Upon declaring of customs procedure of customs transit, the international carrier is a declarant, i.e. the carrier is charged with the corresponding obligations for violation, which provides for administrative and criminal liability.
One of such obligations is to carry out the customs declaring procedure. The customs declaring procedure means the application to the customs body with the use of customs declaration of information about the goods, selected customs procedure and (or) other information, necessary for goods passing through the Customs control.
Thus, none other than the international carrier is responsible for the correctness and reliability of the information specified in the customs declaration, i.e. if the customs bodies during customs control establish discrepancy between the goods actually transported and information about these goods, as a result of which there are or may be grounds for exemption from customs duties, or understatement of their size, or non-application of prohibitions and (or) restrictions established by the legislation of the Republic of Belarus or the law of the EAEU, then an administrative process will be initiated against such a carrier on the grounds of Part 1 or Part 4 of Article 15.5 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Belarus (non-declaration).
The penalty in the amount up to 30% of the cost of administrative offence item may be imposed on an international carrier due to the failure to declare the goods, i.e. up to 30% of the cost of unaccounted goods.
Such a penalty may be crucial for the carrier, resulting in a possible termination of business (bankruptcy).
What measures shall the international carrier take in this situation? What are the ways to reduce possible risks? What are the ways to indemnify oneself? Here are some recommendations.
1. Very thoroughly approach the choice of the transportation customer. You will avoid financial losses in the future.
2. The contract of carriage shall mandatorily include: a) an article of transferring to the Carrier the security amount for the penalty in case of receiving of such claims addressed by the Customs with regard to the carried goods; b) the condition of compensation by the customer of transportation losses in the form of the amount of an administrative penalty imposed by the court based on the results of administrative violation proceedings on the fact of non-declaration of the transported goods.
3. Control shipment process as much as the specificities of taken for transportation goods and packages allow to do. It is recommended to control the quantity of cargo items and weight.
4. If there are doubts before submitting a customs declaration, use the declarant’s right to inspect and measure the goods. For these purposes, it is recommended to engage a commodity expert, if necessary.
5. Actively participate in the customs examination, engage a commodity expert, if required, to introduce notes in the customs inspection report, if necessary.
6. Independently or in cooperation with the Seller (Buyer), to provide Customs bodies with detailed information about undeclared goods, including their value. In the absence of accurate information about the goods, the Customs will use the maximum possible rates when calculating the amount of import duties and taxes, which is not in the interests of the carrier. It is important to remember that the cost of undeclared goods is the basis for calculating the penalty. In theory, the lower the cost, the smaller the penalty.
7. If, in your opinion, the value of undeclared goods determined by the Customs bodies will be overstated, then contact a specialist for an opinion on the assessment.
8. To prepare for administrative violation proceedings in the court, including developing an appropriate position on the case, to collect and prepare for the provision of appropriate evidence in support of the stated arguments.
9. In case of disagreement with the decision on proceedings of an administrative offense, get a reasoned part and appeal the decision to a higher court.
10. When showing the agreement with the court decision, prepare and send an application for the return of part of the money remaining after the payment of the penalty (if the payment of the penalty was secured).