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12
August

Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Cyprus will be preserved

As it became known earlier, during the negotiations Cyprus agreed to the conditions of Russia to amend the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation in terms of increasing the withholding tax to 15% in respect of dividends and interest. All of us are now waiting for the new reality of the Cyprus offshore. The same goes for Malta and Luxembourg. According to information from Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Sazanov, these countries "in general" agreed to the conditions proposed by Russia to revise tax agreements.

Who will be next in line? Find the answer in a brief analysis by VEGAS LEX.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Yuriy Ivanov, Head of Tax practice
25
May

SPIC 2.0: Making the First Move

The Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia declared that from May 25 to June 5, 2020 investors may apply for including their technologies into the list of high technologies. This list is the most important element required for the new special investment contract (SPIC) model to function.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Maxim Grigoryev, Partner, Head of Southern directorate, Head of special projects
Alexandra Vasyukhnova, Partner, Head of Technology and Investment group
Natalia Abtseshko, Head of International projects group
Artem Gasparyan, Associate of Southern directorate
13
August

SPIC 2.0: Mechanism for development of innovations and introduction of modern technologies

On 2 August 2019, the President of the Russian Federation signed a legislative package concerning significant reforms for the mechanism of special investment contracts. Amendments refer to legal regulation in industrial policy and affect tax and fiscal legislation.

In this review, VEGAS LEX experts have analyzed changes, goals and prospects of the updated SPIC mechanism.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Maxim Grigoryev, Partner, Head of Southern directorate, Head of special projects
Alexandra Vasyukhnova, Partner, Head of Technology and Investment group
Natalia Abtseshko, Head of International projects group
Artem Gasparyan, Associate of Southern directorate
22
September

Preferences for Russian goods during procurement, according to law No. 223-FZ

On 16 September 2016, the Russian Government adopted Decree No. 925 "On the priority of goods of Russian origin, works and services carried out or rendered by Russian entities in relation to goods originating from a foreign country, works and services carried out or rendered by foreign entities". This decree states the priority be given to Russian goods / Russian entities during procurement, carried out under the Federal Law of 18 July 2011 No. 223-FZ "On procurement of goods, works and services from certain kinds of legal entities". The decree shall enter into force on 1 January 2017.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
21
July

Tightening of administrative responsibility for violation of legislation on the contract system

Before its spring session ended, the State Duma of the Russian Federation adopted Federal Law dated 3 July 2016 No. 318-FZ “On Amendments to the RF Administrative Offences Code”. This law increased the number of actions that can be considered as administrative offenses, involving the violation of procurement procedures, as established by the legislation on the contract system, as well as the tightening of administrative responsibility for specific violations.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Ksenia Podguzova, Senior Associate of Commercial group
24
June

Overturning the enforcement of a judgment: is it possible to collect interest?

According to Part 1 of Article 325 of the Arbitration Procedure Code, if the enforcement of an act is repealed, in whole or in part, and a new judicial act adopted, on a full or partial denial of the claim, or the claim is left without consideration, or the proceedings were terminated, the defendant is returned all that was recovered from him in favour of the plaintiff on the repealed, or modified in the relevant part, judicial act. In the application of the rule of law, courts have said there were issues related to the accrual of interest for the use of funds in the case when these funds were transferred to the claimant, after the entry into force of the judicial act, but later the judicial act was abolished through a cassation appeal. Answers to these questions were given by the court when resolving a particular dispute.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Evgeniy Rodin, Partner, Head of Energy practice
29
April

FAS will not pay interest on illegal fine

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has confirmed that current legislation does not provide for the possibility of reimbursing interest on borrowed funds used to pay administrative fines unlawfully levied by the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Ksenia Podguzova, Senior Associate of Commercial group
13
April

Changes to the APC RF were made at the initiative of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation

On 29 October 2014, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation introduced to the State Duma a draft federal bill No. 638178-6 “On Amendments to the Arbitration Procedure Code of the Russian Federation and in the second part of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation”. The bill not only makes significant changes to the existing provisions of the Arbitration Procedure Code, but also offers an innovation, previously unknown in arbitration procedural law, the institute of summary procedure.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Evgeniy Rodin, Partner, Head of Energy practice
18
December

Review of practice: Decisions of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation on the Protection of Competition in 2015

We are nearing the end of 2015. Over the past year, the Supreme Court ruled on over 400 judicial acts related to violations of antitrust laws, and bringing companies to administrative responsibility for such violations. Some of the acts, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation supported and confirmed by already existing legal positions, while for others, it formulated new approaches to certain issues of antitrust legislation. This research report consists of a description of the most significant and interesting, in our opinion, decisions made by the Supreme Court in 2015.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Ksenia Podguzova, Senior Associate of Commercial group
24
November

Unfair competition: precedents of 2014–2015

The Federal Law dated 05.10.2015 No. 275-FZ “On Amendments to the Federal Law – On Protection of Competition, and certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation”, better known as the “fourth antimonopoly package”, highlighted the issues of unfair competition in a separate chapter. This chapter contains a more detailed description of the forms of unfair competition, based on previous law enforcement practice of bringing legal entities to accountability for such violations. In this regard, we have analyzed court practice on the question of unfair competition for the years 2014–2015. This review presents the most interesting and principle decisions that can set the direction of future court practice on unfair competition.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Alexandra Vasyukhnova, Partner, Head of Technology and Investment group
4
August

Russia to initiate termination of double tax treaty with Cyprus

In early April, Russia sent a letter offering to amend the text of the agreement on avoidance of double taxation (DTT) by increasing tax rates in terms of taxable dividends and interest payments to Cyprus. However, after almost four months of negotiations, the parties failed to reach a consensus.

