Federal Law No.135-FZ on Charitable Activities and Organisations (1995, amended 2004)

FEDERAL LAW

NO. 135-FZ OF AUGUST 11, 1995

ON CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES AND ORGANIZATIONS

(with the Amendments and Additions of March 21, July 25, 2002,

July 4, 2003, August 22, 2004)

Adopted by the State Duma on July 7, 1995

The present Federal Law shall lay down the foundation for the legal regulation of charitable activities and shall define the possible forms of its support by the state power bodies and by the local self-government bodies and the specifics of the setting up and of the activity of charitable organizations, aimed at the broad spread and development of charitable activities in the Russian Federation.

Section I. General Provisions

Article 1. Charitable Activities

Charitable activities shall be interpreted as voluntary activities of the citizens and of the legal entities involved in altruistic (unpaid or payable on privileged terms) transfers to citizens or to legal entities of property, including monety, in altruistic works, services or other support.

Article 2. The Goals of Charitable Activities

1. Charitable activities shall be aimed at:

    - the social support and protection of citizens, including the improvement of the material situation of those of scanty means and the social rehabilitation of the unemployed, disabled and other persons, who, by force of their physical or intellectual characteristics and of other circumstances, are unable to independently realize their rights and legal interests;

    - preparing the population to overcome the aftermath of natural calamities of ecological, industrial, or other kinds of catastrophes and to prevent accidents;

    - rendering assistance to the victims of natural calamities, of ecological, industrial and other kinds of catastrophes and of social, national and religious conflicts, and to victims of reprisals, to refugees and to forced re-settlers.

    - assistance in strengthening the peace, friendship and comity among peoples, and in preventing social, national and religious conflicts;

    - assistance in building up the authority and the role of the family in society;

    - assistance in protecting maternity, childhood and fatherhood;

    - assistance in activities in the spheres of education, science and culture, of art and enlightenment, and in the intellectual development of the personality;

    - assistance in the activities, involved in the prevention of diseases and in the health protection of citizens, as well as in the propaganda of the healthy way of life and the improvement of the citizens' moral and psychological attitudes;

    - assistance in activities in the sphere of physical culture and of organized sports;

    - protection of the environment and wildlife;

    - protection and a proper maintenance of the buildings, objects and territories of the historical, cult, cultural or natural use value, and of the burial sites.

2. The forwarding of the monetary and of the other kinds of the material means, as well as the other forms of rendering assistance to commercial organizations, and the support of the political parties, movements, groups and campaigns shall not be interpreted as the charity activity.

Federal Law No. 94-FZ of July 4, 2003 supplemented Article 2 of this Federal Law with Item 3

3. There shall be forbidden to wage an election campaign and a referendum campaign along with exercising charitable activities.

Federal Law No. 94-FZ of July 4, 2003 amended Article 3 of this Federal Law

Article 3. Legislation on Charitable Activities

1. Legislation on charitable activities shall consist of the corresponding provisions of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, the present Federal Law, other federal laws and the laws of the subjects of the Russian Federation passed in conformity with it.

2. The norms, regulating charity activities, contained in other laws, shall not contradict the present Federal Law.

Charitable activities, exercised by citizens and legal entities during an election campaign and a referendum campaign, shall be regulated by this Federal Law, as well as by the laws of the Russian Federation on elections and referendums.

3. If an international treaty of the Russian Federation has laid down rules different from those stipulated by the present Federal Law, then the rules of the treaty shall be applied.

Article 4. The Right to Engage in Charitable Activities

1. The citizens and the legal entities shall have the right to freely engage in charitable activities, relying on the principle of the voluntary participation and the freedom in selecting its goals.

2. The citizens and the legal entities shall have the right to freely perform charitable activities, individually or in cooperation with or without setting up a charitable organization.

3. Nobody shall have the right to restrict the freedom of selecting the goals of the charitable activity and the forms of its implementation, stipulated by the present Federal Law.

Article 5. Participants in the Charitable Activity

For the purposes of the present Federal Law, participants in the charitable activity shall be interpreted as the citizens and the legal entities, performing the charitable activity, including by way of rendering support to the existing or of setting up a new charity organization, as well as the citizens and the legal entities, in whose interests the charitable activity is performed: the philanthropists, the volunteers and the beneficiaries.

