Appealing Customs Resolutions
Preparation of a complaint against a customs resolution, representation of interests in appealing decisions of customs authorities
Conducting foreign economic activity obliges participants in foreign economic activity to be aware of all customs legislation, however, decisions taken by customs authorities may not coincide with the opinion of participants in foreign economic activity and often violate the requirements of Russian customs legislation and the legislation of the EAEU.
It should be noted that the right to appeal against the decisions of the authorities is expressly provided for in Article 358 of the Customs Code of the EAEU, which provides the opportunity to appeal against decisions, actions (inaction) of the customs authorities or their officials. The appeal procedure is provided for by the legislation of the EAEU member state and in Russia is carried out in accordance with the Code of Administrative Procedure of the Russian Federation and the Arbitration Procedure Code of the Russian Federation.
At the same time, Russian legislation allows foreign economic activity participants to appeal the decisions of the customs authorities in two ways:
- Pre-trial appeal or settlement procedure.
- Appeal in court.
Article 286 of Federal Law No. 289-FZ of August 3, 2018 “On Customs Regulation in the Russian Federation and on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation” regulates the appeal of a decision, action (inaction) of the customs authorities.
The pre-trial procedure for the settlement of a dispute that has arisen between a participant in foreign economic activity and the customs authorities is the filing of a complaint against a decision, action (omission) of the customs authority to a higher customs authority. The pre-trial procedure for resolving a dispute is not mandatory and often does not lead to the desired result. Therefore, a more effective way to resolve a dispute with the customs authorities is to apply to the judicial authorities.
The complaint must be accompanied by supporting documents, according to which the person filing the complaint believes that his rights have been violated.
A complaint against the decision of the customs authority may be filed within 3 months:
- from the day when it became known or should have become known about the violation of the right of a participant in foreign economic activity;
- from the day of expiration of the term for the adoption of the relevant decision by the customs authority.
Missing the deadline for appeal for a good reason of the relevant deadline may be restored at the request of the applicant.
The complaint is submitted to the customs authority in writing and must be signed by the applicant or his representative. It should be noted that at present a complaint can be filed, including in the form of an electronic document. The main requirements for the form and content of the complaint are reflected in Article 290 of Federal Law No. 289-FZ of August 3, 2018 “On Customs Regulation in the Russian Federation and on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation”. At the same time, as a general rule, the period for considering a complaint from the moment it is received by the customs authority is one month, but it can also be extended.
Based on the results of consideration of the complaint, the customs authority that received the complaint against the actions of lower customs authorities must take one of the following decisions:
- Recognize as lawful the contested resolution of the customs authority and refuse to satisfy the complaint filed by the participant in foreign economic activity.
- Recognize as unlawful the contested decision of the customs authority in whole or in part and make an appropriate decision to satisfy the complaint filed by the participant in foreign economic activity in whole or in part.
At the same time, the resolution of the customs authority, adopted on the basis of the complaint of the participant in foreign economic activity, can be appealed to a higher customs authority or in court.
In accordance with Article 197 of the Arbitration Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, contesting decisions of the customs authorities are considered by the arbitration court according to the general rules of action proceedings.
As well as filing a complaint against actions (inaction), decisions made by the customs authorities, applying to the court for protection of the violated right also has a time limit and can be sent to the court within 3 months from the date of such a decision. Time for consideration of a case in the court significantly exceeds the time for consideration of a complaint in a higher customs authority, often the time for consideration of a case in the first instance can be 3 (three) months, and if it is necessary to file an appeal and cassation, the period may be even increased.
An important nuance when applying to the court for resolving a dispute with the customs authorities, what you should pay attention to is the territorial jurisdiction, often the case is transferred to the court of the region in which the decision of the customs authority was made. As a rule, court decisions on appeals against decisions of customs authorities may differ depending on the region in which the case is being considered. However, according to clause 1 of Art. 208 of the Arbitration Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, an application for contesting the decision of an administrative body on bringing to administrative responsibility is filed with the arbitration court at the address or place of residence of the applicant or at the address of the administrative body that made the contested decision on bringing to administrative responsibility. At the same time, in a judicial customs dispute on the recovery of losses, one should not forget that the defendant in this case will be the Federal Customs Service, this is due to the fact that compensation for such losses is carried out at the expense of the state budget.
Considering that the customs legislation changes quite often, when appealing the decisions of the customs authorities, it is worth contacting a qualified specialist, often this will allow the participant in foreign economic activity not to be distracted from business activities, save time and, as a rule, reduce possible costs. At the same time, the qualified legal support for foreign economic activity reduces the risks of not only additional unforeseen expenses, but also allows entrepreneurs to minimize possible adverse consequences that arise when interacting with customs authorities.
- Legal advice on appealing resolutions of customs
- Preparation of a complaint against a customs decision to a higher customs or an application to the court
- Representation of participants in foreign economic activity when appealing against decisions of customs authorities in a higher customs authority and in court