Russian importers to challenge Customs in Supreme Court

July 5, 2021 00:08

Domestic importers are facing a situation when the customs authorities will retrospectively charge additional payments based on documents from the Chinese Custom Administration. But such grounds are illegitimate, the Fish Union amalgamating importers and processors complained to a senator from Russia’s Federation Council (Parliament’s Upper House), reports

According to Fishnews, more than 38.6 million rubles (ca. $524 000) were, for example, accrued additionally to the Deart Fish Company for an import transaction in the past. The Customs relied on the invoices received from the Fuzhou Customs District (PRC). At the same time, the data on the cost of imported fish products in these documents differed from the information in the invoices from the Russian importer.

"But we have collected high-quality evidence in favor of the fact that the Chinese overestimated the cost in order to get preferences in their country, "said Artem Sobolev, a representative of the Deart Fish Company.

Chinese suppliers allegedly inflated the selling price in order to secure a more significant tax deduction. In such cases, the investigative authorities of the People's Republic of China opened criminal cases, the Fish Union said. However, the Russian customs authorities, and after them, the courts consider it justified to rely on the documents from the Chinese side.

To date, a number of large Russian importers have suffered from the actions of what is described as “unscrupulous Chinese suppliers”.

The documents to which the customs appeals cannot serve as a basis for identifying discrepancies with the documentation from Russian importers, and also cannot serve as evidence in court, experts of the Fish Union believe as they were not received within the framework of the established procedure for international cooperation in the customs sphere, are not certified and are not legalized properly.

"The Chinese side provides these documents with a note saying that they cannot be used as evidence in court," the association also said.

However, the judicial practice in similar cases varies. Up to the point that the same judicial composition of the Arbitration Court of the North-Western Federal District made diametrically opposite conclusions on similar circumstances, the experts of the union said.

The Fish Union has asked the senator to apply to the Russian Supreme Court for clarification.

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