Dentons in Almaty look at changes to the Law on Planning and Construction

Within the framework of the comprehensive amendments to 119 laws introduced by the Law on Improvement of the Business Environment1, the following changes to the Law on Planning and Construction Activities were made:

Improvements in the process of expert examination

• The expert examination of constructed facilities required prior to commissioning will now distinguish between those projects which will be subject to state examination, and those which may be examination by accredited expert organizations.

• The examination must be performed by state experts:
- for projects financed through state investments; and
- for potentially hazardous industrial facilities and constructions, as well as technically and (or) technologically advanced facilities and ancillary infrastructure financed through private investments.

• The mandatory examination of all other facilities may be carried out by accredited expert organizations.

• A register of accredited expert organizations and certified experts who will be authorized to conduct such expert examinations will be maintained by local executive bodies.

Improvements in the facility commissioning process

On January 1, 2016 significant amendments to reduce the level of government participation in the process of commissioning of facilities will be enacted.

• In brief, the commissioning process will be performed by the client jointly with his contractors/consultants. As a result, the primary responsibility for ensuring the safety of constructed facilities is transferred to the client/owner and his contractors/consultants.

The revised commissioning process is as follows:

1. The contractor notifies the client in writing that the facility is ready to be commissioned;

2. The contractor and technical and architectural supervision specialists (the “consultants”) provide the client with a declaration of conformity and quality report and confirm that the works are compliant with the design;

3. On the basis of the above documents, the client verifies the as-built documentation as to its completeness, examines and commissions the facility under a facility commissioning certificate;

4. The facility commissioning certificate is signed by the client, the contractor (general contractor) and consultants;

5. The facility commissioning certificate is registered with the architectural and town-planning department of local executive bodies;

6. Finally, the facility commissioning certificate is registered within the justice authority.

Amendments to the qualification requirements to obtain a license for design, construction and installation works

• From December 9, 2014 a simplified qualification verification procedure was established for a category I licensee which has a foreign participant. An applicant for a category I licensee that has both a foreign participant and a resident of the Republic of Kazakhstan participant (which owns a 50% of shares and a category I license) is now exempt from the following qualification requirements:

- work experience;
- at least ten completed facilities;
- at least five positive feedback from clients of the completed facilities.

• The amendments also resolve the previously open question of whether the licensee may refer to the experience gained under a previously terminated license. In the case of termination of category I and category II license for design, construction and installation works, the experience gained under the terminated license shall be disregarded when considering an application for a new license. However, the same does not apply in relation to the termination of a category III license.