Legal support of customs inspections, preparation of documents during customs control
Almost all participants in foreign economic activity face inspections by customs authorities; this is an inevitable part of international transactions. In accordance with the Customs Code of the Eurasian Economic Union, a customs inspection is a form of customs control carried out by the customs authority after the release of goods using other forms of customs control and measures that ensure customs control, in order to verify compliance by persons with international treaties and acts in the field of customs regulation and (or) the legislation of the Member States on customs regulation.
It should be noted that the crossing of the border of the Customs Union by the goods does not mean that there will be no more questions to the entrepreneur from the customs authorities. The Customs Code of the EAEU allows the customs authorities to carry out an inspection within 3 years after the release of goods for free circulation. In addition to simply detecting violations of customs legislation, an important point of inspections by regulatory authorities is their economic component, since as a result of violations identified, regulatory authorities ensure the collection of customs payments, taxes, fines, excises and penalties to the state budget.
Customs inspections can be scheduled and unscheduled, field and cameral, as well as counter. Scheduled inspections are carried out on the basis of preventive inspection plans approved by the Federal Customs Service of Russia. As for unscheduled inspections, in this case the Customs Code of the EAEU establishes that the reasons for conducting unscheduled inspections may be the customs’ own data, information received from other government agencies, requests from customs and law enforcement agencies of the EEU member states. However, the reason for inspecting by the customs authorities may be:
- Existence of debts to customs authorities.
- Non-submission of documents or submission of documents with errors.
- Unpaid administrative fines, including those for previously identified customs violations or bringing to administrative responsibility and other grounds for conducting an audit.
The inspection carried out by the customs authority includes several stages:
- Sending a notification to the person being checked about the customs inspection.
- Formation and sending to the audited person of a request for the provision of documents and information, explanations confirming certain circumstances related to foreign economic activity.
- Registration of the act of customs inspections.
- Consideration by the customs authority of the response or objection of the person being inspected.
- Registration by the customs authority of the conclusion, taking into account the objections received from the person being inspected.
- Making a final decision based on the results of the customs inspection.
The number of areas inspected by the customs authorities is growing every year, which leads to an increase in the number of entrepreneurs held accountable for violation of customs legislation. The participation of a qualified specialist during the customs inspection will allow business entities to minimize customs risks, and if they are detected, with the right approach, it will reduce the degree of responsibility.
Constantly changing legislation in the field of customs law leads to the fact that participants in foreign economic activity are forced to constantly adjust to regulatory documents, make additional efforts to comply with newly introduced legislation. At the same time, the customs authorities, revealing the inconsistency of certain actions, documents with the norms of customs law. It can be quite difficult to prepare for a customs inspection, respond to an order or requirement of an inspector on your own due to the lack of deep knowledge in the field of customs law.
Legal support of participants in international activities during the conclusion and execution of a foreign economic contract by qualified specialists makes it possible to reduce the risk of unscheduled inspections, and in the event of an audit, to minimize possible adverse consequences for a participant in foreign economic activity. Legal support of customs inspections may include such types of services as:
- Collection of information, preliminary analysis of the situation.
- Advice to entrepreneurs on the issues of customs inspection, including written and oral.
- Preparation of responses, explanations to the instructions of the customs authorities, necessary applications, for example, to increase the period of verification.
- Gathering the evidence base on the issues of customs inspection and the formation of a legal position and defense strategy.
- Formation of a motivated objection to the act of customs inspection.
At the same time, there are situations when, after a customs inspection, it is necessary to appeal against the decision of the regulatory authority, for this you need to competently draw up an appeal to the customs authorities or judicial authorities to defend your position.
It should be noted that the inspected person, no later than 15 working days from the date of receipt of the customs inspection report, has the right to submit written objections to its content to the customs authority. A well-founded legal position in the objection may lead to minimization of the charges established by the audit, or the customs authority may decide that there are no grounds for charging additional payments and terminate the case against the entrepreneur.
- Advising clients on customs inspections
- Preparation of necessary documents, petitions, explanations and responses to requests for customs authorities
- Legal representаtion of participants in foreign trade during customs inspections