Keep track of Customs’ hearing requests and respond to them without delay
If Finnish Customs is taking a decision which would adversely affect the customer, the customer will be given the opportunity to be heard and submit their rejoinder before a final decision is taken. Since 5 November 2022, Customs has asked for the rejoinder with a separate hearing request, not with an error notification or request for additional information as before. The purpose of introducing the hearing requests is to facilitate and speed up the processing of declarations submitted by message declarants.
If your business has been granted a transition period for deployment of the new and updated declaration messages, Customs will ask for the hearing response with a request for additional information during the transition period.
You can reply to the hearing request even before its time limit expires
When you receive a hearing request from Customs, your declaration will not be processed until you have provided a hearing response. You should respond to the hearing request also in cases where you accept the decision proposed by Customs.
The response must be submitted no later than 30 days after the hearing request is shown in the Customs Clearance Service or you have received the hearing request message. If you are a message declarant that has not yet tested or started using the hearing request messages, you will receive the hearing request by post. In that case, the time limit for the response is 38 days from the date of the proposed decision.
If you do not provide any response to the hearing request, the proposed decision made by Customs will become the final decision once the time limit has expired.
Message declarants using a service provider
If you are a message declarant who uses a service provider in relaying the messages, your service provider will have tested the hearing request messages on your behalf. Your business need not apply for testing nor notify Customs of deployment of a new program version. Customs will automatically send you the hearing request messages. Contact your software supplier to find out how the hearing requests are shown in the application you are using and how to respond to them.
To whom and when is the hearing request sent?
Customs sends the hearing request to the representative or operator provided as the declarant in the declaration.
The hearing request is sent through message exchange, via the Customs Clearance Service or by post. When a rejoinder is requested from a message exchange customer, Customs will send the hearing request as a message, if the customer has started using the hearing request message.
Practical examples of when you may receive a hearing request:
- There has been an “unauthorised release” and you are submitting the customs declaration retrospectively. Customs will ask for additional information about the release and will consider imposing a penalty fee. If Customs decides to propose a penalty fee, Customs will send a proposed decision and a related hearing request.
- You submit a supplementary customs declaration after the time limit has expired. You have received reminders in the form of a Customs’ notification. Customs will send you a proposed customs clearance decision for hearing that may involve a penalty fee.
How do you ensure that the processing of your declaration continues without a hitch?
As a message declarant, you will start receiving the hearing request as a message once you have started using the new import messages of the import 2.1 version. You should respond to the hearing request immediately so that the processing of your declaration can continue and you can receive the customs clearance decision.
If you are submitting declarations in the Customs Clearance Service, Customs will send a message regarding your declaration and an adverse proposed decision. You will also be notified of this by email if you have subscribed to the email notifications. The declaration is shown in the list “In progress” as a declaration waiting for a response. When you open the declaration and the related messages, the hearing request you have received from Customs will be shown. Open the message, complete the field “Response” and send the declaration. After this, Customs will continue processing the declaration and you will receive a decision.
New hearing request to be introduced in autumn 2022 (Customer notice 13 January 2022)
Union Customs Code (EU) No 952/2013, Article 22(6)