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Law "On Trading Activities"

On 27 October 2015, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan signed the Law "On Introduction of Amendments into Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan as to Regulation of Trading Activities" (the "Amending Law"), which came into effect on 9 November 2015, except for certain provisions, which will come into effect on 1 July 2016, 1 January 2017 and 1 January 2018, respectively.

The Amending Law is primarily designed to improve the regulation related to trading activities, including e-commerce. The new law also introduces a number of major amendments to associated laws, such as the Tax Code, Administrative Code, the Law "On Regulation of Trading Activities" (the "Law on Trading Activities") and the Law "On Commodity Exchange".

This Legal Alert will address only the amendments to the Law on Trading Activities.

Pursuant to the amendments introduced, with effect from 9 November 2015, the Law on Trading Activities ceased to apply to activities performed by financial organisations and operations (transactions) concerning financial instruments. As was previously the case, the Law on Trading Activities applies to trade in certain types of good (such as oil products, weapons, tobacco products and alcohol) to the extent that trade in such goods is not regulated by other specific laws.

Categories of Retail Facilities

According to the Amending Law, retail facilities have been divided into stationary and non- stationary categories. In turn, stationary retail facilities are divided into five (5) categories, depending on the size of the sales premises, which are as follows:
• category 1: facilities with sales premises of more than 10,000 sq.m.;
• category 2: facilities with sales premises from 2,000 sq.m. up to 10,000 sq.m.;
• category 3: facilities with sales premises from 500 sq.m. up to 2,000 sq.m.;
• category 4: facilities with sales premises from 100 sq.m. up to 500 sq.m.; and
• category 5: facilities with sales premises of less than 100 sq.m.

Non-stationary retail facilities include vending machines, mobile shops, stalls (pavilions) and kiosks.

Trading Markets

According to the Amending Law, trading markets are divided into universal and specialised variants, depending on the type of good sold.

A universal trading market is defined as one designed for the sale of various goods.

A specialised trading market is defined as one where 70% or more of goods are of a specific nature.

Record of Lease Agreements

Effective from 1 January 2017, the Amending Law will introduce a requirement for owners of retail facilities and trading places located in retail facilities, including in trading markets, to conclude a lease agreement with their tenants where the lease continues for more than three (3) calendar days within a calendar month. A lease agreement should include the name of the tenant, location of the retail facility, the term of the lease, the lease payment and/or the level of expenses to be reimbursed.

Also with effect from 1 January 2017, the Amending Law will oblige owners and landlords of retail facilities to keep a register of lease agreements, which should store data on retail facilities, such as the size of common areas, the area of the sales premises and information as to whether or not these are included in the retail chain. Landlords will be obliged to file registers with the state revenue authorities not later than 31st March of the year following the accounting year. The relevant amendments to the Tax Code will also be effective from 1 January 2017.


The Amending Law has introduced a new definition of e-commerce, which is now considered "an entrepreneurial activity concerning the sale of goods via information technologies".

According to the Amending Law, a seller engaging in electronic trading should comply with the following actions:
• include the essential terms of any agreement in an offer and specify the procedure for their determination if in dispute, as well as other terms set out in the legislation of Kazakhstan;
•  provide information on the procedure for concluding an agreement; and
• issue invoices and provide copies of accounting documents.

If electronic trading is performed through an intermediary, the intermediary must keep the information contained in electronic documents or messages confidential and should not disclose any such information to third parties, unless otherwise provided for in the agreement or in the laws of Kazakhstan.

Finally, a seller must arrange for the storage of electronic information resources, including through an intermediary in e-commerce.

For further information on the above issues, please do not hesitate to contact Elena Lee ( or Yerlan Serikbayev ( at: +7 727 258 48 90.
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