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THE LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA CONCERNING ARCHIVE KEEPING

Accepted 8 June, 2004

Chapter 1
General Provisions

Paragraph 1. The Subject of Law Adjustment.
The present law adjusts legal relations concerning the supplementation, registration, maintenance and use of archive documents collection (without taking into account the property right) as well as archive keeping.

Paragraph 2. The Law of RA Concerning Archive Keeping
1) The law of RA concerning archive keeping consists of the Constitution of RA, the RA law about “Bases of Cultural Legislation”, the present law, other laws and legal acts and international contracts of RA.
2) If rules defined due to international contracts of RA are other than those anticipated by the present law, then the rules of international contracts are applied.

Paragraph 3. The main notions used in the law
The following main notions are used in the present law:
1) archive keeping is the activity of state and local self-managing bodies, legal and natural persons in the sphere of registration, supplementation, maintenance and use of archive collections and other documents
2) archive document is a documentary information registered on a material holder which allows to identify it, which is subject of maintenance and has historical-cultural and documentary value to the state and society
3) other archive documents are those out of archive collections of RA, and those maintained within time limits defined by the RA legislation
4) documents concerning the personnel are archive documents concerning the information of period of service, payment and working activities of citizens during the period of work with the employer
5) archive documents containing information about one’s personal and family secrets are archive documents containing information about the state of health, personal and family relations, birth, adoption, marriage and divorce circumstances, personal data, personal correspondence, notary dealings, property rights, incomes of a natural person
6) particularly valuable document is a historical-cultural or scientific value, an  archive document of special importance to the state and the society for which the RA government defines specific conditions for its registration, maintenance and usage.
7) rare document is a particularly valuable document which is unique for the information it gives or for its appearance
8) archive collection of the RA is a whole of archive documents present in the RA which are historically formed and permanently supplemented, which is an indivisible consistent of the RA cultural heritage and information supplies and is a subject of permanent maintenance
9) archive collection document of the RA is an archive document which reflects the material and spiritual life of the Armenian, has scientific-historical, social, economic political and cultural importance, is valued by expert examinations, is registered by the state and is under permanent preservation
10) archive is a structural subdivision of a corporate body or an organization which implements the supplementation, registration, maintenance and use of archive documents
11) personnel archive is a structural subdivision of state bodies, state managing or local self-managing bodies, a state institution or an organization which implements the supplementation, registration, maintenance and use of archive documents before passing them to state or community archive for permanent maintenance
12) state archive is a state non-profit organization created by the state with the aim of supplementation, registration, maintenance and use of the RA archive documents and other archive documents as well as for the implementation of scientific, cultural and other activities defined by the RA
13) community archive is a community non-profit organization created by the community with the aim of supplementation, registration, maintenance and use of the RA archive collection and other archive documents
14) permanent maintenance of archive documents is the preservation of archive documents without any maintenance time limit
15) provisional maintenance of archive documents is the maintenance of archive documents within time limits defined by the RA legislation
16) deposit maintenance of the RA archive collection documents is the maintenance of the RA archive collection documents implemented by the state managing bodies, state institutions and organizations as defined by the RA government
17) bailment maintenance of archive documents is maintenance of archive documents in state or community archives together with their owners as defined by a consequent contract within time limits and conditions
18) archive document owners – the RA, community of the RA, legal body or natural person who has the right to use, implement and manage archive documents
19) archive document user is a state or local self-managing body, legal or natural person who, as defined, uses archive documents to gain and use the necessary information
20) archive supplementation source – state or local self-managing body, legal or natural person which passes archive documents to state or community archives or passes other information to the material holder
21) information searching means – a whole of documents created with the aim of providing information about contents of archive documents and of their search
22) register is a state registration main document which provides registration of rare documents with brief description of their specific signs and searching data

Chapter 2
Jurisdiction of State Managing Bodies and Local Self-Managing Bodies in the Sphere of Archive Keeping

