labor and (or) civil law contracts, is not an entrepreneurial activity. Tokens are not subject to Declaration.

Individual entrepreneurs-residents of the hi-tech Park have the right to:

exercise the powers referred to in part one of this subparagraph;

through the resident of the hi-tech Park, carrying out the corresponding type of activity, to create and place own tokens in the Republic of Belarus and abroad;

to carry out other activities with the use of tokens in the manner prescribed By the regulations on the hi-tech Park;

2.3. cryptoplasm operators, exchange operators cryptocurrencies must provide in Bank accounts in the Republic of Belarus funds in the amount of not less than 1 million Belarusian rubles for the operator of the platform, not less than 200 thousand BYR for the operator of the cryptocurrency exchange.

The operator of platform may:

to open accounts in banks, non-Bank credit and financial institutions in the Republic of Belarus and abroad for settlements on trades and operations carried out by them;

make (organize) transactions with residents and non-residents of the Republic of Belarus, aimed at placing tokens, including abroad, purchase and (or) alienation of tokens for Belarusian rubles, foreign currency, electronic money, exchange of tokens for other tokens in the interests of customers or in their own interests;

make (organize) other transactions (operations) with tokens, except for operations on exchange of tokens for objects of civil rights other than Belarusian rubles, foreign currency, electronic money, tokens;

2.4. to transfer to another person the rights that are certified by tokens, it is enough to transfer the token to this person, except for the transfer of the right that requires state registration.

The transfer of the token is deemed to be in the moment of reflection confirmation of transfer of the token to the recipient in the register of blocks of transactions (the blockchain), sometimes distributed information system in accordance with applicable rules (protocols).

It is allowed to use tokens as a reward for verification, performing other operations in the register of transaction blocks (blockchain), other distributed information system;

2.5. implementation of projects in the field of information and communication technologies, including using the technology of the register of transaction blocks (blockchain), other distributed information system, can be carried out on the basis of public-private partnership agreements.

  1. To provide privileges and preferences to the participants of the relations connected with application of modern technologies. To this end, determine that:

    3.1. until January 1, 2023, are not recognized as objects of taxation:

    value added tax and income tax – personal income tax) – turnover, profit (income) of residents of the hi-tech Park from mining activities,
    creation, acquisition, alienation of tokens. At the same time, revenue and costs (expenses) from such activities and operations are not taken into account for the purposes of calculation and payment of income tax, and the amount of value added tax charged upon the acquisition (paid upon import) of goods (works, services), property rights related to the implementation of such activities and operations are not subject to deduction;

    income tax from individuals – income of individuals from mining activities, acquisition (including as a gift), alienation of tokens for Belarusian rubles, foreign currency, electronic money and (or) exchange for other tokens. In this case, the expenses of individuals-individual entrepreneurs from such activities and operations are not taken into account in the taxation of income derived from entrepreneurial activity;

    value added tax-turnover on the alienation of tokens, including turnover on their alienation by foreign organizations that do not operate in the Republic of Belarus through a permanent establishment and are therefore not registered with the tax authorities of the Republic of Belarus. At the same time, the amounts of value added tax presented upon the acquisition (paid upon import) of goods (works, services), property rights related to the implementation of activities and (or) operations for the acquisition (creation) and (or) alienation of tokens are not subject to deduction;

    tax under the simplified tax system – proceeds from the alienation of tokens by exchanging them for other tokens;

    income tax-profit from the alienation of tokens by exchanging them for other tokens. At the same time, revenue and expenses (expenses) on such transactions are not taken into account for the purposes of calculation and payment of income tax.

    For tax purposes, the alienation of tokens, including through their exchange for other tokens, is considered as the realization of property rights.

    Are not revenue for purposes of tax tokens, cash, electronic money, received as investment entities in the creation of accommodation through the residents of the Park of high technologies private tokens or exchange tokens received cash, electronic money;

    3.2. currency legislation does not apply to:

    individuals and legal entities (except banks and non-Bank credit and financial institutions) that are residents of the Republic of Belarus, when carrying out the permitted types of operations specified in subparagraphs 2.1 and 2.2 of paragraph 2 of this Decree, carried out with the use of tokens;

    residents of the hi-tech Park when making transactions using tokens.

    With the exception of the use of foreign currencies in payments between residents of the Republic of Belarus, except for operations (computations) performed such residents between the system operators cryptoplasm or specified operators, and on foreign trading platforms;

    3.3. the legislation on securities, securitization, licensing requirements for professional and exchange activity on securities do not apply to the relations (activities, operations) of the residents of the hi-tech Park with the use of tokens, including those identical (similar) to the relations (activities, operations) regulated by the said legislation.