The philanthropists shall be the persons, making charity donations in the forms of:

    - disinterested (gratuitous or payable on the privileged terms) transfers into the ownership of the property, including the monetary means and (or) the objects of the intellectual property;

    - a disinterested (gratuitous or payable on the privileged terms) granting of the rights of ownership, of the use and of the disposal of any objects of the right of ownership;

    - a disinterested (gratuitous or payable on the privileged terms) performance of the work and rendering of services by the philanthropists-the legal entities.

The philanthropists shall have the right to define the goals and the way of using their donations.

The volunteers shall be the citizens, engaged in the charity activity in the form of unpaid labour in the interest of the beneficiary, including in the interest of a charitable organization. The charitable organization may pay the volunteers' expenses, related to their activity in this organization (the expenses, involved in business trips, the fares, etc.).

The beneficiaries shall be the persons, receiving charitable donations from the philanthropists, as well as assistance from the volunteers.

Article 6. The Charitable Organization

1. The charitable organization shall be a non-government (non-state and non-municipal) non-profit organization, set up to realize the goals, stipulated by the present Federal Law, by way of performing the charitable activity in the interest of society as a whole or of the individual categories of persons.

2. If the charitable organization's incomes exceed its expenditures, the amount of the excess shall not be liable to distribution among its founders (members), but shall be directed towards realizing the goals, for the sake of which this charitable organization was established.

Article 7. The Forms of the Charitable Organizations

The charitable organizations shall be set up in the form of the public organizations (associations), of the funds and of the institutions, and also in the other forms, stipulated by the federal laws for charitable organizations.

The charitable organization may be set up in the form of an institution, if its founder is a charitable organization.

Section II. The Procedure for Setting up and for Ceasing the Activity of a Charitable Organization

Article 8. The Founders of a Charitable Organization

The founders of a charitable organization, depending on its form, shall be the natural and (or) the legal persons. The state power bodies and the local self-government bodies, as well as the state-run and the municipal unitary enterprises, the state and the municipal institutions shall not be the founders of a charitable organization.

Article 9. The State Registration of a Charitable Organization

1. The state registration of a charitable organization shall be effected in conformity with the procedure, laid down by the federal laws.

2. The refusal of the stare registration of a charitable organization in connection with its legal address being given to it by a citizen at the place of his residence shall be inadmissible.

Federal Law No. 31-FZ of March 21, 2002 amended Item 3 of Article 9 of this Federal Law. The amendments shall come into force as of July 1, 2002

3. The decision on the refusal of the state registration of a charitable organization, and also its avoidance of such registration, may be appealed against with the court.

Article 10. The Higher Management Body of a Charitable Organization

1. The higher management body of a charitable organization shall be its collegiate body, formed in conformity with the procedure, stipulated by the Rules of the charitable organization.

2. Referred to the authority of the higher management body of a charitable organization shall be:

    - the amendment of the Rules of the charitable organization;

    - the establishment of the executive bodies of the charitable organization and of its control and revision bodies, and the termination of their powers before the expiry of the fixed term;

    - the approval of the charity programmes;

    - the approval of the annual plan, of the budget of the charitable organization and of its annual report;

    - the adoption of the decisions on setting up commercial and non-profit organizations, on the participation in such organizations, on opening the branches and representations;

    - the adoption of the decisions on the reorganization and on the liquidation of a charitable organization (with the exception of a charity fund).

3. The members of the higher management body of a charitable organization shall discharge their duties in this body as volunteers. The higher management body of a charitable organization may include only one worker of its executive bodies (with or without a deciding vote).

4. The members of the higher management body of a charitable organization and the official persons of a charitable organization shall not have the right to occupy the established posts in the administration of the commercial and of the non-profit organizations, whose founder (participant) this charitable organization is.

Article 11. The Reorganization and the Liquidation of a Charitable Organization

1. The reorganization and the liquidation of a charitable organization shall be effected in conformity with the law-stipulated procedure.

