- Russian Federation
- A53-20616/2013 15AP-22068/2013
- Fifteenth circuit Arbitrazh Court of Appeal
SUPPLY CONTRACT - BETWEEN A RUSSIAN COMPANY AND A TURKISH COMPANY - UNIDROIT PRINCIPLES APPLIED AS MEANS FOR INTERPRETING DOMESTIC LAW (RUSSIAN LAW)
FREEDOM OF CONTRACT - REFERENCE TO ARTICLE 1.1. OF THE UNIDROIT PRINCIPLES AND TO ART. 432 OF THE CIVIL CODE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Claimant, a Russian company, entered into a contract with a Turkish company for the supply of products and equipment used for the manufacture of footwear, as well as consumer goods. When receiving the goods from the Turkish supplier, Claimant used the contract price as the basis for the calculation of customs value of the goods.
When Respondent, a Russian Customs Authority, performed an inspection of Claimant's customs clearance documents, it held that in the case at hand the chosen method of calculation of the customs value was not correct and as a consequence imposed on Claimant additional customs fees and penalties.
Claimant paid the additional fees and penalties but complained that Respondent's alternative calculations were wrong and therefore asked for the return of what it had overpaid. When Respondent refused to do so Claimant file a suit seeking invalidation of Respondent's actions of adjusting the customs value of the goods imported under the Agreement.
Both the Court of First Instance and the Court of Second Instance decided in favor of Claimant on the basis of Russian Law and the Customs Code of the Customs Union (entered into by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan). In particular, the Court of Second Instance, in confirming that the documentation Claimant had produced supported the customs value of the goods as declared by Claimant, referred to Article 1.1 of the UNIDROIT Principles, which states that the parties are free to enter into a contract and to determine its content, and to Article 432 (1) of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, which states that the contract is regarded as concluded, if an agreement has been reached between the parties on all its essential terms and in the proper form. Essential conditions are: the subject matter of the contract, the terms of which are named in the law or other legal acts as essential or necessary for contracts of this kind, as well as all the conditions on which at the request of one of the parties an agreement must be reached.
Original in Russian available at the bank of decisions of the Commercial Courts of the Russian Federation: http://ras.arbitr.ru/}}