On April 11, 2019 amendments to the regulation on advertising will be adopted in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan No. 215-VI dated January 8, 2019 "On Introducing Changes and Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Advertising Issues" (the Law).

In particular, the Law establishes the following novelties in terms of advertising regulation: changing the approach to determine outdoor (visual) advertising; setting fees for the placement of outdoor (visual) advertising, requiring that local executive bodies be informed about the placement of such advertising; prohibiting the indication of prices (tariffs, fees, rates) for goods and services other than in local currency - Tenge, etc. Below is a brief description of the most significant changes to the regulation on advertising:

  1. The concept of "outdoor (visual) advertising" has been changed significantly. Advertising is now referenced as outdoor (visual) in accordance with the following features:

    • Advertising that is placed on structures, various kinds of three-dimensional or two-dimensional flat frame structures on screens and electronic scoreboards, light structures and other features used for the distribution and (or) placement of advertising; and
    • Advertising that is available for visual perception in open spaces outside premises in suburban areas, in areas of public use, in open spaces outside areas of suburban premises and outside areas of public use. 

    There is an exhaustive list of information that does not apply to outdoor (visual) advertising as defined (for instance, signs, information about working hours, posters, interior decoration of the shop-windows and on windows, etc.).

    As soon as the amendments enter into force, outdoor (visual) advertising will include, for example, information about promotions and discounts and images of goods placed on the shop-windows. Furthermore, outdoor (visual) advertising will include advertising placed, in particular, on tents, pavilions, awnings, sheds, umbrellas, flags, banners, pennants, impermanent kiosks, dynamic panels, flower vases, gazebos, benches, garbage disposal units, public transport stops, equipment and structures for children's games and adult recreation. The volumetric neon letters, portable mobile advertising, video images and even marathon numbers will be classified as outdoor (visual) advertising.
  2. A notification procedure has been established for placing outdoor (visual) advertising. Advertising distributors will be obliged to send notifications to local executive bodies no fewer than five working days before the expected date of placement of outdoor (visual) advertising. At the same time, advertising on vehicles can be carried out without sending a notice about the placement of outdoor (visual) advertising.
  3. The Tax Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan establishes the fees for the placement of outdoor (visual) advertising. At the same time, outdoor (visual) advertising on vehicles is free of charge.

    The basic monthly fees for placing outdoor (visual) advertising depend, first, on the type of the outdoor (visual) advertising, the area of the object of the outdoor (visual) advertising and the city in which the advertisement is placed. The charges range from 0.5 to 100 MCI (from 1,263 to 252,500 Tenge (from US$3 to US$665) as of 2019).
  4. The responsibility of the owners of the objects of the outdoor (visual) advertising, or the persons, possessing other real rights to objects of the outdoor (visual) advertising, has been introduced to keep the outdoor (visual) advertising objects in proper aesthetic, sanitary and technical condition, to ensure the safety of the outdoor (visual) advertising objects for the life and health of persons and all forms of owned property, and, upon the expiry of the placement period, it is established under the contract that the object of the outdoor (visual) advertising must be dismantled within thirty calendar days.
  5. The state or local executive bodies are now empowered to conduct preventive control without visiting the control subject (object) in order to stop and prevent violations in a timely manner, to give control subjects the right to eliminate violations identified as a result of the preventive control independently, and to reduce the administrative burden in the form of fines.
  6. The regulatory and authorized bodies are defined in the field of advertising. It is expected that the rules for placing outdoor (visual) advertising will be developed and approved.
  7. The requirement to indicate the price of the goods for sale on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, on the terms of a standard form contract, in Tenge has been introduced. In case the price of the goods is indicated other than in Tenge, those responsible persons will be held administratively liable in the form of a fine of up to 200 MCI (505,000 Tenge or US$1,330 as of 2019). The requirement to specify the prices (tariffs, fees, rates) for goods and services in Tenge also applies to cases of distribution of information about the goods (works, services) for the purpose of implementation.
  8. It should be noted that currently advertising on foreign television and radio channels is prohibited. With the adoption of the Law, it is clearly defined that when rebroadcasting foreign television and radio channels on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, it is permissible to distribute information about the television and radio channels own products (announcements) that do not contain third-party advertising. Therefore, such announcements are excluded from the concept of "advertising."

  9. The Administrative Code establishes a new set of elements of offenses in the field of advertising. Thus, a violation of the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan on advertising in the form of inter alia unfair and inaccurate advertising or unethical and hidden advertising, involves a fine of up to 400 MCI (1,010,000 Tenge or US$2,660 as of 2019).

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