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Document 62008CN0264

Case C-264/08: Reference for a preliminary ruling from the Hof van Cassatie van België lodged on 19 June 2008 — Belgische Staat v Direct Parcel Distribution Belgium NV

OJ C 247, 27.9.2008, p. 3–4 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

27.9.2008   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 247/3


Reference for a preliminary ruling from the Hof van Cassatie van België lodged on 19 June 2008 — Belgische Staat v Direct Parcel Distribution Belgium NV

(Case C-264/08)

(2008/C 247/05)

Language of the case: Dutch

Referring court

Hof van Cassatie van België

Parties to the main proceedings

Appellant: Belgische Staat

Respondent: Direct Parcel Distribution Belgium NV

Questions referred

1.

Is the entry in the accounts referred to in Article 221 of the Community Customs Code (1) the same as the entry in the accounts referred to in Article 217, which consists in the amount of duty being entered by the customs authorities in the accounting records or on any other equivalent medium?

2.

If the first question is answered in the affirmative, how is the rule laid down in Article 217 of the Community Customs Code that the amount of duty is to be ‘entered … in the accounting records or on any other equivalent medium’ to be construed? Are certain technical or formal minimum requirements attached thereto, or does Article 217 leave the establishment of more detailed rules on the practice of entering the amount of duty in the accounts entirely to the Member States, without imposing any minimum requirements? Should that entry in the accounts be distinguished from the entry of the amount of duty in the accounts for own resources as referred to in Article 6 of Regulation No 1150/2000 (2) of 22 May 2000 implementing Decision 94/728/EC, Euratom on the system of the Communities' own resources?

3.

Should Article 221(1) of the Community Customs Code be understood to mean that a notification of the amount of duty by the customs authorities to the debtor in accordance with appropriate procedures can be regarded as the communication of the amount of duty by the customs authorities as referred to in Article 221(1) only if the amount of duty was entered in the accounts before being brought to the debtor's attention? In addition, what is meant by the words ‘in accordance with appropriate procedures’ used in Article 221(1)?

4.

If the answer to the third question is affirmative, can an assumption be made to the advantage of the State that the amount of duty was entered in the accounts before being communicated to the debtor? Can the national court also proceed on the assumption that the declaration by the customs authorities that the amount of duty was entered in the accounts before being communicated to the debtor is true, or should those authorities submit written evidence of the entry of the amount of duty in the accounts to the national court as a matter of course?

5.

Must the entry of the amount of duty in the accounts required by Article 221(1) of the Community Customs Code precede its communication to the debtor on pain of the annulment or expiry of the right to proceed to recovery or post-clearance recovery of the customs debt? In other words, should Article 221(1) be understood to mean that, if the amount of duty is brought to the attention of the debtor by the customs authorities in accordance with appropriate procedures, but without the amount of duty having been entered in the accounts by the customs authorities prior to that notification, the amount of duty cannot be recovered, unless the customs authorities again bring the amount of duty to the debtor's attention in accordance with appropriate procedures after the amount of duty has been entered in the accounts and in so far as that occurs within the limitation period laid down in Article 221 of the Community Customs Code?

6.

If the fifth question is answered in the affirmative, what is the consequence of the payment by the debtor of the amount of duty communicated to him without its having been previously entered in the accounts? Should this be regarded as an undue payment which he may recover from the State?


(1)  OJ 1992 L 302, p. 1.

(2)  OJ 2000 L 130, p. 1.


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