Disputes with customs authorities are quite common as a result of customs control and customs clearance of goods. The most common cause of such kind of disputes are the actions of the customs authorities themselves, including certain violations of the law by their officials. Such abuse by customs officers may be dictated by the need to implement a state budget “fill-in” plan when, within a specified timeframe, a customs must in any possible way secure receiving a certain amount of customs payments, for example, by making baseless decisions on determination the higher customs value of the goods than the value of the goods at the contract price. The aspiration of individual customs officers to obtain undue benefits also cannot be excluded as a cause of making illegal decisions by the customs authorities.
It should be noted that customs disputes are quite difficult to resolve, since they require the knowledge and ability to apply both customs legislation, which is a fairly complex area of law, and procedural law, which governs the procedure for settling customs disputes in courts. Therefore, in case of dispute with a customs, the most appropriate solution is to seek professional legal assistance from an attorney, who can determine whether the customs officials violate the law, to identify the nature of the wrongful acts or negligence of employees of the customs authority, and to use the obtained information in a competent manner for the benefit of the Client. By appealing to the court with a help of professional attorney against a wrongful decision, actions or negligence of the customs officers, you will not only defend your interests in the court in the current case, but also make the basis for your future, because after the customs officers are confronted by professional legal support from your lawyer, next time they will unlikely to explicitly abuse their official status.
Practice experience: 19 years
Specialization: litigation support, tax, customs and antitrust practices, agricultural law, IT and M&A
providing written advice on customs disputes;
resolving disputes regarding declaring property;
resolving disputes regarding the return of confiscated property;
judicial appeal against resolutions on administrative liability for violation of customs rules;
judicial appeal against decisions, actions or negligence of the customs authorities concerning the customs valuation of goods;
judicial appeal against the decisions of the customs concerning the identification of the goods code by UCGFEA;
judicial disputes concerning the return of customs duties and other customs payments, wrongly or overly paid to the budget;
preliminary consulting for legal entities on moving goods across the customs border of Ukraine in the mode of export, import, temporary importation, transit, etc.;
drafting of requests, complaints, applications and other legal documents for the purpose of settling a customs dispute or in order of preperation for customs dispute;
representing of Clients in all courts of appeal and Supreme Court in customs disputes
According to the law the burden of proving the wrongness of the declared customs value rests with the customs authority. But, as the practice shows, it is you who will have to prove that the customs value of the goods stated in the declaration is correct. Therefore, in case of a dispute with the customs office over the customs value of the goods, it is necessary to collect as much evidence as possible to confirm the correctness of the declared customs value: a foreign economic contract for the goods supply, invoices, international transport invoice (CMR), seller’s price list etc.
In case, when the true value of the imported goods cannot be determined by the price of identical or similar goods, the customs authority have the right to use the price of goods, the terms of delivery of which differ from the conditions of delivery of the estimated goods, based on the nearest equivalent, as a basis for adjusting the customs value of the goods by the reserve method cost.
The amounts of customs duties charged from the importer as a result of an error detected by the customs authorities during the document verification shall be considered to be overpayment if the correct amounts of such payments are determined by the decision of the authority as a result of such verification; otherwise, the overpayment will only have place after the importer has made changes to the customs declaration in respect of the amount of customs duties charged.
The right to claim the reimbursement of overpaid customs duties arises only after the decision on the adjustment of the customs value of the goods due to which such overpayment has been canceled.
The decision of the customs in case of violation of customs regulations on administrative responsibility prosecution can be appealed against both in the pre-judicial (administrative) and judicial order by applying to the local general court as an administrative court with an administrative lawsuit to cancel the customs decision, in order of the Code of Administrative Justice of Ukraine.
Goods with total invoice value which does not exceed the equivalent of 10,000 euros, except for the cases specified in the Customs Code of Ukraine, are not subject to written declaration when exported (shipped) by citizens outside the customs territory of Ukraine.
According to the provisions of the Customs Code of Ukraine, evidence in the case of violation of customs rules may be any factual data on the basis of which the existence or absence of violation of customs rules, the guilt of the person in committing it and other relevant circumstances are established for the correct resolution of the case. But the main proof in such a category of cases is the protocol on the violation of customs rules. Therefore, in this category of cases, it is first of all necessary to check for legal defects of the protocol on violation of customs rules, since there are cases that even in the presence of signs of violation of customs rules in the actions of the declarant or another person moving goods across the border, it was possible to achieve in court the prosecution of such persons due to the formal shortcomings of the protocol on the violation of customs regulations made by customs officers when processing the protocol.What are the time limits for imposing administrative penalties in cases of violation of customs regulations?
Administrative penalties for violation of customs regulations may be imposed no later than six months from the date of detection of the offence.