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RECOMMENDATION OF THE CUSTOMS CO-OPERATION COUNCIL
CONCERNING THE RIGHT OF APPEAL IN CUSTOMS MATTERS
(6th JUNE 1967)

THE CUSTOMS CO-OPERATION COUNCIL,

CONSIDERING that the decisions, acts or omissions of Customs authorities may give rise to disputes between them and the persons concerned;

CONSIDERING that it is desirable for these persons to have a right of appeal in order to protect their legitimate interests;

CONSIDERING that this right of appeal would also contribute to the uniform application of the laws and regulations which the Customs authorities are responsible for enforcing;

RECOMMENDS that Members of the Council and members of the United Nations Organization or its specialized agencies, and Customs or Economic Unions, should :

1. grant a right of appeal to any person (natural or legal) who deems himself to be aggrieved by a decision or act of the Customs authorities or by their failure to take action on a request or a matter duly submitted to them, provided that such person is directly affected by the decision, act or omission;

2. provide for appeals to be determined by a competent authority. The authority may be either a Customs authority or an arbitral, administrative or judicial authority independent of the Customs Administration;

3. provide that, where the competent authority is a Customs authority, the appellant shall be entitled, at least in the last resort, to submit the matter to an authority independent of the Customs Administration;

4. allow goods, which become the subject of an appeal as a result of a dispute arising during their clearance, to be released provided that :

(a) release would not prejudice consideration of the appeal;

(b) there is no suspicion of fraud;

(c) the goods are neither considered to be prohibited goods, nor subject to import or export restrictions precluding their release, and

(d) an amount adequate to cover the duties and taxes as assessed by the Customs authorities is paid or security for that amount is provided;

5. ensure that the appeals procedure is as simple as possible and that decisions are reached and notified to the appellant with the minimum delay;

6. ensure that suitable publicity is given to the appeals procedure, in particular with regard to the time limit and the other conditions to be fulfilled for lodging an appeal;

POINTS OUT that the present Recommendation covers appeals in matters relating to the laws and regulations which the Customs authorities are responsible for enforcing. It does not, however, embrace appeals in penal matters, appeals against provisions of a general character or appeals against opinions expressed by Customs authorities which are not binding in effect;

REQUESTS Members of the Council and members of the United Nations Organization or its specialized agencies, and Customs or Economic Unions which accept this Recommendation to notify the Secretary General of the Council of the date from which they will apply the Recommendation and of the conditions of its application. The Secretary General will transmit this information to the Customs administrations of all Members of the Council. He will also transmit it to the Customs administrations of the members of the United Nations Organization or its specialized agencies and to Customs or Economic Unions which have accepted this Recommendation.

* The Customs Co-operation Council is the official name of the World Customs Organization.