Labels with unauthorised health claims

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products seized

14 December 2012 will be a very important day for Health Claims on Nutrition and Food Supplements, and that day is approaching fast. From 14 December, only a very restricted number of permitted health claims may be used to promote or advertise food or nutritional products. Read more


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Case law

A Dutch Court of appeal recently gave a decision in a case involving Fluoramfetamine. This chemical fell under the somewhat misleading category ‘legal highs’, which means that the chemical is not listed under the local Drug Abuse Act. Read more

Antidumping investigation into Solar Panels from China

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Tariff developments

The European Commission started an investigation into the imports of is crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules or ‘solar panels’, as well as into the cells and wafers of the type used in solar panels.  Several European manufacturers have apparently complained that solar panels were being Read more

Predict the course of a customs Audit

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Post Clearance Audit Guidelines

The World Customs Organisation (WCO) recently made public that it will launch a completely revised version of the guidelines for Post Clearance Audits. The second volume of the work contains guidelines for customs officers on (i) how to prepare for an audit, and (ii) how to conduct an audit. Read more

Pills with plant extracts are classified as medicine.

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classification opinion

In a recent classification decision from the World Customs Organisation, the HS committee ruled that certain pills, consisting of plant extracts ought to be classified as medicins. The pills contained a dried ethanolic extract of valerian root a dried aqueous extract of hop cones somemaltodextrose, Read more

Tariff Classification of LED lamps

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Case law

On 10 May 2012, the Netherlands Customs Court of First Instance decided on the tariff classification of LED lamps. The importer had customs cleared the LED lamps under 85414010, at 0% duty, whilst Customs was of the opinion that heading 8541 is for single Light Emitting Diodes only. The Court agreed Read more

Burden of proof in European Customs Cases

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customs case law developments

Last month, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal rendered a decision in a case about anti-dumping levies on energy-saving bulbs. I am quite familiar with that subject. What attracted my attention was an additional remark made by the Court. First, the Court determined that argument wasn’t proven and added: Read more

When may Customs stop or seize counterfeit goods

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… and when do they have to let go

One of the many.. many.. tasks of the European Customs Authorities is to protect intellectual property rights. I would like to refer shortly to a recent decision on EU Customs’ right to seize goods when the good are an imitation or (alledgely) violate a trademark. Up until now the EU Customs Authorities Read more

Conference on Reach Chemicals Enforcement

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Thursday 1 March, the European Chemicals Agency shall host a conference on enforcement of the REACH obligations. REACH is a regulation of the European Union that regulates chemical substances. Here is the link to the programme.  Read more

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 Read more