Dentons has successfully represented Bibus Metal’s Romanian subsidiary Bibus SRL in a customs dispute before the Ploiesti Court Appeal in Romania.
Bibus Metal is a Switzerland-headquartered stockist and supplier of semi-finished materials made from nickel, nickel alloys, cobalt alloys, titanium and titanium alloys, and stainless steel for the aerospace sector.
According to Dentons, “in November 2019, the Ploiesti customs authorities carried out a customs control at Bibus Metal’s premises. The control was carried out on the basis of a report by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) based on its investigation, launched in 2016, into the practice of circumventing anti-dumping duties imposed on certain seamless pipes and tubes of stainless steel, by declaring their origin as Indian. OLAF stated that the materials used for the products could not be classified as having Indian origin, and consequently that the products exported from India were not of Indian origin. Due to their previous import from China, OLAF concluded that the goods should be subject to protective measures in the form of anti-dumping duties. As a result, it imposed anti-dumping duties of 71.9% on the imports.”
As reported by Dentons, Bibus Metal challenged the Ploiesti customs authorities’ decision to impose retroactive anti-dumping duties first before the Ploiesti Tribunal and subsequently, in appeal, before the Ploiesti Court of Appeal.
According to Dentons, “based on the data included in the report, it could not be established whether the goods identified by the detained customs declarations in question had been imported by Bibus Metal’s Indian supplier from China, nor did it provide detail on the production process conducted in India. Therefore, the information contained in the OLAF report was insufficient to confirm that the tubes and pipes identified in the customs declarations were of Chinese origin and, as such, subject to duties on imports of such goods into the EU. The Ploiesti customs authorities were obliged to carry out inspections in the case, collect complete evidence, and evaluate it in line with the principle of independent assessment.”
“After a year and a half, the Ploiesti Court of Appeal ruled to annul the customs authorities’ decisions and ordered them to repay Bibus Metal RON 962,367 together with RON 7,344 in interest,” the firm added, noting that the judgment is now final.
The Dentons team was led by Brussels-based Counsel Nicoleta Tuominen and included Counsel Maria Krestiyanova.