The Rules of Accreditation and Stay of Correspondents of Foreign Mass Media on the Territory of the Russian Federation:
Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1055 of September 13, 1994
1. The legal status and professional activity of foreign correspondents accredited in the Russian Federation, including nations of the CIS, shall be governed by the respective international treaties of the Russian Federation, the Russian Federation Law on Mass Media and other legislative acts of the Russian Federation, as well as by the present Rules.
2. The opening of offices of foreign mass media in the Russian Federation shall be accomplished with the permission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as the “MFA of Russia”) unless otherwise provided by the international treaties of the Russian Federation.
3. The accreditation of foreign correspondents in the Russian Federation shall be done by the MFA of Russia in accordance with Articles 48 and 55 of the Russian Federation Law on Mass Media unless otherwise provided by the international treaties of the Russian Federation.
4. Application* for opening an office of a foreign mass medium shall be sent by its senior officials to the MFA of Russia directly or via the diplomatic representation of the Russian Federation in the respective country.
5. The decision to open the foreign mass medium’s office shall be taken by the MFA of Russia within two months from the receipt of application, whereupon a certificate of opening of the office shall be issued.
6. Accreditation as correspondents of foreign mass media in the Russian Federation may be granted to journalists irrespective of their citizenship, the representatives of periodicals, radio, television, video, and newsreel programs and other forms of periodical mass dissemination of information.
7. Application for accrediting a correspondent of a foreign mass medium shall be sent by the senior officials of the foreign mass medium to the MFA of Russia in the manner provided by Clause 4 of the present Rules.
8. The decision to accredit the correspondent of a foreign mass medium by the MFA of Russia shall be adopted within the time specified in Clause 5 of the present Rules.
9. Accredited correspondents shall be issued a foreign correspondent certificate valid for two years.
10. Family members of a correspondent shall be issued a card of a family member of a correspondent of a foreign mass medium, valid for the same period.
11. Accreditation as special correspondents may be temporarily granted journalists irrespective of their citizenship who have arrived in the Russian Federation with visa support from any other Russian organizations, and they shall be accredited by the MFA of Russia upon request from senior officials of those organizations.
12. Temporary accreditation as special correspondents by the MFA of Russia may also be granted journalists who have arrived in Russia to take the place of the regular correspondents in the case of their vacation, disease or business trips to other countries.
13. Special correspondents are to be issued a special correspondent card for a period from three months with a possible extension to six months.
14. Registration as technical staff for offices of foreign mass media may be granted persons irrespective of their citizenship working at the offices as producers, editors, secretary-interpreters, and specialists for the maintenance of television and cine equipment and means of communication. Persons performing any other kinds of activity at the offices are regarded as service personnel and are not subject to registration as official technical staff.
15. Application for registering a technical employee shall be sent to the MFA of Russia by senior officials of a foreign mass medium or a correspondent thereof accredited by the MFA of Russia on the form and in the manner provided by Clause 4 of the present Rules.
16. The decision to register the technical employee with the MFA of Russia shall be taken within two months from the receipt of the application.
17. Registered technical staff shall be issued a certificate of a technical employee of the office of the foreign mass medium, which is valid for two years.
18. Senior officials of a foreign mass medium shall, not later than fifteen days before the expiration of a correspondent (technical employee) certificate, ask the MFA of Russia to extend it. The extension of a technical employee certificate shall also be done upon request from a correspondent accredited by the MFA of Russia.
19. In the case of loss of a certificate, the correspondent or office technical employee involved shall notify the MFA of Russia, and the question of issuing a duplicate will be considered within two weeks.
20. An accredited correspondent may be re-accredited on the basis of an application from senior officials of a new mass medium. The decision on re-accreditation will be taken within two months.
21. Staff members of foreign diplomatic missions and consular institutions, of the apparatuses of military attaches or airlines’, banks’, and trade, industrial and intermediary firms’ representations registered in Russia, and persons who are workers of Russian mass media may not be accredited as correspondents or registered as technical employees for the offices of foreign media.
