Overview of tax law decisions of the Swiss Federal Administrative Court published between March 13 - 19, 2023:

  • Judgment of 1 March 2023 (A-4217/2021): Customs, retrospective collection of tax; Where several persons are subject to the same customs debt, they are jointly and severally liable, so that the authorities may recover the entire amount from each of them. It does not matter whether an unjustified advantage was obtained by the non-payment. Even if the tax debt is paid to an agent, the joint and several liability remains. Dismissal of the appeal.
  • Judgment of 6 March 2023 (A-1052/2022): Obligation to perform (customs, VAT); In the present case, it is disputed whether the complainant has to pay import duties. In this context, it is relevant whether the vessel in dispute qualifies as a Rhine vessel within the meaning of Article 2(3) of the Mannheim Act and was in possession of a Rhine Vessel Registration Certificate (RZU) at the time of importation into Switzerland. In its complaint, the complainant essentially argues that the ship in question was only in Switzerland for a short period of time for a very specific project that was strictly limited in time. However, neither a declaration for temporary use nor for definitive importation into free circulation was made. There is no objection to the fact that the lower court placed the import of the disputed ship at the time of the first documented entry. The factual existence of the RZU is indispensable for the ship in question to be considered as belonging to the Rhine navigation. At the time of the importation of the disputed vessel, the complainant was indisputably unable to present a RZU, which is why the non-levy of the import duties was therefore not justified. The appeal is to be upheld insofar as the market value used for the assessment of the import tax was deemed to be too high, which is why the duties to be paid to the lower court (customs duties and value added tax including default interest) are reduced. In all other respects, the appeal is dismissed.

Decisions in the area of administrative assistance (incl. updates/re-publication):

Decisions are listed chronologically by publication date.