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The European Court of Justice (the “Court“) released its judgement on 8 March 2022 in relation to Case C-213/19 (Commission v United Kingdom), concerning the UK’s undervaluing of imports of textiles and footwear from China and associated failure to fulfil obligations regarding customs control and the recovery of EU own resources, through failing to adopt measures necessary to combat fraud.

The full decision can be accessed here. Through this judgement, the Grand Chamber of the Court upheld the Commission’s application in part, essentially ruling that the UK failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law. This is in particular by failing to:

  • apply effective customs control measures or to enter in the accounts the correct amounts of customs duties and accordingly make available to the Commission the correct amount of traditional own resources; and
  • provide the Commission with all the information necessary to calculate the amounts of duty and own resources remaining due.

The Commission has claimed losses of EUR 2.7 billion, however the Court ruled that the calculation for this amount did not meet the requisite legal standard, requesting that the Commission therefore recalculate. The Court identified an inconsistency between the form of order sought in the Commission’s application and the grounds set out in it, as well as the considerable uncertainty, as a result, regarding the accuracy of the amounts of own resources claimed by the Commission.


Sophie Armstrong is an Associate in Baker McKenzie, London office.


Lionel has joined Baker McKenzie as Customs Lead in February 2022. Lionel has 20+ years of experience in the field of Customs, International Trade, Excises & Energy Levy. Lionel is lecturer at the UIA (Antwerp) & ULG (Liege). He is in charge of the Customs, Excises & International Trade Course at the Solvay Tax MBA.

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