Article 63 ter of the Customs Code: inapplicable for tax offences

Art. 63 ter allows customs officers to take samples, according to modalities defined by decree, and to withhold the documents necessary for the investigation.

However, customs officers can only rely on article 63 ter of the Customs Code for customs offences, not for tax offences.

In a case where a levy had been made on an operator on the basis of article 63 ter to determine whether a drink was subject to the premix tax, the court of appeal invalidated the procedure, recalling that article 63 ter is aimed at investigating and establishing the offences provided for in the Customs Code.

However, the premix tax is provided for by article 1613 bis of the General Tax Code.

The customs agents had therefore necessarily to resort to the procedure provided for in articles L 26 and following of the Book of Fiscal Procedures.

CA Fort-de-France, Feb. 11, 2020, no. 18/00198, Somaf c/ DRRED et al.