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Lately in the Internet and in a number of foreign media there’s appeared some information that allegedly in Belarus a number of sanctions were adapted against the Internet users, and even that it was totally banned.
This information seriously alarmed some of the foreign partners and customers.
In this context we should clarify the following:
1. The amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Belarus coming into effect on January 6th, 2012 do NOT provide for any restrictions regarding the Hi-Tech Park resident-companies as well as other legal entities and individual entrepreneurs of the Republic of Belarus concerning their use of the Internet for performing works and providing services for foreign customers.
The legal entities of the Republic of Belarus have the right to use information networks, systems and resources connected to the Internet, both located within the Republic of Belarus and outside its borders.
For example, if a Belarusian company provides software development services for foreign customers or sells (or transfers exclusive rights, or provides the rights to use) the developed software outwards the Republic of Belarus, no specific requirements to the location of the systems are applied.
Special requirements concern specifically the legal entities of the Republic of Belarus performing works and providing services only within the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
This legal provision has purely an economic purpose. It concerns the issues of regulating taxation while making transactions within the Belarusian domestic market, while according to the national law IT-services and IT-export are not subject to VAT.
2. The amendments coming into force are also aimed at regulating the access to information promoting extremist activities including illegal traffic of arms, weapons, explosives, human traffic, as well as promotion of pornography, violence and brutal force.
Herein the administrative responsibility is applied to the legal entities providing Internet services.
For a common Belarusian Internet-user the internet-filtration may be performed only at his request. Visiting foreign web-sites doesn’t lead to any fines.