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Customs sanctions

The legitimate jurisprudence, awaiting a national or community legislative intervention that redetermines and makes customs sanctions homogeneous in compliance with the community principle of proportionality, expresses itself in an original ruling stating that “In terms of violations in customs matters, VAT upon importation, as it is unrelated to the customs debt, it cannot be cumulated with the amount of border duties evaded, for the purposes of determining the sanctions pursuant to art. 303 of the Consolidated Law on Customs Law (TULD)”, effectively significantly reducing the sanctions imposed in the case brought to its attention, well beyond the legal minimum.

The provision of the art. 303 TULD calibrates the sanctioning response on the basis of brackets determined by the difference between the overall border duties paid in the declaration and those deemed due according to the customs assessment. In the notion, therefore, of “border rights” the Supreme Court excludes VAT, although article 70 of the VAT Directive specifies that this tax becomes payable when the importation of goods is carried out, and art. 71 d.p.r. 633/1972 reports that the VAT due on importation is assessed, liquidated and collected for each operation, applying, as regards disputes and sanctions, the provisions of the customs laws relating to border rights.

Giorgia Orsi


Through this Sanctions Desk and thanks to our extensive expertise in shipping, we aim to assist our Clients in complying with the new regulations by providing regular updates and legal analysis on sanctions impacting the shipping industry. Our team is also available to advise maritime operators on the drafting of relevant clauses and to represent them in any disputes regarding sanctions.

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