USING FIDIC CONTRACTS IN EASTERN EUROPE
ILYA NIKIFOROV 1
Law School of St. Petersburg University, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
THE OFFICIAL RUSSIAN TEXT OF FIDIC RED BOOK 4TH EDITION
Unbelievably, Russia does not currently have a model set of contract conditions for construction works that is universally recognised in the industry. The only document of this type is a letter by The Ministry of Construction dated 10 June 1992 N BF-558/15, which proposes a five-page specimen construction contract. Needless to say, this contract is quite outdated now. It was developed in order to fit the old Soviet Rules for the Construction Contracts,
which were adopted back in 1986 by the Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers. The Rules were abolished in 1993 by the Decision of The Council of Ministers No 812 of August 14, 1993 which enacted the General Regulations on the Procedure for the Conclusion and Execution of State Contracts (for Performance of Works) for the Construction of Objects for the Federal State Needs in the Russian Federation).
However, the model Rules introduced by this Regulation are quite narrative and are only applicable to government-procured contracts. Moreover, Part Two the new Civil Code adopted in 1996, overhauled the regulation of construction contracts, bringing this area of law into line with contemporary standards.
In this situation several public customers (government entities) have developed the model contracts for their own procurement needs. No form has come from the industry, apparently for the reason that the industry is too weak and unorganised to join efforts to develop a standard set of contractual conditions, a development which was for long anticipated by many.
International financial institutions, particular EBRD, are among the biggest investors in the Russian infrastructure projects. As condition for the financing they often require that internationally recognised model contracts,
1 Mr Nikiforov is an advocate (member of St. Petersburg Bar Association), and is an adjunct professor at the Law School (Civil law Department) of St. Petersburg State University. He often serves as a counsel in international arbitration proceedings and a local Russian counsel to western law firms. He has delivered expert opinions on Russian law in proceedings before US, German, Dutch and French courts. Formerly Mr Nikiforov worked with Gide, Loyrette, Nouel (St. Petersburg, Russia), Fulbright & Jaworski (USA), International Monetary Fund (Washington, DC).
2 Approved by a Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers of 26 December 1986 No. 1550.
3 Published in: Sobranie Aktov Prezidenta i Pravitelstva Rossiiskoi Federatsii
No. 34, 1993, art. 3189.
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