The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court: discrepancies in private documents could not be considered as a ground for determination of the customs value

Decision № 279 of 01.12.2015, SAC on adm. e. № 3477/2014 on, VIII o., rapporteur judge R. Lilova

‘Sadat’ Ltd. (Sadat) imported paper tissues from Turkey. Plovdiv Customs had doubts regarding the customs value declared by Sadat and sent an information requrest to the Turkish customs administration under the existing international cooperation. The answer from the Turkish administration was that the sender of the goods had declated higher export value. The Plovdiv Customs Director (the Director) held that the value of the imported tissues was that indicated in the reply of the Turkish customs administration and, accordingly Sadat had to pay additional amount of VAT.

Sadat appealed the Director’s decision before the Plovdiv Administrative Court (PAC). The PAC upheld Sadat’s appeal. Then the Director appealed the PAC’s judgment before the Supreme Administrative Court (the SAC). The SAC noted that the declaration submitted by Sadat to the Plodviv Customs and the other one submitted by the sender in Turkey were both private documents. It held that under Article 29 Regulation (EEC) № 2913/92, respectively Article 35 of the Bulgarian Customs Act the discrepancies in private documents, without a further thorough check regarding the negotiated and paid value could not be considered as a ground for determination of the customs value different form the one declared by the importer.

The SAC found that the Director had not given reasons why he accepted the value declared before the Turkish customs administration as the actual value. On those grounds, the SAC upheld the PAC’s judgment.

The full text is available on EuroCases

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