Starting from April 8, 2015 bringing to responsibility for violation of customs regulations can be challenged in the courts of all instances
On April 8, 2015 the Constitutional Court of Ukraine passed the Decision No.3-rp/2015 in case No.1-6/20151 (hereinafter – “the Decision No.3-rp/2015”), which recognized regulations of part 2 Article 171-2 of the Code of Administrative Procedure of Ukraine as unconstitutional.
The specified regulation of the Code establishes that the decision of the local court of general jurisdiction as an administrative court in cases concerning decisions, actions or inactions of state authorities on bringing to administrative responsibility is final and cannot be appealed.
This refers to quite substantial number of disputes, which include, for instance, disputes with customs authorities in cases on violation of customs regulations. Sanctions for such violations may reach millions of UAH (for instance, Article 485 of the Customs Code of Ukraine imposes liability for actions directed to illegal remission of customs duties or reduction of their amount in the form of fine at a rate of 300 per cent of unpaid sum of customs duties).
Before adoption of the indicated Decision No.3-rp/2015 of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, the individual was deprived of opportunity to appeal an illegal decision of court of the first instance and was obliged to pay a fine defined by the customs authorities, unless such individual succeeded to persuade the court of the first instance. It is clear that leaving the issue of application of these sanctions under consideration of court of the first instance, taking into account present-day legal environment in Ukraine, was, to say the least, an inconsiderate step of the legislator.
It is obvious that situation was a serious violation of basic constitutional principles such as: the supremacy of law; the right to appeal decisions, actions or inactions of state authorities in a court; ensuring of the right to appeal or cassation appeal; inadmissibility to abridge existing rights etc.
For this reason, finally, by the Decision No.3-rp/2015 the Constitutional Court of Ukraine recognized regulations of part 2 Article 171-2 of the Code of Administrative Procedure of Ukraine, which prohibited appealing decisions of this kind, as unconstitutional. Hence, according to part 2 Article 152 of the Constitution of Ukraine such regulations became invalid and are not applicable.
Thus, starting from April 8, 2015 decisions of local court of general jurisdiction as an administrative court in cases concerning decisions, actions or inactions of state authorities regarding bringing to administrative responsibility can be considered under procedures of appeal or cassation, and can be also reconsidered under general rules of administrative procedure by the Supreme Court of Ukraine.
Full text of the Decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine as of April 8, 2015 is available on the website of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine by the link.
The above commentary presents the general statement for information purposes only and as such may not be practically used in specificcases without professional advice.
1The Decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine as of April 8, 2015 No.3-rp/2015 in the case constitutionally represented by the Authorized Human Rights Representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine regarding compliance of provisions of part 2 Article 171-2 of the Code of Administrative Procedure of Ukraine with the Constitution of Ukraine.