by Dr. Leopold Baumann
European Community customs legislation provides for the remission, repayment or non-recovery, under certain conditions, of import duties due per se in order to take account of the seriousness of the customs debt incurred. For unforeseen individual cases, the law also provides the user of the right with the possibility of achieving the same result for reasons of equity within a margin of assessment and discretion. In order to ensure equal treatment of these cases throughout the Community, the national customs authorities must submit them to the European Commission for decision.
Over the years, the Commission has decided a large number of such cases. The case law of the European courts has also been established in this area.
In this paper, the cases and decisions of the Commission and, where applicable, the courts are presented, systematically arranged in case groups and evaluated. In addition, the work contains explanations on the self-binding nature of the Commission through its previous decisions, on the judicial reviewability of the decisions, an assessment of the decision-making procedures to be applied by the Commission and finally conclusions for the legal field in the future.