Arbitration as the Method of Settlement of Investment Disputes against the Kyrgyz Republic
AKIpress Analytics section, March 19, 2013

The Kyrgyz Republic has already participated in several arbitration proceedings. Therefore, it might be reasonable to analyze peculiarities of legal regulation of arbitration in the KR, the causes and consequences of arbitration disputes and make relevant conclusions…

What risks foreign investors should take into account while investing into the Kyrgyz mining sector,
The Times of Central Asia, March 1, 2012.

Overview of Anti-Corruption Laws in Kyrgyz Republic,
Comparative Summary of Anti-Corruption Laws in the CIS Economic Region, 2011,
The CIS Leading Council Network.

What a foreigner should know about tax regime in the Kyrgyz Republic?
The Times of Central Asia, publication expected.

Kyrgyzstan is not an offshore zone and does not provide tax exemptions, but the rates of many of them are not very high.

Telecommunications Law in the Kyrgyz Republic: 11 Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is responsible for regulating telecommunications operations in the Kyrgyz Republic?

The State Agency for Communications of the Kyrgyz Republic (SAC KR) is the public authority regulating communications sphere (telecommunications). The SAC KR has the authority to issue licenses for telecom services and permits to import and operate ra¬dio electronic equipment and high frequency devices, certify telecommunication equipment and devices, supervise compliance with legislation and license conditions, assure proper services and operations in the sector.

The SAC KR does not develop national telecommunications policy. Instead, the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Kyrgyz Republic is the state body responsible for developing national telecommunications policy.

2. What telecommunications related activities and services in the Kyrgyz Republic are subject to licensing requirements?

Under Kyrgyz law a series of activities related to telecommunications services are subject to licensing, including:

- mobile communication services (i.e. GSM, CDMA, 3G(UMTS/WCDMA) etc.);
- wireline (fixed-line) communication services (i.e. local and long-distance, including international);
- telematic services (i.e. telephoto, call center, message processing, EMS, conference calls, information services, voice dialing);
- wireline and wireless data transmission (i.e. SMS, WAP, GPRS, EDGE, VoIP, VPN, EV-DO, EV-DV, HSDPA, HSUPA, Wi-Fi and WiMax);
- design, production, construction, installation of telecommunication
- devices, networks, lines, structures, systems.

While each activity related to telecommunications is generally licensed separately, a single license for several activities may be issued when it is technically feasible.

The license is issued based on the licensing agreement executed between the SACKR which serves to validate the license and forms an integral part of it. If the licensing agreement becomes invalid, so does the license.

3. Are some telecommunications activities exempt from licensing requirements?

Only activities relating to internal communications within an organization are not subject to licensing. These include activities which take place in the same building or in buildings located near each other, organizations with service points located within a minimal area defined by the SACKR and activities which do not cross public areas.

In addition, the use of radio frequency band 2404-2483.5 MHz for Wi-Fi internet without the use of outside antennas throughout the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic (except the city of Bishkek and its suburbs), is not subject to licensing.

4. Who issues licenses for telecommunication services and what is the procedure involved in to obtain such licenses?

The Licensing Commission of the SAC KR decides whether a license for the right to provide telecommunication services will be issued.

In order to obtain a license for providing telecommunication services, an applicant company must submit the following documents to the SAC KR:

- the completed standard application form;
- documents confirming payment of the application fee and a fee for issuing the license;
- a copy of the certificate of registration of the applicant company;
- a copy of the charter (and shareholders agreement, if applicable) of the applicant company;
- a copy of the taxpayer registration card of the applicant company;
- a copy of the social insurance payer registration notice of the applicant company;
- technical proposal ;
- copies of diplomas and certificates attesting to the qualifications of the applicant company’s employees who will be engaged in the rendering of telecommunication services;
- and the other information that came with the technical proposal, depending on the type and complexity of a telecommunications service

5. How much is the application fee?

The fee for consideration and issuance of the license is approximately 300 Kyrgyz Soms (approximately $6.2 USD) .

6. What territory will the license cover?

The license will define the network’s territories, which could include a single district, city, region or the entire territory of the Kyrgyz Republic.

7. How long are licenses issued for?

Though legislation does not cap term limits, in practice, licenses are generally issued for defined terms ranging from 2 to 10years.

8. Are there any other licensing or permit requirements for telecommunications operations in the Kyrgyz Republic?

Yes. In addition to the license for telecommunications, telecommunications providers must also obtain a number of other permits, certificates and licenses related to their specific operations.

A company wishing to import and/or export cryptographic equipment or software must also obtain the license for import of cryptographic equipment. This license coverts both the importation and use of temporary or permanent cryptographic products.

Permits are also required to use the radio frequency spectrum, codes (prefixes) and phone numbers, and to import telecommunication equipment.

Numerous certification requirements are also in place for any equipment producing radio frequency radiation or high frequency electromagnetic waves.

All licenses, permits and certificates are issued by the SAC KR. In addition, the SAС KR also registers telecommunication equipment and issues documentation proving their compliance with Kyrgyz standards.

9. Can the license for telecommunication services be suspended?

- Under the provision on licensing of telecommunications services for 3G standard (UMTS / WCDMA), it is required to pay a special fee $ 40 million soms (about 825,593 U.S. dollars) for participation in the competitive tendering, the cost recovery about 200 million soms (about 4,127,967 U.S. dollars) for the conversion of radio frequencies and making investments in an amount of 20 million soms (about 412,797 U.S. dollars) in the telecommunications infrastructure in certain terms, etc.

From all licensees in the telecommunications sphere an annual fee of 1% of the proceeds from the licensed activity is charged .

From all licensees providing telecommunications services using the radio spectrum, an annual fee for the oversight functions on the use of radio frequency spectrum is charged .

Nowadays, an introduction of an annual fee for an allotted to the licensee numbered resource.

10. Can a license for telecommunications services be suspended?

Yes. The license for telecommunication services may be suspended if certain conditions are not performed by providers of telecommunication services or if they violate the existing rules. These cases include:

- use of non-certified equipments;
- violation of mandatory standards for equipment and services, established by SAC KR;
- use of the radio spectrum without permission of SAC KR;
- non-compliance with the warnings of SACKR on elimination of the violations;
- violation of building norms and other regulations, leading to a disturbance of communications.

11. Is the legal climate in the Kyrgyz Republic favorable for foreign investments in the telecommunications industry?

Yes. In recent years, the telecommunications market of the Kyrgyz Republic, which had a low level of distribution services has increased significantly due to the unprecedented growth of a mobile communication. This growth can be attributed to the liberal regulatory regime of the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic. As a result, the biggest mobile operators belong to foreign investors.

 

 

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