1 April, 2015 On April 1, 2015, Vladimir Putin signed a new Federal Law regarding the phasing-out of round stamps that must be used by companies to authenticate business documents.
The official website of the President of the Russian Federation announced the changes and after being adopted by the State Duma in March 2015, they were approved by the Federation Council in April. The changes mean that a company is now free to decide whether or not it continues to use the official round seal of the organization.
The relevant amendments are covered a number of laws. The Kremlin press office announced: "Federal law stipulates that the use or presence of a stamp will continue to be valid, but that it is no longer an obligation for companies." Earlier, the Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev spoke in support of the abolition of the round seal. According to Medvedev, a round seal is a legacy of the past, and it currently delays the legal registration process. "New technology means that a seal no longer guarantees a document's authenticity." The bill allows companies to continue using the round seal, but they will also be allowed to use alternative methods for validation, such as an electronic signature, special forms, or holographic printing.
Head of OSG Record management’s Legal Department, Andrei Rodin commented: "The presence of the round seal has been integral to business processes in Russia. It is an outdated system and companies will certainly welcome this change in the law. In most cases, the seal of certified documents must also signed by the CEO, in other cases, the seal is not required, for example internal and external correspondence. In Europe, such seals have long been disregarded for day-to-day business documents."