Fines and criminal legislation

In the customs (declaration) proces mistakes are made. Often these errors are dealt with in the administrative sphere. This can result in a fine being imposed (for example for filling an incorrect import declaration). Mostly this is dealt with in the administrative version of the fine and criminal law is not applied. When you receive such a fine this can be challenged in administrative review and appeal procedures. The judicial process will follow the same path as the case in which a re-assessment is imposed. In that case it is important to make the deadline of six weeks after the fine is imposed and then take the right subsequent steps.

However, in some cases, customs authorities choose to apply criminal law (through intervention of a specialized fraud coordinator). The customs legislation prescribes which facts may lead to criminal prosecution. That is, for example (already) the case when an incorrect customs declaration is performed. Nowadays, customs has a powerful additional weapon: the “fiscale strafbeschikking”.

Customs criminal law is a job for specialists. Sometimes you have to rely on the right to remain silent and sometimes you might have an interest in making a statement. Litigating before a criminal court requires a combination of knowledge of customs law and criminal law. This combination is in practice a troublesome combination. The lawyers and consultants of Customs Knowledge have this combination of knowhow and have wide experience in this field. We will gladly assist you.

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