Procedures for complaint, appeal and review on decisions
Complaints to the Director of Customs
According to Article 117 of the Customs Law, No. 88/2005
An Importer of goods who considers the decision of the Directorate of Customs concerning chargeability to be incorrect can send a written complaint supported by arguments and necessary documentation to the Director of Customs. In case where customs clearance has already taken place, the complaint must be submitted to the Director of Customs within 60 days from the date of customs clearance. Decisions by Directorate of Customs on binding classifications of goods or reassessment of import charges after customs clearance are reviewed by the Internal Revenue Board. Please refer to the information on appeals to the Revenue Board here below.
If the Director of Customs considers the grounds on which a complaint is based are unclear or supporting documentation is insufficient, the complainant will be informed and will have an opportunity to make amendments. Failure to comply may result in the dismissal of the complaint. A ruling will be made within 30 days of receipt by the Directorate Customs of the relevant documentation.
The complaints should be delivered to: Director of Customs, c/o Legal Department, Tryggvagata 19, 101 Reykjavík or upplysingar[hja]tollur.is.
Appeals to the Internal Revenue Board
According to Article 118 of the Law of Customs, No. 88/2005
In general, the Internal Revenue Board is the highest institution at the administrative level for ruling on decisions in customs related questions. The appeal must be submitted within three months from the decision of taken by the Directorate of Customs. The administrative procedure for appeals is governed by the Law on the Internal Revenue Board, No. 30/1992.
The following decisions can be appealed to the Internal Revenue Board.
- Appeal decisions by Directorate of Customs on amendments or chargeability according to Articles 116 and 117 of the Law of Customs.
- Appeal decisions by Directorate of Customs on reassessment of import charges after customs clearance according to Articles 111.-114 and Article 180 (b) of the Law of Customs.
- Appeal decisions by Directorate of Customs on binding classification on goods according to Article 21 of the Law of Customs.
- Appeal decisions by Directorate of Customs on binding opinion on origin of goods according to Article 145 of the Law of Customs.
Other decisions taken by the Directorate of Customs, such as suspension of customs clearance, and such as are not listed here above, can be appealed to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs according to Articles 26 and 27 of the Administrative Procedures Act, No. 37/1993. Decisions made by other institutions, such as special import conditions and licenses, can by appealed to the appropriate ministry according to Articles 26 and 27 of the Administrative Procedures Act.
The Internal Revenue Board or appropriate Ministry are the highest institutions at the administrative level for ruling on custom related questions. It is always possible to bring an action before the courts. In such cases, it may be beneficial, for example, in the case of arrest or seizure, to refer to the Law on Criminal Procedure, No. 88/2008, which applies to such matters. An appeal to a decision at the administrative level to the Courts does not affect the decision until the Courts reach their decision.
The Althing Ombudsman
The Althing Ombudsman is authorized to review the handling of individual cases by the Director of Customs. The parties may request a review, but the Ombudsman can also independently decide to take action. The Althing Ombudsman monitors the administration of the State and local authorities, as well as the activities of private bodies insofar as they have been by law vested with the authority to rule as to an individual' rights and obligations. Consequently, complaints may be lodged with the Ombudsman about decisions, procedures and conduct exercised by the officials of ministries and government agencies and other bodies engaged in State administration. The same applies in the case of officials of local authorities and others who are engaged in administration for municipalities, as well as employees of private bodies in so much as these have been by law vested with to authority to rule on an individuals' rights and obligations.