Customs and foreign trade regulation
Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers advised clients on a number of matters related to customs regulation, among them: (i) customs benefits applied in special economic zones, in free warehouses and in territories of advanced social and economic development; (ii) customs consequences of applying agency (commission-based) models for supplies of goods, and the use of consignment and leasing agreements; (iii) the possibility to import and export commercial cargo by branch offices of foreign companies, and the import of goods used as contribution to the issued capital of a foreign investor.
Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers successfully represented companies providing services in the area of mineral production. When contesting the decisions of the Sakhalin customs authorities regarding the application of customs duties for the contractor with regard to the goods imported for the Sakhalin-2 PSA, our lawyers managed build positive case law for the importer which was subsequently applied to the Sakhalin-1 PSA as well. Moreover, the practice’s lawyers challenged in a commercial (‘arbitration’) court a decision of the customs authority disallowing the application of a customs benefit with regard to equipment imported as contribution to the issued capital. Owing to the efforts of our lawyers the client managed to avoid the need to pay additionally accrued duties in the amount of RUB 20 million.
Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers developed the optimal scenario to import equipment taking into consideration its specific features, the possibility to ship it in assembled form, and contractual relations between the clients and their suppliers of equipment. Our experts also developed a scenario to import the equipment in parts and components and set up a schedule for supplies of such parts. In order to develop a fitting import model, the following factors also had to be taken in account: (i) assigning CCFT codes to the imported equipment and its parts, (ii) the possibility to apply zero import duties and VAT rates to production equipment manufactured outside Russia, (iii) whether it was necessary to obtain certificates of conformity for the equipment and its parts and components as well as special aspects of calculating their customs value, and (iv) whether it was possible to repair or recycle conditionally released equipment as well as the customs requirements when doing so.
Our lawyers provided legal assistance to a leading global car manufacturer in the context of building a car assembly plant in St Petersburg. The project involved negotiations with the representatives of regional state authorities on issues related to obtaining the status of a strategic investor, and providing support to the client in negotiations with the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the Federal Customs Service, and other bodies. In addition, our lawyers provided support to the client when entering into an investment agreement, selecting a land plot, and provided advice on employment matters when putting the completed plant into operation.