If your company does business or has a business presence in Russia, then you may be familiar with Order No. 558 which sets out a list of storage periods for recordkeeping. On December 20, 2019, the Ministry of Justice of Russia approved Order No. 236, Updating the List of Typical Administrative Archival Documents Generated in the Course of Activities of State Bodies, Local Governments and Organizations, With an Indication of Their Storage Time (hereinafter “Archives Order”) which replaces Order No. 558.

If you are not familiar with the Russian Archives Order, it is a “legal act establishing the storage periods for typical administrative archival documents generated in the course of organizations’ activities…taking into account the practical tasks of document storage and their historical value.” The Order contains several long retention periods for typically minimal retention periods for Organizations operating in Russia. For example, organizations are required to keep payroll information for 50 to 75 years, occupational health and safety records for 45 to 75 years, and where there is loss of life in an industrial accident, organizations must keep those records 45 years.

Basically, this Order is a guide as to which records need to be retained for many organizations, and for how long they should be keeping them. It can be an overwhelming task to go through the large document and its thousands of retentions. This blog aims to sort through what changes have been made and provides language from the law to help you determine if the changes apply to your organization.

Who Does the Russian Archives Order Apply to?

Order No. 237 of the Federal Archival Agency, Instructions for Use of the List, dated 20.12.2019 notes the following about the term “Organizations”:

• “The list includes the types of documents generated during the documentation of the same type (common to most organizations) managerial functions performed by organizations regardless of their organizational and legal forms and forms of ownership.”

• “The terms of temporary storage of documents (1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 6 years, 10 years, 15 years, 45 years, 50 years and 75 years) established by the List must be respected by all organizations regardless of their organizational and legal forms of ownership”.

Alternatively, Order N 1293-p dated June 27, 2018 as amended April, 2020, On Approval of the List of Organizations Subordinate to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation , lists several different types of organizations and institutions that could be included in that term of “Organizations.”

What Was Changed in the New Order?

Order No. 236 of 2019, adds new documents to be retained, and increases and decreases retention periods for organizations. Below are a few examples of retention period changes:


• Retention periods for documents that have increased: Books, record cards, vacation databases stored, for 5 years, previously 3 years;

• Retention periods for documents that have decreased: Vacation schedules, store for 1 year, previously 3 years; Documents to improve working conditions and labor protection, store for 5 years, previously permanently; Documents on industrial accidents, accident records, store for 45 years, previously permanently.

• Retention period for personnel records generated before January 1, 2003, store for 75 years, if after January 1, 2003, store for 50 years.


• Retention periods for documents that have increased: Invoices store for 5 years, previously 4 years; Correspondence with tax authorities, store for 6 years, previously 5 years.

• Retention periods for documents that have decreased: Registers of information on personal income store for 5 years, previously 75 years; Accounting documents for income and expenses, store for 5 years, previously constantly.

This blog highlights just a few of the many changes that Order No. 236 is requiring in 2020. It looks like a new trend in counties that have these large Archive Orders to decrease larger retention periods and slightly increase shorter retention periods. Russia, for example, now requires organizations to keep documents on industrial accidents for 45 years, rather than its previous requirement to keep them permanently. Similarly, Poland repealed a 50-year pay-roll retention requirement applicable to employers from its Archive Act in 2019.

Depending on your business presence in Russia, the Archives Order could be something you should consider in implementing in your records retention program. If you are unsure of what changes apply to your business, Zasio’s consulting team can guide you through the new changes and how they can be implemented. Contact Zasio


Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is to provide general education on Information Governance topics. The statements are informational only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the application of the law to your business activities, you should seek the advice of your legal counsel.

Author: Heather Houle, CRA

Author: Heather Houle, CRA

Senior Research Analyst / Certified Paralegal