Persistence pays: UAH 2,665 returned after three years of court hearings
Subject of complaint: Mykolayiv Municipal Customs under the State Fiscal Service
Complaint in brief: In August 2016, the Complainant, a distributor of car parts and lubricants registered in Mykolayiv Oblast, lodged a complaint with the BOC regarding the failure by Mykolayiv Municipal Customs to return overpaid customs duty for nearly three years. The overpaid amount, which had resulted from an adjustment to the customs value of an imported spare part in 2013, was only UAH 2,665.83, but its return became the subject of six court hearings.
Initially, the Mykolayiv Circuit Administrative Court overturned the decision of the Mykolayiv Customs Office to declare the spare part illegal. But the Mykolayiv Customs Office tried to challenge this ruling in an appeals court and the Higher Administrative Court, without success. Still, the Customs Office refused to return the difference in the customs duty, so that, at the end of 2014, the Complainant turned to the courts again and once again went through the three courts. The Higher Administrative Court left the original decision of the Mykolayiv Circuit Administrative Court unchanged, requiring the Mykolayiv Customs Office to return the difference to the Complainant. Again, the Customs Office refused to do so. At this point, the Complainant appealed to the BOC for help.
Action taken: The BOC investigator discussed the enforcement of the court order in the Complainant’s case with officials at the Mykolayiv Customs Office, and submitted the case to the BOC–SFS working group on customs issues. This took place in October.
Result achieved: As a result of the BOC investigator’s intervention, the Complainant informed the BOC on November 23, that it had received the overpaid customs duty in full, including for other instances not related to this particular complaint. The case was closed.