While customs authorities across the EU have widely considered indirect customs representatives liable for the payment of both customs duties and other taxes, like value-added tax (VAT), triggered at the time of import, a recent judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) demonstrates that this is not necessarily the case. On May 12, 2022, the CJEU found that there is no legal basis for this liability in EU customs law, meaning customs representatives are not responsible for the payment of VAT on imports unless there is national legislation in place that explicitly states otherwise.

In their latest alert, our Brussels trade team explains the implications of this ruling and the type of national legislation required to hold customs representatives liable for the payment of import VAT. They also assess whether or not Belgium, a country that regularly takes the position that customs representatives can be held responsible for this payment, compiles with the standards set forth by the court.

Read their full article at reedsmith.com.