In 2014, our client (the largest Finnish supplier of cleaning supplies) and the official representative of the Russian Tests and Certification Center “ROSTEST-MOSCOW” in Saint-Petersburg (“BALT-TEST” LLC), entered into a contract to obtain certification for disinfectants. Our client planned to import said disinfectants to the territory of the Customs Union.
“BALT-TEST” issued a Declarations of Conformity in 2015 and handed them to the client. These Declarations were used by the client to complete the customs declarations of these imported goods.
During customs proceedings by Saint-Petersburg Customs after release of the goods in 2016, it was discovered that the Declarations of Conformity could not be used as the documents confirming compliance with the requirements of the applicable directives. prohibitions and restrictions, because (1) were not registered in the Register of Declarations of Conformity, and (2) the testing laboratory “Gostekspertservis”, TIN 1087746867350, certificate ROSS RU.0001.21ЛТ83, hired by OOO “BALT TEST”, was not entitled to test disinfectants (OKP code 939210). An administrative procedure was initiated.
The Aspectum. team advised the Client with respect to legal assistance in administrative cases. Customs issued 14 customs administrative offenses decisions based on invalid customs declaration documents (part 3 of article 16.2 Administrative Code of RF). A minimum fine was assigned for each offence, but overall penalty was 700 000 rubles.
After paying the fine, we appealed to the Arbitration court of St.-Petersburg and Leningrad region filing a complaint to OOO “BALT-TEST” with the requirement of compensation of the damage and a refund of all payments for “services rendered”.
The case was assigned number A56-13317/2017.
Aspectum. team proved that OOO “BALT-TEST” did not show the proper degree of care when selecting a testing laboratory that is usually required in business practices. This disregard led to the issuing of legally invalid declarations of conformity and damages in the amount of administrative penalties that are assigned by the St. Petersburg customs.
Both the court of first instance, the court of appeal found our claim reasonable and agreed to requirements to recover 700 000 rubles of losses and 45 500 rubles of unjust enrichment from OOO “BALT-TEST” in full.