Paragraph 4. Jurisdiction of the RA government in the sphere of archive keeping
the RA government:
1) provides implementation of state politics in the sphere of archive keeping
2) defines united precepts and rules of organizing the supplementation, registration, maintenance and use of the RA archive collection and other archive documents implemented by the state and local self-managing bodies, state institutions and organizations, state and community archives, including:
- state supplementation order of the RA archive collection
- valuation order of archive documents through expert examination and including them into archive collections
- order of recognition of documents as particularly valuable and rare, their registration, creation of insuring copies and their maintenance
- order of finance maintaining archive collection of the RA
- model schedule of archive documents with the note of maintenance provision
- deposit maintenance order of the RA archive collection and the list of state bodies, state institutions and organizations which implement the deposit maintenance

Paragraph 5. Jurisdiction of State Managing Body in the Sphere of Archive Keeping Authorized by the RA Government
State managing body in the sphere of archive keeping authorized by the RA government (henceforth authorized body)
1) defines:
- maintenance order of the RA archive collection documents viewed as state property
- usage order of the RA archive collection documents viewed as state property
- order of regulation of archive documents and passing them to state archives
- model rules of expert committees of state bodies, state institutions and organizations
2) organizes the supplementation, registration, maintenance and use of the RA archive documents
3) provides implementation of provisional export and import of the RA archive collection documents as defined by the law

Paragraph 6. Jurisdiction of Local Self-Managing Bodies in the Sphere of Archive Keeping
1. Community council
1) makes decisions about creation, reorganization or dissolution of community archive
2) defines the convey of property rights of archive documents viewed as community property into state property
2. Community manager
1) represents the project of creation, reorganization or dissolution of community archive to the affirmation of the council
2) provides supplementation, registration, maintenance and use of archive documents of community archive or other community organizations
3. Financial and material or technical provide is implemented by means of community budget

Chapter 3
Archive Creation

Paragraph 7. Archive Creation
1) State and community archives are created as defined by the RA legislation
2) State bodies, state managing and local self-managing bodies, state institutions and organizations are obliged to create personnel archives with the aim of supplementation, registration, maintenance and use of archive documents arisen during their working period before passing them to state or community archives for permanent maintenance
3) Other legal persons are responsible for the creation of archives, for maintenance of archive documents arisen during their working period

Chapter 4
Archive Collection of the RA

Paragraph 8. Contents of Archive Collection of the RA
Archive collection of the RA includes archive documents, valued by expert examination, which are always in the territory of the RA, despite their source, time and way of creation, material holder, maintenance place and property right, including:
- documents of historical-cultural value
- legal acts
- clerical documents
- documents containing results of scientific-investigatory and technological activity
- city-building documents
- cine-photo-phono documents
- electronical and distance measuring documents
- manuscripts, pictures, projects, correspondence, diaries, memoirs
- copies with the right of original archive documents

Paragraph 9. Inclusion of Archive Documents to the RA Archive Collection
1. Documents are included in the RA archive collections based on expert examination, within maintenance time limits as defined by the RA government, according to the model schedule of archive documents
2. All the documents on any material holder viewed as state and community property are valued by expert examination
3. Documents viewed as property of legal or natural persons are included in the RA archive collection with the agreement of the owners, after the expert examination evaluation, and are executed based upon contract signed by the owner with state or community archives which anticipates obligations of parties concerning registration, maintenance and use of documents included in the RA archive collection
4. Expert examination evaluation of documents viewed as property of legal and natural persons with the agreement of the owners is implemented by state or community archives
5. Destruction of documents is prohibited unless they are valued by expert examination

Paragraph 10. Archive Documents Viewed as State Property
The state property are:
1) documents of historical-cultural value
2) archive documents of state bodies, state institutions and organizations
3) archive documents preserved in state archives
4) archive documents of bodies and organizations of Communist party of the former Soviet Union and United Lenin Communist Youth Union of the Socialistic Republic of Soviet Armenia
5) archive documents of local self-managing bodies, NOs and unions, trade unions, legal and natural persons, passed to the state as property according to the RA legislation

Paragraph 11. Archive Documents Viewed as Community Property
Community property are:
1) archive documents of local self-managing bodies, community organizations
2) archive documents of legal and natural persons passed to the community as property according to the RA legislation

Paragraph 12. Archive Documents Viewed as Property of Legal or Natural Persons
Archive documents are viewed as property of legal or natural persons in case they are created or legally received by legal or natural persons

