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Half a year customs delay defeated

31.12.2020

Complainee: State Customs Service (Customs Service), Volyn Customs of the State Customs Service (regional customs)

Complaint in brief: The Council received a complaint from a laser hair removal devices supplier. The company complained the regional customs detained its cargo during customs control. The complainant's cargo arrived at the customs checkpoint of Volyn Customs and had to go to Kyiv Customs of the Customs Service. Customs officers detained the company's cargo and examined it, concluding that the company had violated customs regulations by transporting new devices under the guise of the already used ones. The customs temporarily seized the devices. 

According to the established procedure, the customs authority draws up a report on violations to be considered in court after receipt of materials from the supervisory authority. It is noteworthy, the report on violations was drawn up by customs officers promptly, however, the preliminary date of materials’ consideration in court was planned for almost half a year later.

The complaint insisted that there were no reasons for that, and so the materials have to be submitted to court as soon as possible.

As long as the customs authority delayed submission of materials on complainant's violations to the court, the company decided to turn to the Business Ombudsman Council for help.

Actions taken: After examining the circumstances of the case, the investigator found the complaint substantiated. The Council recommended that Volyn Customs and the Customs Service send materials necessary for the trial as soon as possible. The customs authority explained the delay by waiting for a response to an international legal request from the country the complainant's cargo had departed from. The Council then again requested customs authorities to speed up transferring materials to the court. Given the fact almost four months have passed since “violation” was found by the supervisory authority, the Council arranged an expert group meeting with the participation of the Customs Service administration. During the hearing of the complaint, it was informed of materials having been referred to the court.

Result achieved: The Council's successful mediation paid off. The customs submitted necessary materials to the court and the company managed to exercise its right to protection judicially without unreasonable delays. The case was closed.