    Mining activities of the operator platform, the operator of the cryptocurrency exchange, other activities with the use of tokens

    not recognized as banking activity;

    3.4. for accounting purposes:

    caused (produced) in the process of mining, or acquired in any other way tokens are recognized as an asset;

    the placement of tokens created by legal entities leads to an obligation to the owners of these tokens.

    Cryptoplasm operators, operators of cryptocurrency exchange, and other organizations carrying out activities with the use of tokens reflect in accounting of operations they conduct, as well as make the accounting and (or) financial reporting in the order established by the Ministry of Finance.

    The legal regime established by this Decree applies to tokens purchased (mined) before the entry into force of this Decree;

    3.5. it is not required to obtain a special permit (license) to carry out activities on technical and (or) cryptographic protection of information or other permits related to the protection of information, confirmation of compliance, passing the state examination of technical and cryptographic protection of information, other licensing procedures related to the protection of information*, the use of information networks, systems and resources of the national segment of the global computer network Internet, placed on the territory of the Republic of Belarus, their state registration:

    the residents of the Park of high technologies in the implementation of activities in accordance with paragraph 3 of the Regulations about the high technologies Park, which is associated with the development and (or) the application of the technology of registry of blocks of transactions (the blockchain);

    individuals-in the implementation of mining, storage, acquisition, alienation of tokens;

    legal entities – when storing, acquiring, alienating tokens, making other transactions (operations) with them.

    Information, which protection does not require obtaining permits and passing licensing procedures, can be processed in information systems without compliance with the procedure established by the legislation of technical and cryptographic protection of information in information systems and with the use of information security systems without their certification provided, that such information systems and (or) information security systems are created with the participation of a resident of the hi-tech Park or created by third parties and are used by a resident of the hi-tech Park in the implementation of the activities provided for in the second paragraph of the first part of this subparagraph;

    3.6. in the event of economic insolvency (bankruptcy) of a resident of the hi-tech Park, subsidiary liability for the obligations of such a legal entity may not be imposed on the owner of its property, founders (participants) or other persons, including the head, who has the right to give mandatory instructions to the legal entity or the ability to otherwise determine its actions, except in cases where the economic insolvency (bankruptcy) is caused by the actions of such persons, resulting in bringing them to criminal liability.

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    * For the purposes of this sub-paragraph, information that does not require obtaining permits and passing licensing procedures is understood as information about the private life of an individual, personal data, as well as information constituting commercial, banking secrecy (except for commercial, banking secrecy of state bodies, other state organizations, business entities, in the authorized funds of which 50 and more percent of shares (shares) belongs to the state).

  1. To take measures aimed at improving the legal protection of participants in relations related to the use of modern financial technologies. To implement these measures, establish that:

    4.1. functions of control over the activities of cryptoplatform operators, cryptocurrency exchange operators in terms of compliance with the legislation on the prevention of legalization of proceeds from crime, financing of terrorist activities and financing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are assigned to state bodies in accordance with their competence;

    4.2. tokens do not belong to the funds in the meaning defined by the legislation on prevention of legalization of proceeds from crime, financing of terrorist activities and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;

    4.3. the operator of the platform shall develop, approve local normative legal acts, in accordance with which it operates, including:

    the rules governing trade tokens;

    procedure for admission of bidders and exclusion from the number of bidders;

    the rules of admission to trading of tokens;

    4.4. a legal entity that created and placed its own token through a resident of the hi-tech Park is obliged to meet the requirements of the token owner, due to its creation and placement. Refusal to meet the requirements of the token owner with reference to the absence of the basis of the obligation or its invalidity is not allowed;

    4.5. the activity of legal entities and individuals on the organization and (or) holding of conferences, seminars, lectures, training and other similar events on the creation and (or) use of the technology of the register of transaction blocks( blockchain), other technologies based on the principles of distribution and security of operations performed with their use, tokens is carried out in coordination with the state institution ” administration of the hi-tech Park“;

    4.6. it is not allowed to conduct inspections of hi-tech Park residents within the framework of control (Supervisory) activities in the Republic of Belarus without prior approval of the state institution ”hi-tech Park Administration“.

    To conduct a legal experiment within the framework of the hi-tech Park to test new legal institutions for the possibility of their implementation in the civil legislation of the Republic of Belarus. For this to provide the residents of the Park of high technologies the right:
    5.1. enter into a convertible loan agreement between themselves and (or) with third parties.

    Under the agreement a convertible loan, one party (the lender) transfers the property to another party (borrower) money, and the borrower upon the occurrence of a specific contract circumstances, including depending on the will of the borrower and (or) the creditor, or if committed by a borrower or a third party specified in the contract action reports to the lender owned by borrower shares, the share (part of share) in the authorized Fund of the borrower, balance of borrower, or increase the authorized Fund in the amount of convertible loan transfer to the borrower of the shares, the Issuer of which is the borrower, or share (part of the share) in the authorized Fund of the borrower.

