The amendments aim to make Russian legislation more effective in combating trafficking of drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors.
In particular, under the federal law, involvement of drugs shall be considered an aggravating circumstance in crimes committed, and the assets gained through committing such crimes shall be subject to confiscation.
Furthermore, the new provisions introduce a more detailed classification of drug trafficking-related crimes (significant, serious, and very serious), and set tougher penalties ranging up to life imprisonment, for example, as the maximum sentence in drug trafficking cases classed as very serious.
In accordance with the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988, greater penalties are introduced for the sale of drugs or their equivalents in corrections facilities, educational establishments, sports facilities, and in leisure and recreation facilities.
In order to address the constantly increasing volumes of drug precursors seized, the federal law toughens the penalties for crimes involving precursors, including smuggling. A provision has been added to the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offences making physical persons liable for illicit trade in precursors in cases where the acts concerned do not constitute an offence punishable under criminal law. Currently, such liability applies only to legal entities.
The federal law makes a number of amendments to the Russian Federation Criminal Procedure Code.
Considering that the federal law’s adoption will require the Russian Government to issue a number of regulations, the law will enter into force 180 days from the date of its official publication.