Error by the Customs to stop exports to Russia


Published 18 November 2022 at 13.12

Domestic. Customs has not shown that certain goods for export to Russia are subject to prohibition. The administrative court therefore annuls the decision of the Swedish Customs Administration and releases the goods for export.

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In July 2022, the Swedish Customs Service decided in eleven different decisions not to release a company's goods for export to Russia.

The decision to stop the export was justified by the fact that the recipient of the goods is connected to a natural person, partly a legal person who is subject to EU sanctions due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

However, the Administrative Court assesses that the Customs Agency has not shown that neither the natural person nor the legal person owns or controls the recipient of the goods in such a way that the goods can be considered covered by the prohibitions in the EU regulations. Goods that are not subject to prohibition, or must be stopped for other reasons, must be released for export. The Administrative Court therefore annuls the decision of the Customs Agency and declares that the goods must be released for export.

– In the case of intervention measures, as is now the case, it is the decision-making authority that has the burden of proof that the prerequisites for the measure are met. In this case, the administrative court considers that the Swedish Customs Administration has not shown that the goods in question are subject to prohibition. Under such conditions, the goods must be released for export, says Anna Maria Åslund Nilsson, lawyer and one of the judges responsible for the case.