Goltsblat BLP and the Russian Corporate Counsel Association organised сonference "State Regulation of trade: Application of the Law on Trade in view of the established civil law and anti-monopoly standards and market practices".

04.03.2010

On 4 March 2010, Goltsblat BLP law firm and the Russian Corporate Counsel Association (RCCA) held a joint conference on STATE REGULATION OF TRADE: application of the Law on Trade in view of the established civil law and anti-monopoly standards and market practices.

Rigid rules and ambiguous wordings of the Federal Law “On the Fundamental Principles of State Regulation of Trade in the Russian Federation” have given rise to numerous disputes among food suppliers and retailers regarding its practical application. Even so, the Law is now applicable, along with the currently effective anti-monopoly and civil legislation, irrespective of the lack of coordination discovered between their provisions and standards.

During the conference, Goltsblat BLP associates discussed issues now emerging as the provisions of the Law begin to bite, and ways to remedy these. Input to the discussion was provided by A. Y. Tsarikovsky, Secretary of State and Deputy Head of the Russian FAS, M. V. Fedorenko, Deputy Head of Social Control and Trade Department of the Russian FAS, and chief legal officers of numerous suppliers and retailers, in particular Elizaveta Lisyukova, Head of Legal, Leroy Merlin; Sergey Koltunov, Legal Director, Russian Alcohol Group (ZAO); Mikhail Maskin, Legal Director, METRO Cash & Carry; Alexander Ryumin, Legal Director, X5 Retail Group; Svetlana Tsareva, Head of Legal, Unilever; and Margarita Danelia, Head of Legal, Kraft Foods Rus.

The conference focused on some of the key topics associated with the application of the new Law, in particular, pricing issues: remunerations, bonuses, rebates, service fees; taxation of bonuses and rebates, economic feasibility of the services; tax implications of breaching the Law and ways to minimise risk; developments in regulation of relations between suppliers and retailers: elimination discrimination and imposition of contractual terms, use of commission agreements and mixed contractual schemes; changes to be introduced in supply, dealership and distribution agreements; and also practical application of key anti-monopoly law provisions.

The conference was attended by over 130 CEOs and heads of legal departments, lawyers engaged in contract work and taxation, sales specialists and purchasing managers.

Andrey Goltsblat, Managing Partner, Goltsblat BLP: “Adoption of the Law on Trade in Russia was largely driven by the confrontation between suppliers and retailers. That is why the focus of our discussion today is on various restrictions imposed on retailers by civil law and anti-monopoly regulations governing their relations with suppliers. There is no doubt we need such a law, but, as I see it, the Government has not given enough attention to opinions voiced by either retailers or suppliers”.

Alexandra Nesterenko, RCCA President: “Developments in the regulatory framework for trade affect many RCCA members. We underpin the initiative to set up a working group on the basis of RCAA to elaborate the our Members’ position with regard to the practical application of the Law on Trade”.

Andrey Tsarikovsky, Secretary of State, Deputy Head of the Russian FAS: “You always need to ask the right question to get the right answer. This conference has, I believe, put some very right questions to the FAS, which we now have to answer”.

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