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Document 62010CJ0153

Summary of the Judgment

Judgment of the Court (Sixth Chamber) of 7 April 2011.
Staatssecretaris van Financiën v Sony Supply Chain Solutions (Europe) BV.
Reference for a preliminary ruling: Hoge Raad der Nederlanden - Netherlands.
Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 - Community Customs Code - Articles 12(2) and (5), 217(1) and 243 - Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93 - Implementing provisions of Regulation No 2913/92 - Articles 10 and 11 - Classification of goods - Binding tariff information - Invocation by a trader other than the holder with respect to the same goods - Legitimate expectation.
Case C-153/10.

Keywords
Summary

Keywords

1. Common Customs Tariff – Classification of goods – Binding tariff information

(Council Regulation No 2913/92, as amended by Regulation No 82/97, Arts 5(4) and 12(2); Commission Regulation No 2454/93, as amended by Regulation No 12/97, Arts 10 and 11)

2. Common Customs Tariff – Classification of goods – Binding tariff information – Challenge by an interested party of the levying of customs duties – Means of proof

(Council Regulation No 2913/92, as amended by Regulation No 82/97, Arts 12(2) and (5), 217(1) and 243; Commission Regulation No 2454/93, as amended by Regulation No 12/97, Art. 11)

3. Common Customs Tariff – Classification of goods – Binding tariff information

(Council Regulation No 2913/92, as amended by Regulation No 82/97, Art. 12; Commission Regulation No 2454/93, as amended by Regulation No 12/97, Art. 10(1))

Summary

1. Article 12(2) of Regulation No 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code, as amended by Regulation No 82/97, and Articles 10 and 11 of Regulation No 2454/93 laying down provisions for the implementation of Regulation No 2913/92, as amended by Regulation No 12/97, must be interpreted as meaning that a person who makes customs declarations in his own name and on his own behalf cannot rely on a binding tariff information of which he is not the holder, but which is held by an associated company on whose instructions he made those declarations.

The second subparagraph of Article 5(4) of the Customs Code provides that the person who fails to state that he is acting in the name of or on behalf of another person or who states that he is acting in the name of or on behalf of another person without being empowered to do so is to be deemed to be acting in his own name and on his own behalf. It follows that the representation must be express and cannot be implied. The fact that two companies are part of the same group or that one is the fiscal representative of the other does not confer on the former the status of representative within the meaning of Article 5 of the Customs Code.

(see paras 31, 34-35, operative part 1)

2. Articles 12(2) and (5) and 217(1) of Regulation No 2913/92, as amended by Regulation No 82/97, and Article 11 of Regulation No 2454/93 as amended by Regulation No 12/97, read in conjunction with Article 243 of Regulation No 2913/92, as amended by Regulation No 82/97, must be interpreted as meaning that, in proceedings relating to the imposition of customs duties, an interested party may challenge that imposition by submitting as evidence a binding tariff information issued in respect of the same goods in another Member State although the binding tariff information cannot produce the legal effects attaching to it. It is, however, for the national court to determine whether the relevant procedural rules of the Member State concerned provide for the possibility of producing such types of evidence.

(see para. 44, operative part 2)

3. Article 12 of Regulation No 2913/92, as amended by Regulation No 82/97, and Article 10(1) of Regulation No 2454/93, as amended by Regulation No 12/97, must be interpreted as meaning that a national policy which allows national authorities to refer, for the purpose of the tariff classification of declared goods, to a binding tariff information issued to a third party for the same goods, could not give rise, on the part of traders, to a legitimate expectation that they could rely on that policy.

(see paras 47, 49-50, operative part 3)

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