It is currently critical for the management of companies engaged in foreign trade to ensure that the activities of employees and outside companies (customs representatives, carriers, outsource accounting companies and other intermediaries) in connection with foreign trade operations are in compliance with customs law.

Based on our practice, most problems are a result of mistaken interpretations of customs law, as well as poor communication between a company’s local and global management, between employees in various company departments and between company employees and intermediaries (customs representatives, carriers, outsource accounting companies and other intermediaries). 

Thus, companies may face new and increasing customs risks, often involving the failure to comply with customs law.

The distinctive feature of such customs risks is that the negative effect for a company is spread out. Furthermore, we note a trend toward tighter control and oversight of companies trading with foreign partners from the customs authorities, including:

  • an increase in the limitation period for administrative liability for customs offenses from one to two years
  • an increase in the limitation period for customs post control (including audits) from one to three years
  • a new department of the Russian Federal Customs Service for post control audit has been created and is successfully operating

Dentons offers customs compliance services – a comprehensive approach to assessing the full range of relevant processes in a company, including detailed analysis of the following:

  • identification of procedural and/or information gaps that could create risks of complete or partial noncompliance with customs law
  • selective testing of operations, including but not limited to an analysis of customs declarations and supporting documents to determine whether documents are correct and whether operations are in compliance with customs law 

All that interested companies need to do is complete the company-specific questionnaire.  Based on these data, a program of measures will be developed to identify actual and/or potential risks, as well as a control matrix appropriate to the information obtained. 

As a result of these procedures, we will assess the impact of these risks on the amounts of customs payments to be made and potential fines (in the event of violations entailing administrative liability).  The final document for the company will be a report describing the identified instances of noncompliance and ways to correct and/or improve the company’s handling of foreign trade operations.