Questions and Answers

Many readers send us questions about particular aspects of cargo transport. To answer the questions, we have launched a project where we consult logistics experts about the topics that interest our readers. Send us your questions regarding transport, storage, forwarding, customs and documentation, implementation of customs regulations by customs authorities and customs agents, representation of clients in customs procedures, administrative, misdemeanor, and judicial procedures related to customs matters, insurance of goods in transit, carrier insurance…

We will provide answers from competent experts. We will publish a new question and answer here every week – stay tuned!

Customs and Transport Law

The customs authorities do not have a uniform position on this issue. Our practice is that the customs authorities’ positions are contradictory: in one case the customs authorities state that in the post-clearance audit procedure it is not possible to use evidence from other procedures (e.g., analysis of samples of the composition of goods from customs declarations that are not subject to the same post-clearance audit).

On the other side, we have cases where the customs authorities state that,evidence that was not presented in the specific post-clearance audit procedure, can be used in this the procedure. The answer to this question is essential when evaluating whether importers can be committed to paying customs debts three years back on the basis of evidence from other procedures, i.e., evidences which are not presented in a specific post-clearance audit procedure. To evaluate accuracy of data in customs declarations subject to control in the post clearance procedure, audit team is obliged to determine relevant facts and to present evidence supporting the facts exclusively in the respective post clearance procedure.

Ivan Milošević, Partner

Janez Vončina, Senior Associate

Law Office JPM Janković Popović Mitić

The previous Customs Law stipulated that incorrect tariffing of goods means entering a tariff heading that is different in relation to the data on the nature of the goods (Article 294, paragraph 1, item 5). The new Customs Law prescribes that incorrect tariffing is the presentation of incorrect or untrue data, i.e. acting in any other way (Article 267, paragraph 1, item 2).

The first-instance courts hold the charged legal entities not responsible for misdemeanourbecause the new Customs Law does not incriminate the action the entry of a tariff heading which is different in relation to the data on the nature of the goodsas misdemeanour. The courts refer to the case law of the highest court instance according to which “with the expiration of the law, the possibility of its application for acts undertaken during its validity does not cease if the new law treats the same act as punishable but with stricter penalties so that the law is not more lenient.”

In addition, the courts consider that the legislator, in the transitional provisions of the new Customs Law, was obliged to explicitly indicate that the misdemeanour under Article 267, paragraph 1, item 2 consumes the misdemeanourunder Article 294, paragraph 1, item 5 of the previous Customs Law. The Misdemeanour Court of Appeals does not share the opinion of the first instance misdemeanour courts. We believe that the Constitutional Court should remove this uncertainty and bring legal certainty to the business of importers and freight forwarders.

Ivan Milošević, Partner

Janez Vončina, Senior Associate

Law OfficeJPM Janković Popović Mitić

Recently, misdemeanour courts have been supporting the position that customs agents are responsible for presenting incorrect information, i.e. the accuracy of data in the customs declaration (incorrect tariffing). This position is explained in such a way that the customs agents participated in the customs clearance procedure, i.e. filled in the customs declaration, and that they are thus responsible for entering the tariff heading which was subsequently determined to be untrue.

On the other hand, the judgments of the misdemeanour courts state that importers (recipients of goods) cannot be responsible for the misdemeanour from Article 267, paragraph 2 of the Customs Law, because they were not the ones that entered the data in the customs declaration. At the same time, the courts consider that the fact whether it is a direct or indirect representation is not important for determining the responsibility for entering the data in the customs declaration. Article 12 paragraph 3 of the Customs Law, the violation of which is incriminated by Article 267 paragraph 2 of the Customs Law, prescribes that the declarant is responsible for the accuracy of the data in the customs declaration. The question is who is really responsible for the accuracy of the data in the customs declaration and who is considered to be the declarant referred to in Article 4, paragraph 1, item 15 of the Customs Law.

Ivan Milošević, Partner

Janez Vončina, Senior Associate

Law Office JPM Janković Popović Mitić

Transport and Logistics

Foodstuffs producers who export their products to Central Europe or the Far East regularly send samples to potential customers. Fruits, vegetables and pastry products can generally be transported fresh, frozen or dry. In the case of fresh or frozen goods, transport has to be arranged under temperature-controlled conditions, using specialized carriers.

While larger quantities of chilled or frozen goods are usually shipped in temperature-controlled containers or “Envirotainers”, smaller shipments are transported in special boxes and cooled with dry ice. Air transport has a clear advantage over sea transport in this case, since it is significantly faster. Dry ice shipments are subject to a number of restrictions, since airlines classify them as dangerous goods (DG). Although dry ice does not cause damage by itself, it is considered a hazardous substance and requires documentation and handling by trained personnel to ensure compliance with IATA restrictions.

Another method of transporting temperature-sensitive goods is with gel packs. These are packages of liquid refrigerant that absorb heat and maintain a constant temperature. In contrast to dry ice, gel packs are not categorized as dangerous goods, but they are more expensive. No matter which method you choose, it is essential to plan ahead and contact your logistics provider early to ensure that the transport can be organized efficiently.