On the reorganization and on the liquidation of the legal entities, see Article 57 and Article 61 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation (Part One), No. 51-FZ of November 30, 1994

2. The charitable organization shall not be reorganized into an economic association or a company.

Federal Law No. 112-FZ of July 25, 2002 amended Item 3 of Article 11 of this Federal Law

3. When the charitable organization is liquidated, its property, left after satisfying the creditors' claims, shall be used for charity purposes in conformity with the procedure, laid down by the Rules, or by the decision of the liquidation commission, unless the way of using the property of the charitable organization is stipulated in its Rules or unless otherwise established by the federal law.

Section III. The Terms and the Procedure for the Performance of the Activity of a Charitable Organization

Article 12. The Activity of a Charitable Organization

1. A charitable organization shall have the right to perform the charitable activity, aimed at achieving the goals, for the sake of which it was set up, and also the charitable activity, aimed at achieving the goals, stipulated by the present Federal Law.

2. A charitable organization shall have the right to engage in the activity, involved in attracting resources and in conducting extra-realization operations.

3. A charitable organization shall have the right to engage in business activities only to achieve the goals, for the sake of which it was set up and which correspond to these goals.

4. To create material conditions for implementing the charity goals, a charitable organization shall have the right to set up economic companies. The charitable organization's participation in economic companies together with other persons shall not be admitted.

5. A charitable organization shall not have the right to spend its means and to use its property for rendering support to the political parties, movements, groups and campaigns.

Article 13. The Branches and the Representations of a Charitable Organization

1. A charitable organization shall have the right to set up the branches and to open the representations on the territory of the Russian Federation, while observing the stipulations of the legislation of the Russian Federation.

2. The setting up by a charitable organization of the branches and the opening of the representations on the territory of foreign states shall be effected in conformity with the legislation of these states, unless otherwise stipulated by the international treaties of the Russian Federation.

3. The branches and representations shall not be legal entities, shall be allocated the property of the charitable organization, which has set them up, and shall operate on the ground of the provisions, approved by it. The property of the branches and of the representations shall be kept on their separate balance and also on the balance of the charity organization, which has set them up.

4. The heads of the branches and representations shall be appointed by the higher management body of the charitable organization and shall operate on the grounds of a warrant, issued by the charitable organization.

5. The branches and representations shall perform their activity on behalf of the charitable organization, which has set them up. Responsibility for the activity of the branches and representations shall lie with the charity organization, which has set them up.

Article 14. The Corporations (Associations and Unions) of the Charitable Organizations

1. The charitable organizations shall have the right to unite into associations and unions, created on the contractual basis to expand their opportunities in realizing the goals, set out in their Rules.

2. The corporation (association, union) of the charitable organizations shall be a non-profit organization.

3. The members of the corporation (association, union) of the charitable organizations shall maintain their independence and the rights of a legal entity.

4. The corporation (association, union) of the charitable organizations shall not be held answerable by the liabilities of its members. The members of the corporation (association, union) of the charitable organizations shall bear subsidiary responsibility by its liabilities in the amount and in conformity with the procedure, stipulated by the constituent documents of the corporation (association, union).

Federal Law No. 122-FZ of August 22, 2004 amended Article 15 of this Law. The amendmendts shall enter into force as of January 1, 2005

Article 15. The Sources of Formation of the Property of a Charitable Organization

The sources of formation of the property of a charitable organization may be the following:

    - the contributions, made by the founders of the charitable organization;

    - the membership dues (for the charitable organizations, based on the membership);

    - the charity donations, including those of the goal-oriented nature (charity grants), made by the citizens and by the legal entities in the monetary form or in kind;

    - the earnings from the extra-realization operations, including the revenue from securities;

    - the incomes from the activity, involved in attracting the resources (conducting campaigns to attract philanthropists and volunteers, including the organization of entertainment, cultural, sports and other massive events, launching campaigns to collect charity donations, holding lotteries and auctions in conformity with the legislation of the Russian Federation and selling the property and the donations, given by the philanthropists, in accordance with their wishes);

    - the incomes from the business activity, permitted by the legislation;

    - the incomes from the activity of the economic companies, set up by the charitable organization;

    - the labour of the volunteers;

    - the other sources, not forbidden by the law.

