Go to Database Directory || Go to CISG Table of Contents || Go to Case Search Form || Go to Bibliography

CISG CASE PRESENTATION

Russia 4 February 2002 Arbitration Court [Appellate Court] for the Moscow Region (Rimpi Ltd v. Moscow Northern Customs Department) [translation available]
[Cite as: http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/020204r1.html]

Primary source(s) of information for case presentation: Case text

Case Table of Contents


Case identification

DATE OF DECISION: 20020204 (4 February 2002)

JURISDICTION: Russian Federation

TRIBUNAL: Federal Arbitration Court for the Moscow Region

JUDGE(S): Unavailable

CASE NUMBER/DOCKET NUMBER: KG-A40/308-02

CASE NAME: Rimpi Ltd v. Moscow Northern Customs Department

CASE HISTORY: 1st instance Arbitration Court for the City of Moscow (Resolution No. 05800-226/2001) 29 March 2001 [affirmed]; 2d instance Appellate Division of the Arbitration Court for the City of Moscow (No. A40-31339/01-72-106) 21 November 2001 [affirmed]

SELLER'S COUNTRY: Russia

BUYER'S COUNTRY: Ukraine

GOODS INVOLVED: [-]


Classification of issues present

APPLICATION OF CISG: The contract was between a Russian seller and a Ukraine buyer. This was an action by the Russian seller against the Moscow Northern Customs Department. CISG Article 79 was held to provide a basis of relief for a customs penalty imposed on the seller for late payment.

APPLICABLE CISG PROVISIONS AND ISSUES

Key CISG provisions at issue: Article 79(1)

Classification of issues using UNCITRAL classification code numbers:

79B [Impediments excusing party from liability for damages]

Descriptors: Exemptions or impediments

Go to Case Table of Contents


Editorial remarks

Go to Case Table of Contents


Citations to case abstracts, texts, and commentaries

CITATIONS TO ABSTRACTS OF DECISION

(a) UNCITRAL abstract: Unavailable

(b) Other abstracts

Unavailable

CITATIONS TO TEXT OF DECISION

Original language (Russian): Unavailable

Translation (English): Text presented below

CITATIONS TO COMMENTS ON DECISION

Unavailable

Go to Case Table of Contents


Case text (English translation) [second draft]

Queen Mary Case Translation Programme

Federal Arbitration Court for the Moscow Region
Resolution of the Cassation Board
on the lawfulness and reasonableness of decisions
of the Arbitration Courts

4 February 2002 [No. KA-A40/308-02]

Translation by Yelena Kalika [*]

The Limited Liability Company "Rimpi" ("Rimpi Ltd.") commenced an action with the Arbitration Court for the City of Moscow against the Moscow Northern Customs Department to find its Resolution No. 05800-226/2001 of 29 March 2001 void.

The claim was sustained in the decision of 3 October 2001. The Appellate Division upheld the decision of the lower court on 21 November 2001. The Respondent disagreed with the above judicial acts and filed a complaint in which he requested that the said judicial acts be reversed as unlawful and unreasonable. There was no reply to the complaint.

After discussing the arguments set forth in the complaint, after hearing the explanations of the Moscow Northern Customs Department's representative, and after reviewing the materials of the case and the lawfulness of application of laws in accordance with Article 174 of the Arbitration Procedural Code of the Russian Federation, the Cassation Board finds no grounds for the reversal of the above mentioned judicial acts.

In its resolution on case No. 05800-226/2001 of 29 March 2001, the Moscow Northern Customs Department found "Rimpi Ltd." liable of violation of the customs rules. Liability for violation of the customs rule at issue is set forth in Article 273 of the Customs Code of the Russian Federation. "Rimpi Ltd." was fined in the amount of either 30% of the cost of goods in controversy or 814,333.42 Rubles. The violation consisted of failure to timely deposit the hard currency revenues received from export of goods under the contract of 14 April 2000.

"Rimpi Ltd." contested that resolution in court.

When finding the above mentioned resolution of the Customs Department to be void, the court referred to the certificate No. 1404-TL/L-00 of 14 April 2000 issued by the Lugansk Chamber of Commerce and Industry in accordance with which the Ukrainian firm's failure to make a timely payment for the goods received resulted from the impediments beyond that firm's control arisen after the conclusion of the contract, namely, the numerous postponements of the tender auction by the Ukrainian Government. The court also noted that Article 79(1) of the U.N. Convention on contracts for the International Sale of Goods set forth grounds for relieving a party from liability, if the party could prove that the violation resulted from an impediment beyond that party's control and that it could not be reasonably expected to have taken the impediment into account at the time of the conclusion of the contract or to have avoided or overcome it or its consequences. The Claimant presented documentary evidence of the existence of the force majeure circumstances at the time of his performance of the contract for the international sale of goods. Therefore, the court found that, in the absence of Claimant's fault, the failure to make a timely deposit of the hard currency revenues to an account at an authorized Russian bank cannot serve as a ground for imposing penalties.

The court also noted that the period of time, within which the penalties could be imposed, was violated since the letter [informing the Custom's Department of] such violation was sent by the commercial bank "Rosbank" on 31 May 2000. Pursuant to Article 293(1) of the Customs Code of the Russian Federation, such letter is a ground for opening a case on the violation of the customs rules. The investigation began only on 20 November 2000. The resolution imposing administrative liability was issued on 29 March 2001.

The Lower and Appellate Courts reviewed and evaluated the evidence and made a correct decision on the case.

The Cassation Board does not see any grounds set forth in Article 176 of the Arbitration Procedural Code of the Russian Federation which would allow for the reversal of the contested judicial acts.

The arguments set forth in the cassational complaint are absolutely identical with the arguments set forth in the appellate complaint. They have been reviewed and correctly evaluated by the court.

Pursuant to articles 171, 174, 175, 177 of the Arbitration Procedural Code of the Russian Federation, the Court holds:

The decision of 3 October 2001 and the resolution of the Appellate Division of the Arbitration Court for the City of Moscow on case No. A40-31339/01-72-106 is sustained. The cassational complaint is denied.


FOOTNOTE

* Yelena Kalika, a law student at the Pace University School of Law, has studied at the Moscow State Law Academy, interned with a Moscow law firm, and is a Research Assistant at the Pace Institute of International Commercial Law.

All translations should be verified by cross-checking against the original text.

Go to Case Table of Contents
Pace Law School Institute of International Commercial Law - Last updated October 7, 2003
Comments/Contributions
Go to Database Directory || Go to CISG Table of Contents || Go to Case Search Form || Go to Bibliography