czech Trade

Matt Atlas

Brussels Demands Czechia Pay €82.5 Million In Lost Customs Duties

The European Commission is demanding approximately 2.1 billion crowns (82.5 million euros) from the Czech Republic for incorrect assessment of customs duties on imports of textiles and footwear from China in 2012 to 2019. The commission is also demanding money from other EU countries because they underestimated the value of imported goods from China. This has led to lower revenues in the EU budget. The customs administration does not agree with the conclusions of the commission and will continue to discuss this matter.

“The European Commission is convinced that the misconduct of EU customs between 2012 and 2019 has led to a loss of revenue, which is paid into the EU budget from customs duties collected by Member States. It now demands a proportional amount from Member States to compensate for the loss,” .

Customs duties account for approximately 15 percent of the revenue of the common EU budget, of which the Czechia has long been a net recipient.

Since 2018, a similar case has been handled by a commission with the United Kingdom. In September 2018, the commission gave the UK two months to pay 2.7 billion euros in customs duties to the EU budget. The Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has said that Britain has long ignored large-scale customs fraud involving goods – mainly footwear and textiles – imported mainly from China. In doing so, it has caused the Union significant losses, which it should compensate. The case eventually ended with the European Court of Justice. He should decide next year.

The duty is one of the so-called traditional sources of the EU budget. According to the financial statementsEU in 2019 amounted to 21.2 billion euros (approximately 515 billion crowns). The EU’s total revenue in 2019 was € 160.3 billion.

According to the Customs Administration Activity Report for 2019sent the Czechia to the EU from the collection of customs duties 7.4 billion crowns. A year earlier, according to the report, it was 6.8 billion crowns. However, customs duties are also revenue of the state budget. Together, in 2019, the customs administration paid 9.2 billion crowns from the customs to the EU and the budget.

The total number of import customs declarations lodged in 2019 decreased by 0.9 percent compared to 2018 to 1.3 million. However, according to the document, the number of items in customs declarations increased slightly to 2.8 million. The Ministry of Finance, according to which the customs officers belong, has not yet published the report for 2020.