Welcome to the website of the WCO.

Please choose your preferred language

X

Searched: 

  of 
PrevNext
  • Overview

    The WTO TFA requires Members to provide that any person to whom Customs issues an administrative decision has the right to administrative appeal or review, and/or judicial appeal or review. The administrative and judicial review should be carried out in a non-discriminatory manner.

    Chapter 10 of the General Annex to the Revised Kyoto Convention concerns appeals in Customs matters. The standards provide for a transparent and multi-stage appeal process, the intention being to prevent the perception of victimization by those affected by Customs decisions.  Furthermore, the availability of an independent judicial review as a final avenue of appeal should instill confidence, by the public and the trade, in government institutions and in particular in the Customs administration.

    print this item

    WTO TFA

    1. Each Member shall provide that any person to whom customs issues an administrative decision4 has the right, within its territory, to:

        (a)    an administrative appeal to or review by an administrative authority higher than or independent of the official or office that issued the decision;

    and/or

        (b)    a judicial appeal or review of the decision.

    2. The legislation of a Member may require that an administrative appeal or review be initiated prior to a judicial appeal or review.

    3. Each Member shall ensure that its procedures for appeal or review are carried out in a non-discriminatory manner.

    4. Each Member shall ensure that, in a case where the decision on appeal or review under subparagraph 1(a) is not given either:

       (a)    within set periods as specified in its laws or regulations; or

       (b)    without undue delay

    the petitioner has the right to either further appeal to or further review by the administrative authority or the judicial authority or any other recourse to the judicial authority.5

    5. Each Member shall ensure that the person referred to in paragraph 1 is provided with the reasons for the administrative decision so as to enable such a person to have recourse to procedures for appeal or review where necessary.

    6. Each Member is encouraged to make the provisions of this Article applicable to an administrative decision issued by a relevant border agency other than customs.


    4 An administrative decision in this Article means a decision with a legal effect that affects the rights and obligations of a specific person in an individual case. It shall be understood that an administrative decision in this Article covers an administrative action within the meaning of Article X of the GATT 1994 or failure to take an administrative action or decision as provided for in a Member's domestic law and legal system. For addressing such failure, Members may maintain an alternative administrative mechanism or judicial recourse to direct the customs authority to promptly issue an administrative decision in place of the right to appeal or review under subparagraph 1(a).

    5 Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent a Member from recognizing administrative silence on appeal or review as a decision in favor of the petitioner in accordance with its laws and regulations.

    print this item

    Revised kyoto convention

    General Annex – Chapter 10 (Appeals in Customs Matters)

    This right of appeal ensures protection for the individual against decisions of Customs that may not be in compliance with the laws and regulations which they are responsible for administering and enforcing.  It also ensures protection against omissions by Customs in any matter.  At the same time, the review of challenged decisions or omissions by a competent authority and the verdicts of these reviews can be a suitable means of ensuring uniform application of the laws and regulations.  Depending upon the legal system of the country concerned, these verdicts may or may not constitute legal precedents or official interpretations that will relate to like or similar disputes to be settled in the future.

    The provisions contained in Chapter 10 provide for a transparent and multi-stage appeal process.  It is intended to prevent the perception of victimization by those affected by Customs decisions.  Furthermore, the availability of an independent judicial review as a final avenue of appeal should instill confidence, by the public and the trade, in government institutions and in particular in the Customs administration.

    This Chapter covers appeals in all matters relating to the laws and regulations which the Customs are responsible for administering and enforcing, such as in matters of tariff classification, origin and Customs valuation, as well as appeals against provisions of a general character.  It does not, however, embrace appeals in penal matters or appeals against opinions expressed by Customs which are not binding in effect.

    General Annex – Chapter 10 (Appeals in Customs Matters) (download

    RKC Guidelines on RKC General Annex  - Chapter 10  (download)

    print this item

    Other WCO Tools

    Members Practices

    Customs Appeal Authority (New Zealand)   (RKC Guidelines General Annex 10)

    • New Zealand administers Standard 10.5 by way of the Customs Appeal Authority (CAA).
    • The CAA is an independent judicial body established under the Customs and Excise Act 1996 and administered by the Ministry of Justice.
    • It hears appeals against the assessments, decisions, rulings, determinations or directions made under statute by the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Customs Service.
    • The CAA can confirm, reverse, or amend a decision by the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Customs Service.
    • A person can appeal against the decision of the CAA to the High Court. The High Court has jurisdiction over both criminal and civil matters, and deals with cases at first instance or on appeal from other courts and certain tribunals.
    • The CAA is currently composed of one person, appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister of Customs, and the Minister of Justice. However, more than one Authority can be established if required. Hearings are held throughout New Zealand.
    • The CAA provides an easy access, low cost way of appealing decisions of the New Zealand Customs Service’s Chief Executive. The CAA is independent of the New Zealand Customs Service, and is able to hear cases “on the papers” without the need for parties to appear.
    • The legal provisions governing the CAA are found in the Customs and Excise Act 1996, Part 16, Customs Appeal Authorities (sections 244 to 274). Part 16 sets out the establishment of the CAA and its proceedings.
    • The Customs and Excise Act 1996 is available on the following website: www.legislation.govt.nz.
    • Recent amendments to the Customs and Excise Act 1996 give further effect to Standard 10.5. The appeal provisions relating to goods that have been seized as forfeit have been changed to allow an appeal to the Chief Executive in the first instance, with a right of appeal to the CAA if not satisfied with the Chief Executive’s decision.


    United States Court of International Trade (US)   (RKC Guidelines General Annex 10)

    • Long before becoming a contracting party to the Original or the Revised Kyoto Convention, the United States had an established appeal process that allowed persons adversely affected by Customs’ final administrative decisions to seek review of such decisions, initially from the United States Customs Court and thereafter, its successor, the United States Court of International Trade (USCIT).
    • The Customs Court Act of 1980 created the USCIT as a replacement for the 90 year old United States Customs Court. The USCIT hears cases involving international trade matters including appeals and protests filed with various U.S. agencies to include U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The Customs Court Act of 1980 came about due to the growing scope and complexity of litigation involving customs and international trade and was aimed at improving the efficiency of the federal court system with regard to international trade litigation.
    • USCIT is part of the judicial branch of the United States government, which is completely independent of the executive branch under which CBP and other law enforcement agencies reside. Depending on the nature of the case, appeal action must commence within a specified period of time as provided by statute. See for example, 28 U.S.C. 2636 for the time to seek judicial review of protests.
    • The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has exclusive jurisdiction over appeals from the USCIT with subsequent appeals being heard by the Supreme Court, the ultimate and final United States court.


    Tax and Customs Tribunals (TCT) (Chile) (download)

    print this item

    Performance Indicators

    Yes/No Question

    • Do you have administrative appeal or review procedures, before judicial procedures are used?

    Quantitative indicators

    • No. of  administrative appeals or reviews filed per year

    print this item