According to the information published by the Russian Ministry of Finance, with due regard to close economic and historical ties between the two states, the Russian party formulated options for a compromise and offered to swiftly hold (the ongoing week) face-to-face negotiations in Cyprus but received a refusal. Consequently, Russia’s Ministry of Finance announced that it would initiate denunciation of the DTT.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Yuriy Ivanov, Head of Tax practice
6
March

Antitrust Compliance Law Adopted

On March 1, 2020, the President of the Russian Federation signed a law amending the Law on the Protection of Competition and at the level of federal legislation defines the concept of antitrust compliance and the basic requirements for it.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Ksenia Podguzova, Senior Associate of Commercial group
Alina Zaitseva, Associate of Commercial group
24
April

Differentiation of liability for anti-competitive agreements

Federal Law No. 135-FZ dated July 26th, 2006 and entitled “On protecting competition” established several types of anti-competitive agreements that are prohibited (cartels, vertical agreements, and other agreements). These varieties differ significantly from each other in terms of the degree of their negative impact on competition and the threat they present for the public. However, until just now the measures for administrative enforcement that could be taken with people who signed any one of these anti-competitive agreements did not differ from each other in any way.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Alexandra Vasyukhnova, Partner, Head of Technology and Investment group
8
August

Long-term procurement arrangements in the pharmaceutical sector: new options or additional risks?

From 1 September 2016, investors under special investment contracts (SPICs), as well as regional investors, may benefit from additional preferences during the procurement of various types of product for state and municipal needs. Whether these preferences will create long-term procurement options in the pharmaceutical sector is one of the key questions for pharmaceutical companies planning to invest in localisation in Russia.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Anastasia Cheredova, Head of Special Projects group
21
July

Moving unitary enterprises to the contract system

In the final days of the spring session of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, an important law was passed aimed at strengthening control over procurement by state and municipal unitary enterprises. In this research report, we examine the key provisions of that legislation and its legal consequences for unitary enterprises.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Ksenia Podguzova, Senior Associate of Commercial group
17
May

Legal or contractual penalty – dispute resolved by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation

The Civil Code establishes two types of penalties for untimely performance of obligations – contractual and legal.In practice, there appear disputes related to the different interpretations of the legality of reducing the size of legal penalties, agreed upon by parties to an agreement. According to one position, such a reduction is possible because of the discretionary nature of civil legislation. The second opinion holds that the legal penalty is a minimum amount due for the delay in the fulfilment of obligation, and therefore its reduction is not possible. Recently, the Supreme Court has eliminated the legal uncertainty in this matter when considering a specific dispute.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Evgeniy Rodin, Partner, Head of Energy practice
19
April

The Supreme Court is against illegal tax control over price levels

On 11 April 2016, the Judicial Chamber on Economic Disputes of the Supreme Court issued a ruling on Case No. A63-11506/14, and with that, sided with the taxpayer in a dispute with the tax authorities. The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation stated that the territorial tax authorities, within cameral and field tax audits, are not allowed to control the market price levels in transactions between related parties.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Yuriy Ivanov, Head of Tax practice
16
February

Retail Generation: guaranteeing supplier should pay for electricity not demanded by buyers

On the right of retail electric power producers to recover from guaranteeing suppliers of unjust enrichment in the form of revenues received by the network from “surplus” electricity.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Evgeniy Rodin, Partner, Head of Energy practice
Yuriy Tatarinov, Counsel, Energy Practice
8
December

Unfair competition: discrediting, misleading, and incorrect comparison

Coming into force on 05 January 2016 will be a number of significant changes to the Federal Law of 26 July 2006 No 135-FZ “On Protection of Competition”, also known as the “fourth antimonopoly package”. Among the amendments was a change to the existing Article 14 of the Law on Protection of Competition – by the addition of the new Chapter 2.1, dealing with unfair competition. The new Chapter 2.1 of the Law on the Protection of Competition has seven distinct prohibitions on unfair competition, as well as points to the openness of the list of forms of unfair competition. This analytical review is devoted to three separate formulations of unfair competition, standing out as a result of the adoption of the new amendments – discrediting, misrepresentation, and incorrect comparison – as well as the court practice that preceded the amendments, and the possible effect of the adoption of these amendments on law-enforcement practice.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Ksenia Podguzova, Senior Associate of Commercial group
23
November

New developments in patent cases in pharma

In November 2015 the Arbitration court of Moscow region rejected the originator's patent claim against the local drug manufacturer. Following the decision of the Supreme Arbitration Court in well-known Imatinibum case in 2009 the Arbitration court of Moscow region decided that no patent infringement may occur prior to state registration of a pharmaceutical product. Furthermore, the court gave several potentially important interpretations of IP regulations applied to pharmaceutical products. The relevant conclusions of the court may influence the future development of IP practice in pharmaceutical sector in Russia.

Alexander Sitnikov, Managing partner
Alexandra Vasyukhnova, Partner, Head of Technology and Investment group
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