News date: 4 November 2021
The Supreme Court recognized as lawful the decisions of the courts of previous instances on the need to suspend the application of a 35% special duty to the supply of large vehicles from Belarus by the decision of the Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade (ICIT) of Ukraine №486/2021/4411-03, due to the presence of signs of its obvious illegality. The decision was made by the Supreme Court on November 1, 2021. Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm acts in defence of interests of the Trade House “MAZ-Ukraine” – Ukrainian distributor of MAZ trucks.
On April 16, 2021, the Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade applied a special duty in the amount of 35% on the import of buses, trolleybuses, trucks, dump trucks and special vehicles originating from the Republic of Belarus to Ukraine. The decision of the ICIT №486/2021/4411-03 «On establishing the facts of discriminatory and unfriendly actions on the part of the Republic of Belarus on the legal rights and interests of subjects of foreign economic activity of Ukraine – the automotive industry and an adequate response and the application of adequate retaliatory measures» entered into force on April 22, 2021.
Trade House “MAZ-Ukraine” has appealed the decision of the ICIT in court. As a security for the claim, on May 6, 2021, Kyiv District Administrative Court suspended the decision of the ICIT regarding the introduction of a special duty. This decision of the court of first instance was upheld by the Sixth Appeal Administrative Court on July 5, 2021.
The Supreme Court, considering this case, agreed with the conclusions of the courts of previous instances that the special duties were applied by the ICIT in violation of Ukraine’s obligations under the Free Trade Agreement and in violation of requirements of the Customs Code of Ukraine.
The decision of the Supreme Court notes that «the courts of previous instances established the existence of sufficient weighty grounds for doubting the legality of the contested decision №486/2021/4411-03 […], which indicates the presence of obvious signs of the unlawfulness of the contested decision».
«The controversial decision provoked retaliatory measures by the Belarusian side, which saw in this the systematic nature of actions aimed at violating the terms of free trade, – pointed out Olena Omelchenko, Partner, Head of International Trade Practice of Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm. – As a result, Belarus’ counter-restrictions included Ukrainian goods produced by 10 industries, worth over USD 100 million a year. We hope that this court decision will push the Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade to unblock the trade conflict and provide access to the external market for Ukrainian exporters».
The project was handled by Counsel Valeriia Gudiy and Olena Omelchenko, Partner, Head of International Trade Practice of Ilyashev & Partners.