Customs Duty: Topical Questions and Answers

Last update: 24.09.2008 06:00

Question: I have found out that my goods were placed under a customs procedure based on incorrect data. Do I have an obligation to notify any authority to that effect?
Answer: Yes. Effective as of 1 January 2008, a customs declarant is obliged, pursuant to Act No. 199/2004 Coll. “the Customs Act" amending and supplementing certain acts as amended, to forthwith notify the customs authority, which made the decision on the release of goods, of the fact that the goods were placed under a customs procedure on the basis of incorrect or incomplete data.

Question: I would like to know whether there are any special sanctions for failure to notify about the placing of goods under a customs procedure on the basis of incorrect data?
Answer:  Yes. When failing to comply with the notification obligation laid down in §36b of Act No. 199/2004 Coll. “the Customs Act" amending and supplementing certain acts as amended, a customs declarant commits, pursuant to §72(1)(n) of the above Act, a violation of the customs law (in the case of natural person-entrepreneur or legal person) or customs offence. The penalty imposed by the customs office for a violation of the customs law may be up to SKK 3,000,000; in the case of customs offence, the penalty may reach SKK 100,000. The imposition of a penalty may be accompanied by a sanction – forfeiture of goods or the respective item.

Question: As far as I know, destruction of goods is one of the methods of handling. Could you explain to me the administrative procedure preceding such destruction?
Answer: According to Article 182(1) of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 of 12 October 1992 establishing the Community Customs Code, as amended, non-Community goods may be assigned a customs-approved treatment, re-exported, destroyed or abandoned to the exchequer. Special procedures for the assigning of a customs-approved treatment or destruction of non-Community goods is stipulated in §36a of Act No. 199/2004 Coll. "the Customs Act" amending and supplementing certain acts, as amended. If intending to destroy the goods, the person holding the goods must file with the customs office a written application for the assignment of a custom-approved treatment or destruction of goods. The application will be decided by the customs authority with jurisdiction over the district where the applicant proposes the destruction of goods to take place. In a written decision containing essentials in compliance with §47 of Act 71/1967 Coll. on Administrative Proceedings (Administrative Code), the customs office determines a specific place where the goods are to be destroyed, including other conditions to which such destruction of goods is liable. The applicant is obliged to destroy the goods no later than within two months of the effective date of such decision, and must notify the customs office of the date and hour of the planned destruction of the goods at least seven calendar days in advance.

Question: I would like to know whether there were any changes recently as regards the branches of individual customs offices competent to handle applications for the granting of export refunds.
Answer: As of 1 July 2008, the effective date of Decree No. 234/2008 Coll. of the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic, which amends Decree No. 419/2006 Coll. of the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic on the implementation of certain provisions of Act No. 199/2004 Coll. “the Customs Act” amending and supplementing certain acts, as amended, applications for export refunds may be filed with the Customs Office in Košice at its Haniska nácestné stredisko branch. In the case of the Customs Office in Nitra, the applications may be filed with its branch at Bratislavská 3; in Prešov, the competent branch of the Customs Office is at Košická 30, in Poprad at Karpatská 13.

Question: I have learnt that certain changes were made with respect to the filling out of the Single Administrative Document. Can you specify these changes?
Answer: Based on Decree No. 234/2008 Coll. of the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic (an amendment to Finance Ministry’s Decree No. 419/2006 Coll. implementing  certain provisions of Act No. 199/2004 Coll. “the Customs Act” on the amendment of certain acts), the instructions for filling out the form of the Single Administrative Document have been slightly changed since 1 July 2008. With respect to Part A “Customs Formalities Relating to Export/Dispatch” and Part B “Customs Formalities Relating to Import”, instructions to Box 38 “Net Mass” have been supplemented and more details were given on the method of filling out Part A and Part B of Box 49 “Identification of Warehouse”, as well as Part B of Box 8 "Consignee” and Box 14 “Declarant/representative”.
Since the effective date of Act No. 609/2007 Coll. on excise duty on electricity, coal and natural gas and on the amendment of Act No. 98/2004 Coll. on excise duties on mineral oils, as amended, the codes used in the filling out of the Single Administrative Document form have been changed, i.e., in Box 33 “Commodity Code” under Item (a) – codes used for excise duty on mineral oils, along with the addition of new codes for excise duty on coal (Item (f)).