When ordering goods via American or European internet-stores, one may face some problems concerning payments and timely deliveries.
There are lots of intermediaries that organize the entire process, described above. One of these schemes foresees creation of a customer’s virtual “postal” address, for example, in the US, delivery of the goods from the online store to that very address and then a further delivery to the Ukrainian address.
This widespread scheme works until the customs authority during the inspection find a discrepancy in the description of a parcel’s contents and the declared value and list of goods. The intermediaries often indicate in a customs declaration a completely different product and lowered costs, when sending goods that are prohibited for import into Ukraine or when trying to avoid customs duties.
Under the declaration, the same person is a sender and a receiver of the goods (customer, a citizen of Ukraine) – once with the US address and once with a Ukrainian one. Thus, under Ukrainian legislation, the sender bears the entire responsibility for the violation of customs rules and non-declaration of the goods (the sanction foresees confiscation of the goods and a fine equal to the cost of the goods).
Legal-servicing company “Legalaid” has recently made a successful representation of clients in a similar case, which concerned the transfer of goods worth about 250,000 USD. Our client was protocolized as a sender of undeclared goods and was brought to a responsibility. The customs office noted the “special social danger” of actions committed by our client, based on the considerable cost of the goods, but in fact it was a fault of the intermediary, who organized all of these procedures.
The “Legalaid” lawyers, Natalia Vasylechko in particular, succeeded in protection of the customer’s interests in court, proving that a citizen of Ukraine – the customer – cannot be responsible for the non-declaration of goods, because he had not committed these actions by himself, and it doesn’t matter whether he was mentioned in the declaration or not.
The inferior court decided to return the goods to the customer, and this ruling was upheld by the Court of Appeal of Lviv region.
For legal assistance in tax and customs matters, please call +38 096 002 01 00 or other contacts on the site.