    The term of such transfer (increase of the authorized Fund), the price of shares, shares (part of the share) in the authorized Fund or the procedure for its determination, the amount and payment of interest for the use of the loan (if any) are provided by the parties in the contract of convertible loan.

    The borrower undertakes to return to the lender the issued amount of money (loan amount) instead of transfer of the specified actions, the share (part of the share), to pay interest for use of the loan only if return of the loan amount, interest payment are provided by the agreement.

    During the term of the convertible loan agreement, the borrower (its body) shall not be obliged by law to reduce the authorized capital by the value of the share (part of the share) in its authorized capital acquired by the borrower (in the amount of the nominal values of shares placed at the disposal of the borrower) in respect of which (which) the convertible loan agreement is concluded, and shall not be entitled to alienate such share (part of the share, shares) to other persons, unless otherwise specified in the agreement.

    The relations of the parties arising from the convertible loan agreement shall not be subject to the provisions of the legislation:

    about the pre-emptive right to acquisition of shares, shares (parts of shares) in authorized capital of economic company, the right of acquisition by economic company of shares, shares (parts of shares) in its authorized capital and the right of the closed joint-stock company to offer the third party to purchase the shares of this company which are not demanded as a result of implementation by its shareholders of the pre-emptive right to their acquisition;

    about formation of authorized capital of economic society regarding inadmissibility of release of the founder (participant) of economic society from the obligation of contribution to authorized capital (payment of shares) by offset of requirements to economic society.

    Income (profit) arising from the conversion of the lender’s claim under the convertible loan agreement into shares, share (part of the share) in the authorized capital, including income in excess of the share price, share (part of the share) in the authorized capital at the date of conversion (i.e. at the date of satisfaction of such claim) over their original size (nominal value), is not subject to income tax;

    5.2. to conclude among themselves and (or) the third parties agreement to provide the option at the conclusion of the contract (hereinafter – the option for the conclusion of the contract) and the option contract.

    By virtue of the option to enter into a contract, one party, through an irrevocable offer, grants the other party the right to enter into one or more contracts under the terms of the option to enter into a contract.

    An option to enter into a contract may be granted for a fee and / or other counter-provision.

    The other party has the right to conclude the contract by accepting the offer in the manner, terms and conditions provided by the option to conclude the contract.

    An option to enter into a contract may provide that acceptance is possible only upon the occurrence of a condition determined by such an option, including one that depends on the will of one of the parties.

    An option to conclude a contract must contain conditions that allow to determine the subject matter and other essential terms of the contract to be concluded.

    The subject matter of the contract to be concluded may be described in any way that allows it to be identified at the time of acceptance of the irrevocable offer.

    The option to enter into a contract is in the form established for the contract to be concluded.

    Under the option contract, one party under the conditions provided for in this contract, has the right to demand from the other party, within the period specified in the contract, the performance of certain actions under the option contract (including payment of funds, transfer, grant or accept property, exclusive rights to the results of intellectual activity). If the authorized party does not make a claim within the specified period, the option contract shall be terminated.

    During the term of the option to enter into the agreement and (or) the option agreement, the business company (its body) shall not be obliged to reduce the authorized capital by the value of the share (part of the share) in its authorized capital acquired by the company itself (by the amount of the nominal values of shares placed at the disposal of the joint-stock company), in respect of which the relevant agreements have been concluded, and shall not be entitled to alienate such share (part of the share, shares) to other persons, unless otherwise specified in the agreement.;

    5.3. to carry out the execution and (or) execution of transactions through a smart contract. A person who has made a transaction using a smart contract is considered to be duly aware of its terms, including those expressed by the program code, until proven otherwise;

    5.4.enter into an agreement with each other and (or) with third parties on compensation of property losses, providing for the obligation of one party to compensate for property losses incurred by the other party or a third party, arising in the event of certain circumstances in such an agreement and not related to the breach of obligations by the party obliging to compensate them (including expenses caused by the inability to perform the obligation, presentation of claims by third parties or state bodies, other organizations to the party or to a third party specified in the agreement)., and other.)

    The agreement may determine the limit of compensation for property losses or the procedure for its determination.

    The amount of compensation for property losses may be reduced by the court in cases where it is proved that the party who suffered property losses intentionally or due to gross negligence contributed to an increase in the amount of property losses and (or) did not take reasonable measures to minimize the amount of such losses.

    A resident of the hi-tech Park, the owner of the property, the founder (participant) of a resident of the hi-tech Park, who at the conclusion of the contract provided the other party with false assurances in circumstances relevant to the conclusion of the contract, its execution or termination (including those relating to the subject of the contract, the authority to conclude it, compliance with the contract applicable law, the availability of the necessary special permits (licenses), its financial condition, rights to tangible or intangible assets or relating to a third party and others), are obliged to compensate the other party at its request property losses caused by the unreliability of such assurances, and pay a penalty, if any, provided for in the contract.