Paragraph 13. Convey of Property Right of Archive Documents
1. Documents viewed as property of state or community are not subject of privatization, cannot be traded exchanged, gifted as well as subject of other dealing which may bring to their alienation if not as defined by the law
2. In case of privatization of state or community organizations documents arisen during their working period (including personnel archives) remain property of the RA or the community
3. Documents viewed as property of legal or natural persons can be alienated or passed to one another in order of all-embracing succession
4. Documents passed to bailment of state and community archives are disposed as defined by the bailment contract (unless the owner has taken them back) after the expiry of bailment time limit defined by the contract, and after the bailee presents a written information to the bailer of the expiry of time limit and document return
Paragraph 14. Peculiarities of Civil Circulation of Documents Included in the RA Archive Collection and Viewed as Property of Legal and Natural Persons
1. In case of passing the property right of documents included in the RA archive collection, viewed as property of legal and natural persons, to any other person, the contract obligations defined by the 3rd part of paragraph 9 of the present law pass to the new owner.
2. If according to the rule owners of particularly rare documents included in the RA archive collection don’t provide proper maintenance which threatens with loss of their value, then based on lawsuit of an authorized body those documents can be taken from the owner with the court judgment as defined by the RA Civil Code

Chapter 5
Maintenance and Registration of Archive Documents

Paragraph 15. Maintenance of the RA Archive Collection Documents
1. Maintenance of documents viewed as state property of the RA archive collection is implemented as follows:
1) permanent maintenance in state archives
2) provisional maintenance before passing them to permanent maintenance in archives of state bodies, personnel archives of state institutions and organizations during time limits as defined by the present law
2. Maintenance of documents viewed as property of community of the RA archive collection is implemented as follows:
1) permanent maintenance in community archives
2) provisional maintenance in local self-managing bodies, community organizations within time limits as defined by the present law
3. Documents of the RA archive collection viewed as property of legal and natural persons are maintained by owners as defined by the present law or can be passed to archives to maintain, based upon a contract

Paragraph 16. State registration of the RA archive collection documents
1. Documents included in the RA archive collection are subject of state registration despite property rights towards them and their place of maintenance
2. Rare documents of the RA archive collection are registered also in the special state register of rare documents of the RA archive collection
3. The RA archive collection documents which are maintained in state and community archives are attached with the right of non-provisional and non-recovery usage

Chapter 6
Supplementation of Archive Documents

Paragraph 17. Sources of Supplementation of State and Community Archives of Armenia
1) The RA state and local self-managing bodies, state institutions and organizations which have documents subject to the RA archive collection and other archive documents subject to the RA archive collection and other archive documents as a result of their activity, are supplementation sources of state and community archives
2) State and community archives draw up their own list of supplementation sources
3) Legal and natural persons are viewed as supplementation sources of state and community archives based upon a contract

Paragraph 18. Passing of Documents of the RA Archive Collection to Permanent Maintenance
1. After expiry of provisional maintenance time limits of the RA archive collection documents viewed as property of the state and community they are passed to permanent maintenance to state and community archives with regulated information searching means
2. With the aim of supplementation of the RA archive collection documents viewed as property of legal and natural persons, the passing to state and community archives is implemented based upon contracts

Paragraph 19. Provisions of Maintenance of the RA Archive Collection Documents (before passing them to permanent maintenance)
Maximum provisions for the maintenance of the RA archive collection documents (before passing them to permanent maintenance) are:
1) 10 years for documents of the RA President, legislative, executive, jurisdictional bodies, as well as other bodies implementing state governing dealings, which are created as defined by the law, documents of state organizations
2) 5 tears for documents of local self-managing bodies and community organizations
3) for separate kinds of archive documents included in the RA archive collection as defined
- 100 years for civil acts registrations
- 10 years for notary dealings registrations
- 100 years for register-books and cadastre dealings of real estate state cadastre bodies
- 75 years for economic registers
- 20 years for realized project documents of capital construction
- 20 years for patented technological and experimental-constructional documents
- 15 years for scientific investigatory and patent documents
- 5 years for cine-photo documents created with the state support
- 3 years for video-phono documents created with the state support

