In the Name of Legal Certainty? Comparison of Customs’ Advance Ruling for Tariff Classification Systems in the European Union, China, and Taiwan

Shu Chien Chen

Abstract


In many jurisdictions, international traders can apply for an advance ruling for tariff classification from customs authorities prior they import or export their goods. The advance ruling for tariff classification system is expected to grant more legal certainty to international traders because they can communicate with customs authorities and receive a legally binding tariff classification decision in advance. Such system is also regarded as an important measure to facilitate international trade. In this paper, the advance ruling for tariff classification systems in the European Union, China, and Taiwan will be discussed and compared. After analyzing the key common points of these three systems, it is shown that the advance ruling for tariff classification systems in these three jurisdictions; all emphasize the customs’ administration efficiency more than the applicants’ legitimate expectation and their procedural rights. This unbalanced design of the advance ruling system might result from the complicated nature of customs’ work on tariff classification; however, it can also make the advance ruling system less attractive for international traders to use. This common feature of the advance ruling for tariff classification systems demonstrates the risk that the international traders may face even when they wish to have more legal certainty.

Aus. J. Law, Ethics & Gov. Vol 2(2), October 2016, P 138-153


Keywords


European Union; China; Taiwan; Binding Tariff Information; Advance Ruling; Legal Certainty

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