Based on many years of experience in cold chain logistics, cargo-partner can create an all-round solution for the transport of temperature-sensitive fruit, vegetable and pastry samples. Our service includes pickup and delivery in special refrigerated vehicles, temperature-controlled storage at the airport, cross-checking of documents, customs clearance and cold chain monitoring. We will be glad to provide any necessary packaging and cooling equipment such as temperature-controlled containers, dry ice and gel packs.

Fast, reliable service and efficient planning are the key factors to transport temperature-sensitive fruits, vegetables and pastries. If you would like to find out more, our experts will be glad to answer your questions.

Best regards,

cargo-partner | transport + iLogistics

Since January 1, 2021, the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the EU and has “third country status” with a separate customs territory from the EU. Although the EU and UK signed a free trade agreement, there are still significant changes in documentation and processes that must be followed in order for the EU and UK to trade with each other.

All imports and exports of goods between the UK and the EU are now subject to customs procedures. As each EU jurisdiction has its own reporting model, these procedures can differ depending on transport mode and port of exit/entry. Therefore, it is very important to know your cargo flow and route to market as this can affect customs processes.

Importers and exporters have to provide comprehensive documentation for customs clearance. This includes a full and complete commercial invoice containing shipper and consignee details and EORI numbers, Incoterms, HS commodity codes, product description, origin and value of goods, number of packaging units and cargo weight. Depending on the type of cargo, additional documents like a phytosanitary certificate may be required.

Just in time for Brexit, on January 1, 2021, cargo-partner opened its office in Manchester, UK to optimally support its customers with post-Brexit customs processes. Our experts are glad to help prepare the necessary documentation and answer any other questions regarding transport between the EU and UK. As an accredited AEO (Authorized Economic Operator), cargo-partner can ensure speedy customs processes. With our extensive network throughout Europe, we can take over coordination with all involved companies and authorities in the local language. In addition, we provide a range of express transport services by air and road transport.

For more information, visit our website or contact us for a detailed consultation!

Best regards,

cargo-partner | transport + iLogistics

The impacts of the coronavirus have led to capacity shortages in transport between China and Europe. Many companies are looking for alternatives to secure the delivery of important shipments. In contrast to air, road and sea transport, rail transport from China remains a relative “island of stability”, as it has been largely unaffected by anti-epidemiological measures. Moreover, this method of transport provides significantly shorter transit times compared to seafreight.

Rail transport is suitable for a range of products including automotive, fashion and high tech goods, from machines to components and raw materials. There are a few products which cannot be transported by rail, including perishable goods and dangerous goods such as batteries or explosives. Since rail transport is up to 50% faster than seafreight and up to 60% more cost-efficient than airfreight, it is not surprising that an increasing number of companies choose this alternative. The low CO₂ footprint is a welcome side-effect.

cargo-partner offers weekly rail transport solutions for part-load (LCL) shipments with transit times from 18 to 22 days from China to Europe. We have been organizing full and part load container transports between Asia and Europe by rail for over half a decade and have a long-standing reputation as a provider of rail transports across the New Silk Road. In addition, we also have experience with organizing block trains – entire trains dedicated to freight transport.

With our dense network of hubs throughout China as well as Central and Eastern Europe, we can provide a door-to-door solution. Our service includes distribution and storage with a range of value added services such as stuffing, unloading, palletizing and securing of containers as well as comprehensive customs clearance support and expertise in China and Europe. Modern GSM tracking tools ensure transparency throughout the supply chain.

Would you like to know more about how you can save time and costs with rail transport across the New Silk Road? Our rail transport experts look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

cargo-partner | transport + iLogistics

One major concern of pet owners is how to organize transport for their pets when traveling or relocating. If the destination is relatively close, pet owners can bring their dogs, cats or other small pets by car. However, when traveling by plane, they will require the help of a transport and logistics expert to organize air transportation.

The first step is to ensure that all required documents are available. Since the requirements and procedures vary from country to country, we recommend planning early and contacting your logistics provider at least 14 days in advance. The required documents usually include veterinary documents such as a pet passport and current health certificate. Some countries require a rabies blood test, the “titar test”, which has to be taken at least 30 days after rabies vaccination.

As a “pet-friendly forwarder”, cargo-partner has a dedicated team with many years of experience in the transport of live animals. We offer detailed advice and organize the entire transport process to make sure everything goes smooth and hassle-free for the pets and their owners: from booking the flight with the airline to handling the acceptance of the pet in the cargo area, overseeing the boarding process, handling in transit and finally arrival at the destination. On request, we can also provide IATA-compliant travel kennels and trained staff to accompany pets during the flight. We take care to monitor all steps closely, because we know that many of our customers consider their pets to be family members.

For transports of live animals to and from Serbia, customers can visit the website of the relevant ministry to find out about all required documentation or simply get in touch with cargo-partner’s specialized team.

Contact your “pet-friendly forwarder” to find out more!

Best regards,

cargo-partner | transport + iLogistics

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