Our team has represented a client engaged in the wholesale trade of various agricultural goods in a dispute with the Lithuania Customs Department. The company had imported a product from Switzerland to Lithuania in which the product was declared under the TARIC code applicable to non-ionic surface-active agents. However, Lithuanian customs authorities and the authorities who examined the dispute between the Customs Department and the client concluded that the active substance contained in the product ought to have been listed as a plant growth regulator.
The European Commission has examined the complaint on behalf of the company regarding the inappropriate application of the EU Regulations and Directives which govern the placing on the market of plant protection products and the wrongful classification of the product as a plant growth regulator. In its preliminary inquiry to the Lithuanian authorities, the European Commission concluded that the Lithuanian authorities appear to have wrongfully interpreted the EU Regulations and Directives and mistakenly held that the product be considered as a plant growth regulator. The complaint is currently being analysed in the European Commission under the “EU-Pilot” procedure, which as its next step could lead to an official infringement procedure against the Republic of Lithuania.