Article 16. The Property of a Charitable Organization

1. A charitable organization may possess by the right of ownership or by a different kind of the real right: the buildings and structures, the equipment, the monetary means, the securities and the information resources, and also the other property, unless otherwise stipulated by the federal laws; the results of the intellectual activity.

2. A charitable organization may make any transactions with respect to the property it possesses by the right of ownership or by a different kind of the real right, which do not contradict the legislation of the Russian Federation, the Rules of this organization and the philanthropist's wishes.

3. A charitable organization shall not have the right to use for the remuneration of the labour of the administrative-managerial personnel over 20 per cent of the financial means, which this organization spends in the course of the fiscal year. The given restriction shall not be spread to the remuneration of the labour of the persons, participating in the implementation of the charity programmes.

4. Unless otherwise stipulated by the philanthropist or by the charity programme, not less than 80 per cent of the charity donation, made in the monetary form, shall be used for charity purposes in the course of a year from the moment, when this donation is received by the charitable organization. The charity donations, made in kind, shall be directed towards charity purposes in the course of one year from the moment of their receipt, unless otherwise decreed by the philanthropist or by the charity programme.

5. The property of a charity organization shall not be passed (in the form of the sale, the payment for the commodities, the work or the services and in other forms) to the founders (members) of this organization on the more profitable terms, than to the other persons.

Article 17. The Charity Programme

1. The charity programme shall be a complex of measures, approved by the higher management body of a charitable organization and aimed at carrying out the concrete tasks, corresponding to the constituent goals of this organization.

2. The charity programme shall include an estimate of the supposed revenues and of the planned expenditures (including the remuneration of labour for the persons, participating in the implementation of the charity programme), and shall fix the stages and the term of its implementation.

3. To finance the charity programmes (including the outlays for their material and technical, organizational and other kind of provision, for the remuneration of labour for the persons, participating in the implementation of the charity programmes, as well as other expenses, related to the implementation of the charity programmes) shall be used at least 80 per cent of the incomes from the extra-realization operations, of the proceeds from the economic companies, set up by the charitable organization, and of the earnings from the permitted business activity, which have arrived in the course of the fiscal year. During the implementation of the long-term charity programmes, the incoming means shall be used within the term, fixed by these programmes.

Section IV. The State Guarantees for the Charitable Activity

Article 18. The Support, Rendered to the Charitable Activity by the State Power Bodies and by the Local Self-government Bodies

1. Guaranteed and provided for shall be the protection of the rights and the legitimate interests of the citizens and of the legal entities - participants in the charitable activity, stipulated by the legislation of the Russian Federation.

2. The official persons, interfering with the realization of the rights of the citizens and of the legal entities to the performance of the charitable activity, shall be held responsible in conformity with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

3. Abolished from January 1, 2005.

4. Abolished from January 1, 2005.

5. Abolished from January 1, 2005.

6. Abolished from January 1, 2005.

Federal Law No. 31-FZ of March 21, 2002 amended Article 19 of this Federal Law. The amendments shall come into force as of July 1, 2002

Article 19. Control over the Performance of the Charitable Activity

1. The charitable organization shall conduct the book-keeper accounting and shall prepare reports in conformity with the procedure, laid down by the legislation of the Russian Federation.

2. The body that has rendered a decision on state registration of a charitable organization shall exert control over the compliance of activity of the charitable organization with the goals, for the sake of which it has been established. The charitable organization shall annually present to the body, that has rendered the decision on the state registration thereof, a report on its activity, containing the information on:

    - the financial and economic activity, confirming the observance of the stipulations of the present Federal Law for the use of the property and for spending the means of the charitable organization;

    - the personal composition of the higher management body of the charitable organization;

    - the composition and the content of the charity programmes of the charitable organization (the list and the description of the said programmes);

    - the content and the results of the activity of the charitable organization;

    - the violations of the demands of the present Federal Law, exposed as a result of the check-ups, launched by the taxation bodies, and the measures, which have been taken to eliminate them.

3. An annual report shall be presented by a charitable organization to the body that has rendered a decision on state registration thereof within the same term as an annual report on the financial and economic activities, submitted to taxation bodies.

