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18th AEB Annual Customs Conference


The 18th AEB Annual Customs Conference was held on April 11. At the plenary session with representatives of the EEC, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, the REC, as well as within the framework of two round tables, experts discussed the development of customs legislation, the inclusion of dividends in customs value, and current issues of customs control.

Tadzio Shilling held a plenary session with the participation of representatives of government agencies.

Eldar Alisherov, Member of the Board (Minister) of the Eurasian Economic Commission for Customs Cooperation, presented a report on trends in the development of customs legislation and customs administration practices in the EAEU.

Nikita Zolkin, Director of the Department of Customs Policy and Alcohol Market Regulation, Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, informed on the methodology of determining the customs value of goods when paying dividends to a foreign seller.

Alexandra Romazina, Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Licensing in Foreign Trade, Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, informed about innovations in the regulation of foreign trade of the Russian Federation, in particular changes in PP № 311 and 312 and plans to introduce import duties.

Leonid Lozbenko, Chairman of the Public Council under the Federal Customs Service of Russia. He shared the peculiarities of business co-operation between the Public Council under the Federal Customs Service of Russia and the Federal Customs Service of Russia.

Gennady Bessonov, Secretary General of the International Coordinating Council for Trans-Eurasian Transport, spoke about the transformation of international logistics and the role of customs policy.

Irina Kashirina, Director of Foreign Economic Activity Support and Customs Administration, Russian Export Centre, shared the specifics of applying the goods processing procedure as a way to increase the competitiveness of Russian goods in foreign markets.

AEB experts and conference guests at the first roundtable discussed issues of including dividends in the customs value, such as:

  • Can dividends “per se” be included in the customs value? Interpretation of Clause 9 of Article 39 of the Customs Code of the EAEU taking into account international norms, clarifications of the WCO Technical Committee and the economic nature of dividends.
  • Who should bear the burden of proving "manipulation of elements of the cost of goods" and obtaining a "tax advantage"?
  • Is it permissible to understand "income" as "profit" in the context of paragraph 3, subparagraph 1, Article 40 of the Customs Code of the EAEU? What does "due" mean and should it be proven?
  • Methodology of inclusion by customs authorities of dividends as part of the income due directly or indirectly to the seller of goods.
  • When does the right to tax reconstruction arise due to reclassification (by the customs authority) of dividends as "subsequent income"?

At the second roundtable, the conference participants held a discussion on topical issues of customs control after the release of goods:

  • Extraterritoriality of customs audits: issues of interaction with the customs authority (provision of explanations, familiarization with audit materials, alternative jurisdiction).
  • Desk customs audit VS an audit of customs and other documents and (or) information - peculiarities and differences.
  • Burden of proof in carrying out inspections. Unified inspection methodology. Unification of inspection algorithms.
  • Effectiveness of objections to the act of audit.
  • Repeated control of the same shipments/declarations.