Fraude of gewijzigd inzicht?

by Gooike van Slooten
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Op 20 oktober 2005 deed het HvJ EG uitspraak in een tweede prejudiciële procedure in de zaak Overland waar dit maal de verhouding tussen art. 78 en art. 236 CDW aan de orde was gesteld. Het Hof oordeelde dat wanneer de douaneautoriteiten tot herziening overgaan, de douaneschuldenaar recht heeft op teruggave van douanerechten, mits sprake was van een “onbedoelde vergissing”. D. Blum en G.J. van Slooten betogen dat deze beperking slechts kan worden opgehangen aan de voorwaarde in art. 236 CDW dat, om een recht op teruggave te kunnen doen gelden, geen sprake mag zijn geweest van een “frauduleuze handeling”. Uit het besproken arrest volgt dat een “bewuste handeling” als “frauduleus” moet worden aangemerkt. Dit valt volgens beide auteurs in overeenstemming te brengen met het communautaire beginsel van misbruik van recht. Een en ander brengt mee dat geen teruggave kan worden verleend op grond van art. 236, wanneer de teruggave het gevolg is van een wijziging van een eerder op grond van wettelijke bepalingen gemaakte keuze. Hierdoor heeft bijvoorbeeld het arrest Unifert, waarin het HvJ EG oordeelde dat niet kan worden terugkomen op een keuze van een transactie om de douanewaarde op te baseren, ook onder de vigeur van het CDW zijn rechtskracht behouden.

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