22. The MFA of Russia may terminate the accreditation (registration) of persons offered by senior officials of a foreign mass medium if there has been a violation by them of the laws of the Russian Federation, in cases provided by Article 48 of the Russian Federation Law on Mass Media and also on the basis of Articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
23. The MFA of Russia may take retaliatory action against correspondents of mass media of countries where restrictions on Russian citizens are in force.
24. Upon completion of their work in the Russian Federation accredited foreign journalists are to surrender the issued certificates to the MFA of Russia.
25. Entry into the Russian Federation by newly appointed correspondents (special correspondents, technical employees) from among foreign citizens shall be on passports or substitute documents if an entry visa is available, issued by a consular institution of the Russian Federation.
Consular institutions of the Russian Federation will issue entry visas to persons of this category within five working days on the terms of reciprocity, given the consent of the MFA of Russia to their accreditation (registration).
26. One-year multiple exit-entry visas are to be issued to accredited correspondents and registered technical staff of offices of mass media of countries with which appropriate bilateral agreements exist, irrespective of their permanent place of residence, unless there are other bilateral arrangements.
27. In the case of temporary replacement of a regular correspondent (for the period of a vacation, disease, business trips to other countries, etc.) entry visas shall be issued to the persons who fill in for them in the manner provided by Clause 25 of the present Rules.
28. Upon arrival in the Russian Federation, a foreign correspondent, technical employee, and members of their families are required, within three days, excluding days off and holidays, to register with the respective bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation.
29. Accredited correspondents of foreign mass media in the Russian Federation shall – irrespective of their citizenship – have the rights and duties of a journalist as envisaged by the international treaties and laws of the Russian Federation, as well as by the present Rules.
30. Accredited correspondents shall have the right to create on the Russian Federation territory a professional journalist organization acting by a charter approved by its members, of which the provisions are not contrary to the laws of the Russian Federation.
31. Foreign mass media representatives accredited by the MFA of Russia and their family members may invite as personal guests citizens of foreign states. The solution of visa matters and those of legalization of their stay in the Russian Federation shall be accomplished via the MFA of Russia.
32. Representatives of foreign mass media accredited** in the Russian Federation – correspondents and foreign employees of the respective offices – may in keeping with customs rules import and export for business purposes office equipment, computers, radio and TV equipment, professional audio, video, cine and photo equipment, spare parts and consumables for such types of equipment, information material on various media, household items and cars for personal use (not more than one car for each correspondent or foreign employee of the office), without customs duties and payments during the whole period of their accreditation in the Russian Federation, on the condition of the export of that equipment from the territory of the Russian Federation after expiration of the term of accreditation.
33. Accredited correspondents and media offices’ technical employees, as well as members of their families may use the services that are provided by the appropriate subdivisions of the MFA of Russia for the diplomatic corps in Russia.
34. Foreign correspondents accredited by the MFA of Russia shall have the right on a basis of reciprocity to move freely on the territory of the Russian Federation, with the exception of security facilities for which special permission is required for visitation.
35. Citizens of the Russian Federation accredited (registered) as correspondents (technical employees) of foreign mass media shall enjoy the status of a foreign correspondent (technical employee) only in the performance of their professional functions.
* The application to the MFA of Russia for opening an office of a foreign mass medium or accrediting a correspondent in the Russian Federation shall include a letter on the medium’s official letterhead, signed by a senior official or officials of the medium, or a diplomatic note of the embassy of the respective country to the Russian Federation, information on the mass medium, the biography and journalistic background of the correspondent, and his/her two photographs.
In addition, for Russian citizens, when applying to the MFA of Russia on these matters, a certificate is required that the persons have been registered with the area authorities of the State Tax Service of Russia.
** Clause 32 as reworded has been introduced to the Rules by Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 899 of August 4, 1999.
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