Paragraph 20. Obligations of the RA State and Local Self-Managing Bodies, Legal Persons in the Sphere of Supplementation of State and Community Archives
1. The RA state bodies, state institutions and organizations concordant with authorized body, process and assign lists of provisions of maintenance of documents arisen during their activity
2. The RA state and local self-managing bodies, state and community organizations provide the regulation, preparation of the documents included in the RA archive collection and pass them to state or community archives for permanent maintenance
3. In case of dissolution of state and local self-managing bodies, state and community organizations, documents included in the RA archive collection (including personnel documents) are passed to state or community archives
4. In case of privatization of state or community organizations, documents included in the RA archive collection (including personnel documents) are passed to state or community archives
5. In case of dissolution of other legal persons the dissolution commission organizes the separation and passes to state or community archives documents concerning personnel as result of their activity
6. In case of dissolution of entrepreneurs the entrepreneur organizes the separation of documents concerning his personnel and passes them to state or community archive
7. In case of dissolution of bankrupt declared organization the administrator of bankrupts dealings organizes the separation of archive documents concerning personnel as result of their activity and passes them to state or community archives.

Chapter 7
Availability and Usage of Archive Documents

Paragraph 21. Availability of Archive Documents
1. The archive document user has the right to search and to receive archive documents from state and community archives to study, except cases defined by the RA legislation
2. In state and community archives the archive document user is provided with availability of archive documents by having under his disposal information-searching means and information about them. as well as with copies or originals of necessary documents

Paragraph 22. Limitations of Availability of Archive Documents
1. Availability of archive documents can be limited for archive document users according to resolutions of the present law, the RA legislation, the RA international obligations as well as according to decisions of owners of archive documents viewed as property of legal and natural persons
2. Availability of archive documents is limited despite their property rights in case of information containing state and service and other secrets preserved by the law as well as originals of rare and particularly valuable documents of the RA archive collection, also in case of archive documents of non-satisfactory state. Availability limitations of archive documents containing state and service and other secrets preserved by the law are abolished as defined by the law
3. Availability of archive documents containing personal and family secrets is limited for 100 years since their creation if not so assigned by the law. Archive documents containing personal and family secrets can become available sooner than 100 years since their creation based on a person’s or, after his death, his heir’s written permission or based on court judgment.

Paragraph 23. Usage of Archive Documents
1. The archive document user has the right to use, to pass and to spread information contained in archive documents under his disposal in any legal ways and means except cases limited by the RA legislation
2. State and community archives provide the archive document user with necessary conditions to search and study archive documents free of charge.
3. State and local self-managing bodies, state institutions and organizations, legal and natural persons are obliged to provide the archive document user with archive references concerning social security of citizens or copies of archive documents free of charge in case they have the consequent archive documents
4. State and community archives as well as state or community organizations can provide the archive document user with paid information services, sign contracts with him for the trade use of archive documents and their information-searching means
5. State and community archives provide state and local self-managing bodies with necessary archive information and copies of archive documents for implementation of authorities

Chapter 8
Responsibility for Violation of the RA Legislation Concerning Archive Keeping

Paragraph 24. Responsibility for violation of the RA legislation concerning archive keeping.
Legal and natural bodies incur liability for the violation of the RA legislation concerning archive keeping.

Chapter 9
International Cooperation

Paragraph 25. International Cooperation in the Sphere of Archive Keeping
State and local self-managing bodies, state and community archives as well as legal and natural persons viewed as owners of archive documents may participate in international cooperation and activity of international organizations, discussions concerning archive keeping and meetings, international information exchange, within limits of their competence.

Paragraph 26. Export and Import of Archive Documents
1. Archive collection documents are not subject of export out the territory of RA
2. The provisional export out of the RA territory and import into the RA territory of the RA archive collection documents viewed as property of the state and community, legal and natural persons are regulated by the law.
3. Only legally received archive documents are allowed to import to the RA territory.

Paragraph 27. Export and Import of Copies of Archive Documents
Export and Import of any copies of archive documents received legally on any material holder is implemented without any limitations, except copies of such archive documents usage availability of of which is limited by the law.

Chapter 10
Final Provisions
Paragraph 28. Final Provisions
The present law comes into force 3 months after official publication.
As soon as the present law comes into force, abolish the RA law “of  the state archive fond of Armenia” (December 12, 1997).

President of the RA          R. Kocharyan


 



 



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