Vladimir Tchikine

Partner, Customs and International Trade

Vladimir specialises in customs law and international trade. He advises on a broad range of customs regulatory issues, including customs value assessment and confirmation; documentary evidence of origin of goods; classification of goods; identification of the most advantageous customs treatment for imports and exports and on various foreign exchange regulation matters.

Vladimir possesses extensive experience of developing and providing legal support for industrial equipment imports into Russia; identification of customs risks stemming from import and export of goods. He also provides practical assistance in drafting the documents required for completion of customs formalities, including foreign trade contracts and commercial and accompanying documents.

He has positive experience of working with the customs authorities, including the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation, in relation to application of benefits to foreign investors and resolution of disputes relating to overpayment of customs duties and release from those duties.

He possesses extensive experience of successfully appealing against actions and decisions of the customs and foreign exchange control authorities both in courts and through administrative bodies.

Vladimir was named Trade Law Lawyer of the Year (Best Lawyers 2018 and 2020 Editions) and Customs Law Lawyer of the Year (Best Lawyers 2014-2015, 2019 Edition).

For several years running, The Legal 500 also highly recommends Vladimir Tchikine, while Chambers Europe 2017 notes: “Vladimir Tchikine is a notable customs expert, described as “one of the most prominent” lawyers in customs-related matters. He advises clients on regulatory as well as contentious issues”.

Track Record

Listed below are some of the projects that Vladimir has led or participated in:        

  • Successfully defended the interests of Fujikura Ltd. in an anti-dumping investigation of the imports into the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) of single-mode optical fibre originating from the USA and Japan.

  • Represented John Deere Agricultural Holdings Inc. in disputes with Customs over their inaction in respect of a claim for refund of overpaid customs payments.

  • Acted for the official agent of KRONES AG, a German Group, in Russia during court proceedings over classification of labelling equipment. The Customs authorities argued that the customs declaration contained unreliable information about the properties and features of the goods, this impacting on classification of the goods and serving as grounds for VAT exemption. The court held that the equipment declared by our client had been correctly classified and the decision of the Customs had been unlawful.

  • Successfully defended Alltech (one of the top ten animal health companies in the world) in arbitrazh (commercial) courts in a dispute with the Customs, proving that the customs classification of the goods was correct, thereby enabling the client to recover overpaid customs charges.

  • Advised LG Elelctronics Rus on EEU tariff binding in connection with Russia’s participation in the WTO. Our recommendations helped the client recover significant overpaid customs fees from the government.

  • Successfully represented VTS GROUP in litigation with the Customs over unlawful fiscal claims and classification of ventilation systems. As a result of our actions, the Customs returned to our client the funds they had recovered earlier and accepted our client’s position regarding the classification of equipment.

  • Acted for STS Logistics CJSC in a dispute with customs authorities over tariff classification of process equipment for Rosneft’s oil refinery complex.

  • Represented John Deere Agricultural Holding Limited, John Deere Rus LLC and Case New Holland in a special safeguard investigation by the Customs Union Commission in relation to combine grain harvesters and their power modules. Legal assistance in GR-support for the project.

  •  Advised an international automobile group on appealing against anti-dumping duties introduced by the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission for light commercial vehicles.

  • Defended international chemical companies in court challenging preliminary BTIs relating to classification of imported goods.

  • Defended a major home appliances manufacturer in court against the customs authorities refusing to refund overpaid customs duties and ensured such duties were refunded. It was proved that absence of confirmation of the imported goods purpose on the date of importation would not deprive the declarant of the right to have the excess customs duties refunded.

  • Advised and acted for a leading glass company and an electrical equipment manufacturer in relation to importation and certification of equipment.

  • Advised and acted for a major international producer of agricultural machinery in a project relating to manufacturing agricultural machinery in Russia.

  • Acted for a major European food producer in customs and court disputes to appeal against customs authority actions to enforce customs payments; ensured refunding of overcharged duties.

  • Successfully handled a litigation by the Russian arm of a major international oil services company against customs authority decisions on classifying goods and upwardly assessing customs payments; the court ruling on this case appeared as a welcome precedent for many foreign trade companies importing similar goods.

  • Acted for major pharm companies in public discussions of customs rates for certain medicines. Within the scope of the project, Vladimir managed to persuade the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission not to increase tariff rates for new medical products since this would have been inconsistent with Russia’s WTO obligations.

  • Successfully represented Sanofi, a global pharmaceutical company, in a landmark dispute relating to insulin component classification and obtained permission from the customs authorities for our client to process the components in Russia.