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January 16 2019

How to appeal a customs decision

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How to appeal a customs decision

In 2018, a new procedure for appealing decisions of customs authorities was introduced (Chapter 51 of the Federal Law No. 03.08.2018-FZ of 289 “On Customs Regulation in the Russian Federation and on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation” (hereinafter the Law).
“The departmental appeal has a number of advantages as compared to the judicial appeal,” says the head of the Baltic Customs, Sergei Senko. “Complaints in the customs authorities are examined promptly, are not subject to a state duty, the applicant also does not bear any other financial costs: for the payment of lawyers' services, the collection of evidence, travel expenses.”
As noted in the Baltic Customs, the basic principle of appeal remains the same: any person has the right to appeal the decision, the action (inaction) of the customs authority and its official if, in the person’s opinion, such a decision, action (inaction) violated his rights, freedoms or legal interests, created obstacles to their implementation or illegally entrusted to him any obligation.
The complaint is filed with the superior customs authority through the customs authority, the decision of which is appealed. The complaint against the decision of the customs post is submitted to the customs. It should be noted that filing a complaint directly to a higher customs authority is not an obstacle for its consideration, however, the period of consideration in this case will increase.
The circle of persons filing complaints has not changed significantly: they are both legal entities, organizations that are not legal entities, and individuals. However, unlike the previous procedure, the new Law does not oblige managers acting on behalf of organizations without a power of attorney to submit, simultaneously with the complaint, constituent documents, as well as documents confirming their official position.
A complaint filed by a representative of an organization or a citizen must be accompanied by originals or certified copies of documents confirming his authority. The most common example of such a document is power of attorney. It should secure the right to appeal decisions, actions (inaction) in the field of customs.
The complaint must still be filed in writing and signed by the applicant or his representative, but from 1 in January of 2022, the law provides for filing a complaint in electronic form.
The complaint must be indicated:
• name of the customs authority, whose decision is being appealed;
• surname, name, patronymic of the applicant or the name of the legal entity;
• address (location);
• taxpayer identification number (TIN);
• the essence of the decision appealed, the action (inaction) and the grounds on which the person filing the complaint believes that his rights have been violated.
“The deadline for filing a complaint has not changed - three months from the day when the person became aware or should have known about the violation of his rights, freedoms or legitimate interests. If we are talking about inaction, the same period begins to run from the date of expiration of the term for the customs authority to take a decision or perform an action. In case of missing the deadline, it can be restored at the request of the applicant. An application for reinstatement is filed simultaneously with the complaint in writing as a separate document or may be included in the text of the complaint. At the same time, there must be submitted documents confirming the validity of the reasons for missing the deadline, ”SeaNews was told at the Baltic Customs.
Chapter 51 of the Law regulates in detail the procedure for the suspension of the contested decision. At the written request of the applicant, the decision being appealed, aimed at collecting customs payments due in connection with its adoption, may be suspended subject to the provision of a cash pledge or a bank guarantee for the amount of recovery. The decision on the suspension is the competence of the customs authority that made the decision appealed.
The customs authority has the right to refuse to consider the complaint on the merits if there is one of the grounds:
• if the time limits for appeal are not met, and the applicant has not filed a motion to restore the time limit for appeal, or such a motion is rejected;
• the form and content of the complaint do not comply with the Law;
• no documents confirming the authority of the applicant's representative are submitted;
• the complaint is filed by a person whose rights and freedoms or legitimate interests of the appealed decision are not affected or there is no subject of appeal;
• if the appealed decision of the customs authority or the circumstances to be established in connection with the consideration of the complaint are subject to review by the court;
• if there is already a decision on a similar complaint taken by the same or higher customs authority.
The decision to refuse to consider the complaint, in addition to non-compliance with the requirements for the form and content of the complaint and the non-submission of documents confirming the representative’s powers, prevents the same complaint from being resubmitted.
A complaint submitted in compliance with all the rules for its submission will be considered by the customs authority within one month from the date of its receipt. The term of consideration of the complaint may be extended, but not more than one month.
The Law provides for the right of the customs body considering the complaint to request additional documents from the applicant. In this case, the time period for consideration of the complaint is suspended until the requested documents and information are provided (no more than three months after the day the request was sent).
In writing, you can complain about decisions, actions of customs posts and their officials to the Baltic Customs. Oral - to a higher official of the customs or customs post. The decisions of the Baltic Customs can be appealed to the North-West Customs Administration.
It is noted that the legislation provides for another more operational way of obtaining information about the decision taken, the action (inaction) of customs officials, which also has a number of advantages compared with a judicial appeal. Thus, in accordance with Article 265 of the Law, a person has the right to make a request, both verbally and in writing, about the decision taken, the action (inaction) of customs officials to the customs authority that made the decision or committed the action (inaction). An oral request is considered by the customs authority on the day it is received. When submitting a written request, the answer must be given in writing within ten days from the date of its receipt.
In this case, the request must be filed within six months from the date of the decision, the action (inaction) or the expiration of their acceptance or commitment, or from the day when the person became aware of the decision or the action (inaction).

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