The Court Reduces Customs Office Claims by 50 Times, in the Interests of Quelle, Case on Whether Payments for the Use of IP Items are to Be Included in the Goods Customs Value

The ruling of the Court of Commercial Arbitration for Kaluga Region was published recently and became an important milestone in the years-long dispute between Mail Order Service (Quelle trademark) and Kaluga Customs. The court has once again upheld the position of the Company detailed by the experts of the Firm and, accordingly, reduced the claims of the Customs Office by more than 50 times compared to what had been produced initially. The dispute deals with the matter of whether the payments for the use of intellectual property items – the trademarks for the circumstances in question – are to be included in the customs value of imported goods.

Through continuous presentation of logical arguments, the attorneys of the Firm have proven to the court that such payments are to be assessed only within the volume as such items would be representing specific types of goods.  Furthermore, the issue concerning powers of Kaluga Customs Office interpreted by the customs agency in a rather vast manner was subject to a separate inquiry.  As a result the Court of Commercial Arbitration ruled that the Customs Office had no power to control license payments representing goods that had undergone customs clearance in the areas controlled by other
customs offices.

Therefore, the risk of unwarranted assessment with multimillion customs duties has been eliminated, and an important precedent was added in terms of judicial enforcement approach supporting the view that payments for the use of intellectual property items are to be included in the customs value of imported goods only in those events that have been directly outlined under the law.

We also remember that earlier, in 2011, KIAP legal experts achieved a similar result on the level of the Federal Arbitration Court for the North-West District, case А44-3558/2010.