Appeal procedure relating to Customs Matters - C&E 5

Who can appeal?

Any person who is aggrieved by a written decision by the Revenue Commissioners or an officer of the Revenue Commissioners in relation to a customs matter covered by EU customs legislation may appeal such decision. The Community Customs Code (Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2913/92) and its implementing provisions contain the legislation in question.

What customs matters are involved?

Examples of such decisions are:

  • Rulings in relation to binding tariff information (BTI)
  • Rulings in relation to a customs duty paid or payable
  • Refusal of relief or exemption from or repayment or remission of customs duty
  • The amount of customs duty in question
  • Customs approval or non-approval of particular treatment or use of goods (e.g. the placing of goods under a customs procedure such as their release for free circulation).

Any other matter arising from the implementation of EU customs rules may also be appealed.

Cases involving criminal proceedings or the seizure of goods cannot be processed under this procedure.

How do I make an appeal?

You should set out, in writing, the basis of the appeal and forward it, together with any relevant documentation (or copies), to the person from whom you received the written decision which you are appealing. The appeal will be acknowledged by, but will not be determined by, that officer. You should note that, except in exceptional circumstances, you must make your appeal within 30 days of the event giving rise to the appeal. You should also note that where the decision being appealed involves the obligation to pay customs duty, that obligation is not suspended pending the determination of the appeal.

How will the appeal process work?

On receipt of your appeal it will be processed by an officer nominated by the Revenue Commissioners for that purpose. The officer will be someone of senior rank and without previous involvement in the matter under appeal. You may be requested to provide additional information or other assistance.

You will be advised, in writing, of the outcome of your lodgment of appeal within 30 days from the date of lodgment. The reasons for the Revenue Commissioners’ determination of your appeal will be given.

Certain appeals, e.g. for repayment of customs duty, may need to be referred to the EU Commission in accordance with the provisions of the Community Customs Code. Such cases will be determined by the EU Commission and not by the Revenue Commissioners. You will be advised of any such referral and, in due course, of its outcome.

Can the Revenue Commissioners’ determination be appealed?

There is provision for appealing the Revenue Commissioners’ determination by applying to have your case heard by the Appeal Commissioners appointed by the Minister for Finance under the Income Tax Act, 1967.

You must give written notice of intention to appeal within 30 days of the date of notification of the determination of the initial appeal by the Revenue Commissioners.

You should send the notice to the person from whom you received the written decision which you are appealing. Upon receipt of the copy of the notification of appeal, the Revenue Commissioners will arrange with the Appeal Commissioners a date and venue for the hearing of the appeal and will advise you of the arrangements made. If you wish, you may be represented at the hearing by your agent, accountant, barrister, solicitor, or some other person permitted by the Appeal Commissioners.

Before the hearing takes place, written submission may be made direct to the Appeal Commissioners. Equally, the Appeal Commissioners may request further information on the case from you.

What happens at the hearing?

At the hearing, both sides present their case and may be subjected to questioning by the Appeal Commissioners.

What happens after the hearing?

When the appeal has been fully heard the Appeal Commissioners’ formal determination may be given at the hearing or reserved and later advised to you in writing. This determination is final unless a case is required to by stated for the opinion of the High Court.

Note: Excise appeals are covered in Information Leaflet - c&e 6.

July 2012

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