Pursuant to new regulations in Georgia, by June 1, 2023, certain companies must ensure compliance with the requirements relating to photo and video surveillance of their facilities. Particularly, on March 2, 2022, the Government of Georgia adopted a new No. 101 ordinance “on the approval of the technical features of automatic photo and/or video equipment and the regulations of their operation, as well as the list of buildings and structures on the outer perimeter of which automatic photo and/or video equipment must be placed/installed” (the “Ordinance”).
The Ordinance entered into force on the date of its signing, but the Ordinance gives the companies a transition period to ensure the placement/installation of a video surveillance system (The “System”) with specified requirements in accordance with the Ordinance.
The objective of this Ordinance is to prevent crime, protect public safety and property, and provide legal control of matters pertaining to the installation of the System.
To Whom Does the Ordinance Apply?
The Ordinance specifies the list of real properties on which automatic photo/video equipment must be installed.
The Ordinance requires the System to be implemented if:
(i) The activities conducted in the real property are, inter alia, wholesale trade, retail trade, accommodation facilities (including hotels and motels), food and beverage services (including restaurants, bars and so on); and
(ii) the taxable turnover of the mentioned activity subject to value added tax (“VAT”) exceeds 500,000 GEL over a continuous 12-month period.
Furthermore, regardless of the VAT-taxable turnover of the respective activity, a company is required to install the System if it conducts any of the following activities listed in the Ordinance, for instance: inpatient medical facility, cigar bar, market/fair, shopping center, an operator of lotteries, games of chance and other prize games, gas station or gas station complex, authorized pharmacy, microfinancing organization, currency exchange operator, lending entity, general educational institution, etc.
Installation of the Surveillance System
The Ordinance requires at least two video cameras to be installed on the outside of the property at the main entrance, but if the property has a spare entrance, one video camera must also be installed at each spare entrance.
The video cameras must be strategically positioned so that anyone entering or leaving the area may be identified.
Moreover, the owner of the real property is obligated to place an adequate warning notice in a visible area in accordance with the legislation of Georgia.
The Surveillance System’s compliance with the regulations will be checked and approved by a representative authority, by the 112 Public Safety Command Center (the “Center”). Any company that is required to install the Surveillance System must also register on the following portal: www.camera.mia.gov.ge (the “Portal”).
The Company shall submit an application to the Center through the Portal. Upon submission, the act of installation (the “Act”) certifying the conformity of the installed System with the requirements of the Ordinance is issued.
Furthermore, the Center has the authority to check and verify by its own decision or by a statement submitted by a regulatory body, whether the System is installed in compliance with the applicable law, at any time.
Information Gained from the System
Pursuant to the Ordinance, the owner of the property is obligated to make continuous and uninterrupted video recordings with the System. The information obtained as a result of the recording, along with other relevant records, for not less than 30 days and not more than 6 months, must be stored in a secure location and presented to the Center upon justifiable request.
It is essential to emphasize that saving, storing, or processing the gained information shall be done in compliance with the rules regarding the protection of personal data.
Non-compliance of the System with the Ordinance is an administrative offense, with the consequence that a person will be issued a warning. Failure to resolve the issue within 30 days after getting the notice is also an administrative offense punishable by a fine. The fine is 3,000 GEL at the time of publishing this article.
Overall, the new Ordinance stipulates new obligations for the business sector, and each company to whom the Ordinance applies is obligated to install the System no later than 1 June, 2023.