4. The body that has rendered a decision on the state registration of a charitable organization shall provide for an open access, including for the mass media, to the given charitable organizations' annual reports it has received.

5. The charitable organization shall provide for an open access, including for the mass media, to its annual reports.

6. The means, spent on publishing an annual report and the information on the charitable organization's activity, shall be entered as the outlays for charity purposes.

7. The information on the amounts and on the structure of the incomes of the charitable organization, as well as the information on the size of its property, its expenditures, the number of its workers, the remuneration of their labour and the drawing in of volunteers shall not be made a commercial secret.

8. The taxation bodies shall exert control over the sources of the charitable organizations' incomes, the amounts of the means, received by them, and their payment of the taxes in conformity with the legislation of the Russian Federation on taxes.

Article 20. The Responsibility of the Charitable Organization

1. In the cases of its violating the present Federal Law, the charitable organization shall be held responsible in conformity with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

Federal Law No. 31-FZ of March 21, 2002 amended Item 2 of Article 20 of this Federal Law. The amendments shall come into force as of July 1, 2002

2. If the charitable organization performs the actions, contradicting its set goals and also the present Federal Law, the body, which has registered the charitable organization, shall send it a warning in written form, which the charitable organization may appeal against in the court.

3. In case of sending to it repeated warnings in written form, the charitable organization may be liquidated in conformity with the procedure, stipulated by the Civil Code of the Russian Federation.

4. All the means, earned by the charity organization in performing business activities in violation of Article 12 of the present Federal Law, shall be exacted into the revenue of the local budget by the place of location of the charitable organization in conformity with the procedure, laid down by the legislation of the Russian Federation, and shall be liable to the use for charity purposes in conformity with the procedure, defined by the municipal bodies for the social protection.

5. The disputes, arising between the charity organization and the citizens and the legal entities, who have transferred to it the means for charity purposes, on the use of these means shall be considered in the court.

Article 21. Implementation of the International Charitable Activity

1. Participants in the charitable activity shall have the right to engage in the international charitable activity in conformity with the procedure, laid down by the legislation of the Russian Federation and by the international treaties of the Russian Federation.

2. The international charitable activity shall be performed by participating in international charity projects and in the work of the international charitable organizations, by interacting with foreign partners in the corresponding sphere of the charitable activity, and also in any other form, accepted in the international practices and not contradicting the legislation of the Russian Federation, the norms and the principles of international law.

3. A charitable organization shall have the right to open accounts in the banking institutions of the other states in conformity with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

4. A charitable organization shall have the right to accept charity donations from the foreign citizens, from the stateless persons, and also from the foreign and international organizations. The said donations shall be used in conformity with the procedure, stipulated by the present Federal Law.

Article 22. The Charitable Activity of Foreign Citizens, of Stateless Persons and of Foreign and International Organizations on the Territory of the Russian Federation

The foreign citizens, the stateless persons, the foreign and international organizations shall have the right to come out as the participants of the charitable activity on the territory of the Russian Federation in conformity with the present Federal Law.

Section V. The Final Provisions

Article 23. On the Present Federal Law Coming into Force

1. The present Federal Law shall come into force as from the moment of its official publication.

2. The provisions of the present Federal Law shall be spread to the charitable organizations, set up before the present Federal Law has come into force.

3. The Rules of the charitable organizations, set up before the present Federal Law has come into force, shall operate only in the part, not contradicting the present Federal Law.

Article 24. On the Re-registration of the Charitable Organizations, Set up Before the Present Federal Law Has Come into Force

The Rules of the charitable organizations, set up before the present Federal Law has come into force, shall be brought into correspondence with the present Federal Law.

The re-registration of the charitable organizations, set up before the present Federal Law has come into force, shall be carried out before July 1, 1999, with the exemption of such organizations from paying the registration fee. The charitable organizations, which fail to undergo the re-registration within the said term, shall be liable to liquidation through the court on the demand of the registering body.

Article 25. On Bringing the Legal Acts into Correspondence with the Present Federal Law

To propose to the President of the Russian Federation and to order to the Government of the Russian Federation that they bring their legal acts into correspondence with the present Federal Law.

President of the Russian Federation

Boris Yeltsin

Moscow, the Kremlin