Muranov, Chernyakov and Partners clarifies the legal implications for business on Russia's accession to the WTO


Moscow, April 16 2012 — Muranov, Chernyakov and Partners Law Firm has launched a new project on Russia’s commitments to the WTO related to the services and commodities trade, providing at the initial stage full legal analysis of commitments in 16 sectors of services. The project is implemented in partnership with international communications consultancy Grayling.

Russia accepted commitments related to 116 of 155 sectors of services acknowledged by WTO nomenclature. Initially there are 16 legal reports on service sectors available, with more to follow, on, including:

  • Banking services and services on the stock markets;
  • Insurance;
  • Telecommunications;
  • Auditing and bookkeeping services, services related to tax consulting;
  • Management consulting services, services on market research;
  • Services of informational agencies etc.

According to the firm’s analysis, the new Russian commitments related to the WTO are incoherent. Russia opens wide access to several sectors, such as telecommunications, while at the same time restricting access of foreign companies to other markets including insurance. The Russian translation of commitments also contains several legal and technical inaccuracies where, for example, in documentation related to the banking industry there is detail that could pose potential business risks for market operators.

The reports also demonstrate that Russia continuously shifted position towards more favourable concessions for foreign countries in various service sectors during the negotiation process. In the analysis Russia is an outlier in comparison to other BRICS countries who generally maintained restrictions on services provision by foreign persons on their domestic markets.

Further plans will see new reports on over 40 more service sectors including transportation, tourism, education, healthcare, and consulting. For insight on international trade with commodities, specially developed methodology for reading related WTO schedules will be provided soon — this will enable businessmen to independently define changes in Russian tariff policy on any specific commodity items.

The second part of the project, implemented in partnership with communications consultancy Grayling, is focused on analysis of business perception of the market consequences of Russia entering WTO, including potential business risks and opportunities. The research will be based on the results of a wide opinion audit conducted amongst senior management of Russian and global companies operating in Russia. This part will be available on the web-site in June 2012.

According to Alexander Muranov, Managing Partner of Muranov, Chernyakov and Partners law Firm and Professor of MGIMO, Russia’s accession to the WTO will definitely change the rules of the game for all business representatives, including both Russian companies and foreign investors. «Despite the negotiation process on accession lasting more than 15 years, only general and non-specific information on Russia’s commitments to the WTO are publicly available. Our firm started to explore and conduct independent legal analysis of the complex implications of the WTO accession in order to provide all business representatives with actual and practical information on every sector of services and information related to trade», — added Mr. Muranov.

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About Muranov, Chernyakov & Partners:

Founded in 2003, Muranov, Chernyakov and Partners is currently one of Russia’s TOP 10 national law firms. It is recommended by leading international legal directories including Chambers Global, Chambers Europe, The Legal 500, PLC Which Lawyer?, Who's Who Legal, Best Lawyers.

The firm gives legal advice in the sphere of litigation and arbitration disputes resolution, provides a wide range of legal services on corporate, tax, competition, intellectual property, private international and the WTO law issues, specializing in such sectors as power and natural resources; technologies, media and telecommunications; real estate and construction.

With the expertise and experience of over 30 attorneys and lawyers, the firm offers a whole spectrum of legal services to a wide range of clients, including Russian and international companies, financial institutions and public authorities. The firm’s geography covers Russia and the CIS countries, Western Europe and the USA.

For the additional information and with requests for comments please contact:

Muranov, Chernyakov and Partners
Daniya Zaynullina