The Constitutional Court established on November 3rd, that an article from the Customs Code is unconstitutional. The contested law has previously lead to application of penalties worth thousands of lei. The Court pronounced upon, after a lawyer called for "raising the exceptions of unconstitutionality" during a case.
The lawyer referred to temporary allowing of goods on the territory of Moldova. The complainant company, submitted an application in 2002 for temporary admitting some vehicles on the territory of Moldova, based on a lease agreement with a German company. A temporary permit was issued until October 2015, and according to the law at the time, "economic policy measures" were not applicable.
Subsequently, the Customs Code was amended, and it was established the obligation to place goods under the temporary importation procedure, payment of import duties on temporarily admitted goods or removing them from the territory of Moldova. The company had to pay a fine of 1.8 million lei, plus a late penalty payment.
The company lawyer mentioned in his complaint the contradictory amendments made in the legislation. He insisted that the state has violated his client's right to property, referring to Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, on respecting the individuals’ rights to property and legal assets.
Thus, the author of the objection stated that the stipulations of Article 73 paragraph (4) of the Customs Code, contravene the stipulations of Articles 46 pararagraphs (1) and 54 of the Constitution. The Court emphasized that although it is the exclusive right of the legislature to regulate the customs regime regarding the goods entering the territory of Moldova, this can not affect the security of the legal reports which started earlier.
The Court found that although authorizations holders were given time to comply with the new rules, in the absence of countervailing measures, the contested provisions "were a disproportionate burden of the requirements of the general interest of the state and the requirements of protection of fundamental rights of individuals ".
In conclusion, the Court stated that there was an excessive interference in the right of individuals to possess and use the contracted goods, which infringed the Article 46 of the Constitution.