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Council Decision of 7 March 1985 accepting, on behalf of the Community, three Annexes to the international convention on the simplification and harmonization of customs procedures (85/204/EEC)

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Examination of the goods

(a) Time required for examination of goods
32. Standard

Where the customs authorities decide that goods declared for home use shall be examined this examination shall take place as soon as possible after the goods declaration has been accepted.

33. Recommended practice

Priority should be given to the examination of live animals, perishable goods and other urgent consignments.

34. Recommended practice

If the goods must also be inspected by other competent authorities (for the purpose of applying veterinary, health, phyropathological, etc., controls) the customs should, where practicable, perform their examination at the same time.

Note

The customs authorities may require that goods to be examined by other competent authorities be declared at customs offices designated for that purpose.

(b) Examination of goods outside the business hours of the customs office
35. Standard

At the request of the declarant, and for reasons deemed valid by the customs authorities, the latter shall, so far as possible, allow goods declared for home use to be examined outside the business hours of the customs office; the expenses entailed by such examination may be charged to the declarant.

Note

Examination outside the business hours of the customs office may be arranged for, e.g., perishable goods, live animals and other urgent consignments.

(c) Examinations of goods at a place other than the customs office
36. Standard

At the request of the declarant, and for reasons deemed valid by the customs authorities, the latter shall, so far as possible, allow goods declared for home use to be examined at a place other than the customs office where the goods declaration was lodged; the expenses entailed by such examination may be charged to the declarant.

Notes
1.Goods may be examined, according to the circumstances, at the premises of the person concerned, on premises with appropriate equipment, at any place within the customs surveillance zone or at a customs office other than that at which the goods declaration was lodged.
2.The cases in which arrangements may be made for examination at a place other than the customs office where the goods declaration was lodged include:
  • goods which cannot readily be examined until unloaded at destination (for example: wheat, oil or ores imported by ship or barge; bulk consignments of parts in containers; furniture and household effects imported on transfer of residence),

  • goods which cannot be examined without appropriate equipment (such as a dark room or a cold chamber),

  • goods which cannot usefully be required to be produced at a customs office (for example, products obtained from the working of border lands or quarries near the frontier, imported by the shortest route).

(d) Presence of the declarant at examination of goods
37. Standard

The declarant shall have the right to attend or to be represented at the examination of the goods. If the customs authorities deem it useful, they may require him to be present or to be represented at the examination of the goods in order that he may give the customs any assistance necessary to facilitate the examination.

Notes
1.The declarant may be required to group the packages, open them, sort the goods by description and tally them.
2.If goods declared for home use are dangerous, delicate or fragile, the declarant may be required to provide experts to assist the customs.
3.The declarant may also be required to furnish the customs with the technical specifications of imported goods.
(e) Extent of examination of goods
38. Standard

When examining goods, the customs authorities shall take only such action as they deem essential to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations which the customs are responsible for enforcing.

Notes
1.The examination of goods may be either summary or detailed. In a summary examination the customs may carry out some, though not necessarily all, of the following checks — counting the packages, noting their marks and numbers and ascertaining the description of the goods. Detailed examination involves thorough inspection of the goods to determine as accurately as possible their composition, quantity, tariff heading, value and, where necessary, origin.
2.Detailed examination of the goods is warranted, in particular, where the customs authorities are not satisfied about the accuracy of particulars furnished in the declaration or in the supporting documents.
3.Goods liable to high import duties and/or taxes may be regularly subjected to detailed examination.
39. Recommended practice

The customs authorities should in as many cases as possible be content with a summary examination of goods declared for home use.

Note

Summary examination may be considered sufficient, for example, where goods of the same description are imported frequently by a person known by the customs to be reliable, where the accuracy of the particulars given in the declaration can be checked against the supporting documents or against other evidence, or where the import duties and taxes involved are low.

40. Recommended practice

Where the customs authorities carry out a detailed examination of goods shown in a declaration relating to a consignment consisting of many packages and covered by a packing list or other similar document, such examination should normally be undertaken on a random basis.

Note

The customs authorities may decide, having regard to the staff available, that consignments of goods declared for home use will be subjected to detailed examination by a selective technique.

(f) Sampling by the customs
41. Standard

Samples shall be taken only where deemed necessary by the customs authorities to establish the description and/or value of goods declared for home use or to ensure the application of other provisions of national legislation. Any samples drawn shall be as small as possible.

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