Customs Flash, general edition, 2011 no. 3
Judgment in Sony Case concerning invocation by a trader other than the holder of a BTI with respect to the same goods (C-153/10)
On 7 April 2011 the European Court of Justice published the answers to the preliminary questions of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in the Sony case (C-153/10). In this case Sony Supply Chain Solutions imported PS2 games machines into the Netherlands and lodged import declarations for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd., in its own name and on its own behalf. The outcome in the third question does create a point of attention for economic operators in Europe. Despite the fact that a national decision like the Dutch “Handboek Douane” creates a matter of legitimate expectation, regarding the possibility of invocation by a trader other than the holder of a BTI, the ECJ states that this national decision is to be considered as “contra legem” (= Contrary to the law, in this case the EU law) and therefore may not serve as ground in appeal, even if the national decision is in favor of the appellant.