    Recognition of the contract as not concluded or invalid, establishment of the fact of its nullity do not exempt from execution of the specified duty. A party relying on false assurances in circumstances of material importance to it, along with a claim for compensation for losses, may also withdraw from the contract, unless otherwise provided for by the agreement of the parties. The consequences of such refusal may be determined by agreement of the parties;

    5.5. to enter into an agreement with each other and (or) with third parties providing for the obligation of one party to compensate the other party at its request for losses and (or) to pay the penalty provided for in such agreement in the event of the Commission by one party or its affiliate of actions that resulted in the termination of labor relations between the other party and its employee (employees) and the establishment of labor relations between such employee (such employees) and the first party or its affiliate;

    5.6.enter into an agreement with the employee, according to which the employee voluntarily (for compensation established by the agreement) undertakes not to enter into labor and (or) civil law contracts with third parties that are competitors of this resident of the hi-tech Park, and undertakes not to carry out independently competing business activities without forming a legal entity, not to act as the founder (participant) of the organization that is a competitor of the resident of the hi-tech Park, not to perform functions of its head, not to act as the member of its collegial governing body.

    At the same time, the conclusion of this agreement between the resident of the hi-tech Park and its employee is allowed if the resident of the hi-tech Park provides the employee with a payment for compliance with the said obligation in the amount of not less than one third of the average monthly earnings of this employee for the last year of work, paid for each month of compliance with such obligation after the termination of the employment relationship, and the term of this obligation does not exceed one year after the termination of the employment relationship between the resident of the hi-tech Park and his employee. The agreement should define the territorial boundaries of this obligation, the specific type of activity in respect of which it is accepted, the responsibility for violation of the agreement;

    5.7. under the agreement of the parties to provide in contracts between themselves and (or) with third parties any amount of penalty, including more than the established legislation. At the same time, the amount of the penalty agreed by the parties may not be reduced by the court, except for the case when a manifestly disproportionate penalty was imposed in bad faith on a party to the contract that had no real opportunity to influence the content of the contract.

    Residents of the hi-tech Park have the right to act as founders (participants, shareholders) of organizations created (created) abroad, to participate in their management, including from the territory of the Republic of Belarus, in the manner prescribed by the legislation of the relevant foreign States. This right also applies to the participants (shareholders) of the hi-tech Park residents.

    In the exercise of any of the powers provided for in subparagraphs 5.1 – 5.4 of paragraph 5 of this Decree, to grant the right to residents of the hi-tech Park, as well as their participants (shareholders) and other third parties who are parties to civil contracts with these persons, to issue irrevocable powers of attorney, that is, powers of attorney that cannot be revoked before the end of their validity or may be revoked only in the cases provided for in these powers of attorney. Such power of attorney may be issued for a period of more than three years from the date of issue.

    Small business entities that are organizations operating in the field of technology V and VI technological structures, have the right to enter into contracts with non-residents of the Republic of Belarus convertible loan in the manner and on the terms specified in subparagraph 5.1 of paragraph 5 of this Decree.

    Legal entities, individual entrepreneurs registered as residents of the hi-tech Park rior to the entry into force of this Decree: carry out activities in accordance with this Decree;

    the obligation set forth in the seventh paragraph of paragraph 19 of the regulation on the high technology Park shall be imposed only in respect of activities not previously carried out by them and planned to be carried out after the entry into force of this Decree.

    Part of the first and second sub-paragraph 2.2 of paragraph 2, paragraph three of part one of article 3.1, second paragraph of the first sub-paragraph 3.2 and paragraph three of part one of sub-item 3.5 of item 3 of this Decree extends to the relations arising before the entry into force of this Decree.

    Make changes to regulatory legal acts according to Appendix 2.

    To provide the right:

    The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus together with the state institution ”administration of the hi-tech Park“ to explain the application of this Decree in terms of the use of tokens in civil circulation and the implementation of activities using the technology of the register of transaction blocks (blockchain);

    the state institution ”administration of the hi-tech Park“ should explain the application Of the regulations on the hi-tech Park.

    The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus within three months:

    ensure that legislation is brought into line with this Decree;

    take other measures to implement it.

    The Ministry of Finance within three months to determine the order of accounting of tokens and operations with their use.

    Until the acts of legislation are brought into conformity with this Decree, they shall be applied to the extent that they do not contradict it.

    This Decree shall enter into force as follows:

    paragraphs 13, 14 and 17 after its official publication;

    other provisions of this Decree – three months after its official publication.

    This Decree is temporary and is submitted to the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus for consideration in accordance with part three of article 101 of the Constitution.

 

 

President

Of The Republic Of Belarus A. Lukashenko