International Trade & Customs
The practice

The International Trade and Customs Practice has 20 years of experience in advising on trade agreements and customs matters (including intergovernmental ones) and has participated in over 100 trade investigations in the United States, the European Union, Russia, China, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and other countries.

Today, the practice brings together the leading experts in the Moscow, St. Petersburg and Minsk offices of the Firm.

The International Trade and Customs Practice provides a wide range of legal services on issues related to the organisation and support of import and export operations: starting from the structuring of relevant contractual relations and logistics in compliance with customs legislation to representing  importers/exporters in disputes with customs authorities, as well as representing companies and their employees in the course of administrative and criminal proceedings.

The members of our International Trade and Customs Practice are members of various business communities, working groups and expert councils under the Federal Customs Service of Russia, the Ministry of Finance of Russia, and the Eurasian Economic Commission, and as such actively promote initiatives to improve customs legislation and the EEU law.

We offer our clients a preventive customs compliance check by means of general assessment of companies' import/export operations. We also assess the possibility of benefiting from simplifications and preferences upon customs declaration.

This approach enables clients to manage and/or eliminate customs risks, resulting in both: minimising negative consequences for the company and enabling the company to establish efficiently functioning processes and centralised internal controls.


Among other things, we advise on matters including:

  • classification of goods for customs declaration purposes (including verification of the classification and provision of recommendations regarding the selection of the correct classification code); we assist in obtaining classification and preliminary classification decisions;
  • determination of customs value (including transactions between related parties, in situations of changes in the price of goods under the influence of various factors, on issues of additional charges (licence and other similar payments), "agency taxes" on such amounts, various types of services, intra-group payments, issues of dividends, etc.);
  • refund of overpaid customs duties and levies;
  • structuring of import and export transactions: assistance in choosing the optimal customs procedure; preparation of a contractual structure, considering the requirements of customs legislation; development of customs declaration approaches for a specific transaction model; structuring of deliveries when trading with EAEU countries in case of import of goods from a third country; consulting on the country of origin of goods;
  • representing companies in courts in disputes with customs authorities: appealing against decisions, actions and inaction of customs authorities in administrative and judicial proceedings; representing the company in cases of administrative offences in courts and higher customs authorities; representing companies before the EAEU court;
  • obtaining customs duty and import VAT benefits and customs duty’s preferences, support measures, etc. Retrospective reimbursement of extra paid customs payments; anti-dumping and countervailing duties, special duties issues;
  • anti-dumping and countervailing investigations and safeguard measures;
  • developing global customs strategies, including customs classification, customs valuation, prevention of violations of customs rules and procedures, and country of origin issues;
  • verifying compliance of trade operations with international principles and regulations, including export (re-export) controls and trade sanctions;
  • analysing and advising on WTO agreements, multilateral and bilateral treaties, including analysis of antitrust strategies;
  • drafting exclusive distribution agreement structures in "parallel import" issues, antitrust requirements, etc..;
  • customs controls related to intellectual property.

The key advantages of working with our International Trade and Customs Practice are:

  • comprehensive approach combined with in-depth expertise: providing not only consulting services in export-import operations, but also the customs litigation services;
  • use of the author's methodology of customs compliance check, which has been tested by more than 10 years of experience;
  • ability to ensure a constructive dialogue with the regulator through our active participation in working groups and expert councils under the Federal Customs Service of Russia, the Ministry of Finance of Russia and the EEC;
  • EPAM lawyers have substantial experience in working for the relevant regulators and have in-depth knowledge of the procedures under which they operate.
  • Pravo-300: Group 2
  • Kommersant: Foreign Economic Activity - Group 1.