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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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ANNEX III

ANNEX F.6ANNEX CONCERNING THE REPAYMENT OF IMPORT DUTIES AND TAXES

Introduction

During the clearance of goods declared for home use, or after their release, it may be discovered, either by the importer himself or by the customs authorities, that the basis upon which the customs charges were calculated was incorrect owing inter alia to an error on the part of the customs authorities, the declarant or some other person concerned (e.g., the consignor or shipper), and that for this reason the import duties and taxes charged or to be charged are greater than those which were actually chargeable. It may also happen that goods are damaged, destroyed or irrecoverably lost by accident or force majeure, in particular before release for home use; in this case also, for reasons of equity, the import duties and taxes already charged might be refunded in whole or in part.

It should be possible for the person concerned, after verification of the facts, to obtain a refund of import duties and taxes overpaid, or, if payment has not yet been made, the remission of import duties and taxes which are in excess of the amount actually chargeable.

It is important, particularly where the overcharge arose from errors on the part of the customs authorities or has been occasioned by circumstances beyond the control of the importer or other person concerned, that repayment should be made without undue delay and with minimum formalities. In some cases, however, it may be necessary to make repayment subject to certain conditions or to special safeguards against fraud or abuse.

The provisions of this Annex do not apply to repayments made under the drawback procedure or to the refund of deposits taken as security for the payment of import duties and taxes.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Annex:

(a)

the term ‘repayment of import duties and taxes’ means the refund, in whole or in part, of import duties and taxes paid on goods declared for home use and the remission, in whole or in part, of such duties and taxes where payment has not been made;

(b)

the term ‘import duties and taxes’ means customs duties and all other duties, taxes, fees or other charges which are collected on or in connection with the importation of goods, but not including fees and charges which are limited in amount to the approximate cost of services rendered;

(c)

the term ‘release’ means action by which the customs permit goods undergoing clearance to be placed at the disposal of the persons concerned;

(d)

the term ‘person’ means both natural and legal persons, unless the context otherwise requires.

Principle

1. Standard

The repayment of import duties and taxes shall be governed by the provisions of this Annex.

Scope

2. Standard

National legislation shall prescribe the cases and conditions in which, where the amount of import duties and taxes paid or assessed to be payable exceeds the amount legally due, repayment of import duties and taxes shall be granted.

Note

Repayment is not granted of import duties and taxes that have been, or will be, repaid under other provisions.

Cases in which repayment of import duties and taxes should be granted

Errors in assessment
3. Standard

Repayment of import duties and taxes shall be granted where it is established that they have been overcharged as a result of an error in their assessment.

Goods having a lower value than declared
4. Standard

Repayment of import duties and taxes shall be granted where it is found that import duties and taxes had been assessed on the basis of a value which is higher than the dutiable value, provided that the facts are established to the satisfaction of the customs authorities.

Incorrect tariff classification
5. Standard

Repayment of import duties and taxes shall be granted if they are overcharged as a result of incorrect tariff classification of the declared goods provided that the facts are established to the satisfaction of the customs authorities.

Goods damaged, destroyed or lost
6. Standard

Repayment of import duties and taxes shall be granted in respect of goods damaged, destroyed or irrecoverably lost by accident or force majeure before release for home use, provided that the facts are duly established to the satisfaction of the customs authorities.

7. Standard

Where goods which have been granted total or partial exemption from import duties and taxes by reason of a specific use are damaged, destroyed or irrecoverably lost by accident or force majeure after their release for home use, remission shall be granted of that amount of the import duties and taxes from which exemption has been granted provided that such damage, destruction or loss is duly established to the satisfaction of the customs authorities.

Note

Remnants of goods covered by standards 6 and 7 may be:

(a)

cleared for home use in their existing state as if they had been imported in that state; or

(b)

re-exported; or

(c)

abandoned free of all expenses to the Revenue; or

(d)

rendered commercially valueless under customs control, without expense to the Revenue;

as the customs authorities may require.

Goods not in accordance with agreed specifications
8. Standard

Repayment of import duties and taxes shall be granted in respect of imported goods which are found to have been defective or otherwise not in accordance with the agreed specifications at the time of importation, which have not been worked, repaired or used in the country of importation, and which are re-exported within a reasonable time either to the foreign supplier or to another person designated by the supplier. The use of the goods shall however not hinder the repayment if such use was indispensable to discover the defects or other circumstances which caused the re-exportation of the goods. As an alternative to re-exportation the goods may be abandoned to the Revenue or destroyed or rendered commercially valueless under customs control, as the customs authorities may decide. Such abandonment or destruction shall not entail any cost to the Revenue.

Note

Repayment of import duties and taxes on goods of the kind referred to in the first sentence of this standard can also be considered under the provisions of standards 4 and 5 if such goods are not re-exported.

Shortages
9. Standard

Repayment of import duties and taxes shall be granted in respect of goods declared to be in a consignment where it is established to the satisfaction of the customs authorities that those goods were not in fact imported into the customs territory.

Goods placed under another customs procedure
10. Recommended practice

Where permission is given by the customs authorities for goods originally declared for home use to be placed under another customs procedure repayment should be made of any import duties and taxes consequently overcharged.

Repayment procedure
11. Standard

The procedure laid down for claiming repayment of import duties and taxes shall be as simple as possible.

Note

The repayment procedure may be initiated either at the request of the person concerned or on the initiative of the customs.

12. Standard

Decisions on claims for repayment shall be reached, and notified in writing to the persons concerned, without undue delay, and repayment of amounts overpaid shall be made as soon as possible after the verification of claims.

13. Standard

Where it is established by the customs that the overcharge is a result of an error on the part of the customs authorities themselves in assessing the import duties and taxes, repayment shall be granted as a matter of priority.

Time limit
14. Recommended practice

Where time limits are fixed beyond which claims for repayment of import duties and taxes will not be accepted, such limits should be of sufficient duration to take account of the differing circumstances pertaining to each type of case in which repayment of import duties and taxes may be granted.

Information concerning repayment
15. Standard

The customs authorities shall ensure that all necessary information regarding the provisions relating to the repayment of import duties and taxes is readily available to any person interested.

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