A 2015 decision by an appeals tribunal in Australia may prove to be an important precedent for other jurisdictions.
The background is that a foreign supplier was the importer of record and was deemed to have underpaid the duty on the consignment. It was unlikely that the shortfall could be recovered from the supplier, so the authorities were seeking to recover it from the importer.
The ruling stated that “customs duty is not imposed on the person, but on the goods”, and that Customs can seek duty from parties other than those who had possession or control of the goods at the time of import.
Another good reason for thinking carefully before accepting the DDP rule for a transaction!
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