The court addresses questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union in the case on method applicable to determine customs value of goods
27 January, 2016
On 21 January, the Department of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court stayed proceedings in the case initiated upon application of “LS Custom Services” 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, antidumping duty and value-added tax. The Supreme Court recognised that there is a ground to refer for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union due to doubts regarding interpretation of Article 29 (1) and Article 30 of the Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 of 12 October 1992 establishing the Community Customs Code, and this interpretation may be crucial in adjudication of the case.
In opinion of the Supreme Court, condition on selling of goods for export to customs territory of the Community, which is stipulated in the text of the Article 29 of the Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 of 12 October 1992 establishing the Community Customs Code may be crucial and the Article is applicable only if goods were originally intended to be sold for export to customs territory of the Community and transaction value is determined in accordance with this purpose. On the contrary, an obligation to determine customs value of goods by consequently applicable methods, which is stipulated in the Article 30 (1), would also mean an obligation to justify, why other methods have not been used. However, the width of this obligation depends on information provided by a principal. If a principal has not provided to customs authorities information the application of subparagraphs “a”-“d” of the Article 30 (2) of the Customs Code depends on, an indication that customs authorities do not possess respective information would be sufficient justification for “consequent” use of the Article 31. In accordance with understanding of principle of justification, customs authority should disclose, who creates information available in the Community, in justification of the decision; however, if it is not disclosed, it might be explained more extensively in the proceedings.
Proceedings in the case are stayed until the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union comes into effect.
The applicant, company “LS Customs Services” Ltd., in customs control “Rīgas brīvostas MKP” point (customs control point of Riga Free Port) processed a customs transit declaration for transit of goods – children’s bicycles and spare parts thereof – from the People’s Republic of China to the Russian Federation. Transit procedure was not finished, because the consignee’s customs authority – Terekhovo customs control point – had not received arrival notice in term, when it should be presented goods.
The State Revenue Service carried out verification of unfinished customs procedure, namely, transit, and concluded that there was unlawful evasion to subject goods chargeable with customs duty to customs control and, therefore, customs debt occurred. In result of verification, the Service calculated customs tax, antidumping duty and value-added tax to be paid additionally to the budget by the applicant. The decision, along with another considerations, includes indication that it is impossible to determine customs value of goods, which were intended for sale in the Russian Federation, in accordance with provisions of the Article 29 of the Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 29.panta, and the Service does not possess information, which is necessary in order to use assessment methods indicated in subparagraphs “a”, “b”, “c” and “d” of the Article 30 (2) of the Customs Code.
By judgements of the Administrative district court and the Administrative regional court, the application was satisfied and the decision of the State Revenue Service was abolished. The court recognised justification of the decision as insufficient.
Information prepared by Baiba Kataja, the Press secretary of the Supreme Court
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