Belarus: Changes in the legislation on foreign gratuitous aid

A new decree on foreign gratuitous aid was adopted in Belarus on May 25, 2020. Here are some of the key initial findings, as analyzed by Lawtrend:

  1. The new decree, like the current legislation, requires recipients to register foreign aid, regardless of its size, received both from foreign legal entities and from citizens who do not permanently reside in the territory of the Republic of Belarus. The new decree did not eliminate the need to register contributions of foreign founders (members) of non-profit organizations, nor did it establish the possibility of registering long-term programs and projects, upholding the need to register incoming funds. Thus, the decree did not provide for the basic minimum wishes of non-profit organizations as recipients of gratuitous aid: introducing the amount of aid received from individuals that does not require registration, as well as the possibility of registering not every tranche within the framework of the received project, but the entire project.
  2. The new decree, despite some positive expectations of non-profit organizations, further complicates their position as recipients of foreign gratuitous aid. In fact, the new decree even more than the current legislation creates the conditions for state bodies and organizations as recipients of foreign gratuitous aid. The decree actually displaces non-governmental non-profit organizations from among the recipients of aid, giving this opportunity with rare exceptions only to social organizations that provide support to limited target groups.

Read Lawtrend’s brief analysis here.