On 15 July, the Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court stayed proceedings in the case initiated upon application of “Aqua Pro” Ltd., to abolish the decision of the State Revenue Service. By the foregoing the decision, the applicant was imposed an obligation to pay customs tax and value-added tax, as well as appropriate overdue charge and fine. By referring to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling, the Supreme Court wants to specify, how importer’s obligation to act in good faith, which is mentioned in Article 220 (2) (b) of the Council Regulations (EEC) No 2913/92 of 12 October 1992 establishing the Community Customs Code, should be made concrete in general, if the report presented by the Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) contains acquired data, which is indicative of false information provided by the exporter, and information indicating the fact that customs authority of the exporting state made a mistake, when issuing A certificate. Moreover, it is necessary to specify, whether significance should be given to fact that the applicant’s goods are not purchased directly from the company in Cambodia. Namely, the applicant made the purchase of goods from the German company, based on the concluded distribution agreement. Thus, all the cooperation has been with the mentioned company and customs formalities have been completed on the basis of the documentation submitted by the seller of the goods. The applicant has not been related to the Cambodian merchant. Proceedings are stayed in the case until the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union comes into effect.

The applicant “Aqua Pro” Ltd. imported bicycles from the Cambodian company “Atlantic Cycle Co.” Ltd. for issue for free circulation in the European Union. On the basis of the A certificate issued to the Cambodian exporter, the applicant did not pay the customs tax and the value-added tax.  

On 15 February 2010, the State Revenue Service Customs Audit department received the information from the European Commission’s European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) on the European Commission's mission in Cambodia with regard to validity of issuing the certificate of origin of bicycles that were exported to the European Union from the Cambodian companies “„Bestway Industrial Co.” Ltd. and “Atlantic Cycle Co.” Ltd.

Observing the established circumstances, the State Revenue Service carried out audit of customs tax and other taxes in respect of the applicant. On 3 September 2010, with the decision of the State Revenue Service, the audit was closed. It was declared that the A certificate of origin of goods was issued with no ground, the article must be applied an agreed rate of import duty, namely, 14 per cent of customs value of goods. Therefore, it is decided to impose an obligation to the applicant to pay customs tax and value-added tax as well as appropriate overdue charge and fine.

Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press secretary of the Supreme Court
Telephone: 67020396; e-mail: baiba.kataja@at.gov.lv