After the vehicles had been imported to Belarus, the importer applied to the customs authority for a refund of the recycling fee paid in Russia.
The customs authority refunded the recycling fee paid for vehicles for which VPs had not been issued and declined to refund the recycling fee paid for the rest of the vehicles.
The courts of three instances and the Supreme Court supported the customs authority’s decision on the following grounds:
- A vehicle for which a VP has been issued is released for consumption in Russia, and the recycling fee for such vehicles cannot be refunded
- The issuance of a VP indicates that the vehicle is designated for use in Russia, which entails risks of environmental impact
- The subsequent sale and importation of the vehicles to the Republic of Belarus did not involve cancelation of the previously issued VP. The maintenance of the VP’s validity cannot exclude the further usage in territory of Russia
The Supreme Court also took the position that the importer could have claimed a refund of the recycling fee on an exported vehicle with a VP if it had taken action to cancel the VP.
In support of its position, the Supreme Court referred to Case No. А56−15 978/2016
(requesting that the tax authority’s refusal to refund a recycling fee be annulled), where the appellate and cassation courts concluded that the cancelation of a VP constituted grounds for refunding a recycling fee.
At the same time, there is no history of similar conclusions or decisions in disputes with the customs authorities. Furthermore, based on the facts of the similar Case А51−18 478/2020
, a customs authority may consistently refuse to cancel the VP of a vehicle exported from Russia and to refund the recycling fee.