Disputed Origin – burden of proof

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recent case law

In a recent case that I handled, Customs denied the indicated origin of the goods, and stated that the had in fact been manufactured in China. As a result, according to Customs, an anti-dumping duty had been circumvented.  The judicial appeal focussed on the burden of proof. The question before the Court is who bears the burden of proof on the origin of the goods. Is the importer required to demonstrate that the indicated origin is correct, or should the customs show that the origin indicated is not correct? The answer to that question is often decisive for the outcome of legal proceedings. The European case law shows that, as a rule, Customs will have to prove that a indicated origin is incorrect, when Custom alleges that the origin is in fact different. In this particular case, Customs were unable to proof that the origin was in fact incorrect, and the appeal was approved (see the recent ruling of the Court of Haarlem of 8 December 2011; 10/5914)

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