Vladislav Safonov

Senior Associate - Head of Trade Investigations (Russia)

Vladislav specialises in foreign trade law, including its customs aspects, WTO law and currency legislation. He also has extensive experience advising on industrial policy, import substitution and localisation of production, and has taken part several times in assessments about the regulatory impact of draft regulations affecting the interests of foreign trade participants.

Vladislav has acted in many projects challenging decisions/actions on the part of customs and other government authorities and has advised clients on a wide range of foreign trade matters.  He also focuses his practice on tariff classification projects and has a proven track record of challenging customs classification decisions through the courts. Some of Vladislav’s projects have been featured in The Legal 500.

Another facet of his work is advising clients on various aspects of Russia’s accession to the WTO (subsidies, customs and tariffs policy and non-tariff regulation, domestic market safeguards).

Vladislav has successfully participated in special safeguard and anti-dumping investigations by the Eurasian Economic Commission into imports from third countries.   

Track record

Some of Vladislav’s recent projects:

  • Acted for Fujikura Ltd. in relation to an anti-dumping investigation into imports into EEU of optical fibre originating from the USA and Japan.

  • Acted for SOT CJSC in a dispute with the Customs over tariff classification of process equipment for manufacturing pipeline bends.

  • Acted for major pharma companies in relation to the public hearings of customs tariff rates for certain medicines. The project resulted in convincing the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission to give up their plans to increase tariff rates for new medicine tariff lines since the Commission’s plans conflicted with Russia’s WTO commitments.

  • Advised major US telecom manufacturers on localisation of production in Russia.

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

  • 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.

  • Acted for John Deere Agricultural Holding Limited, John Deere Rus LLC and Case New Holland in a special safeguard investigation by the Customs Union Commission into imports of harvester-threshers and their units.

  • Acted for Kimberly-Clark LLC in court proceedings to challenge the Russian Customs’ unlawful charges of additional customs fees and classification of imported equipment.

  • Acted for Mareven Food Central LLC in disputes with the customs authorities arising out of flavour tariff classification.

  • Acted for Baker Hughes B.V. in criminal proceedings launched by the customs authorities over the transit of client’s goods in Russia and in the litigation challenging a BTI decision issued by the Federal Customs Service of Russia for one of its products.

  • Maintained a continuous customs clearance process for goods imported by Shell Neft during its reorganisation.

  • Assisted Guardian Steklo Ryazan LLC in obtaining a preliminary decision on the classification code for imported process equipment under the Customs Union Foreign Trade Goods Classification.

  • Acted for Teva LLC in challenging resolutions issued by the Russian currency control authority.

  • Acted for Danzas Messen GmbH and its clients in connection with administrative investigations into customs clearance and temporary import compliance issues.

  • Assisted with obtaining alcohol turnover and production licences for Russian subsidiaries of the French wine producer Castel Malesan.

  • Advised Russian and foreign companies on application of customs, currency and export control regulations and WTO law.

  • Advised foreign companies on localisation of production in Russia.