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  • Interpretation
  • No.321
  • Date
  • 1993/06/18
  • Issue
    • Is Article 23 of the Customs Act constitutional in providing that a taxpayer who fails to make full payment of the customs duties or to lodge an appropriate security therefor within the specified time limit shall be deprived of the opportunity of seeking administrative remedy?
  • Holding
    •        The provision of Article 23 of the Customs Act as amended on June 29, 1986, to the effect that a taxpayer who fails to make full payment of the customs duties assessed by the Customs or to lodge an appropriate security therefor within the specified time limit will be deprived of the opportunity to seek administrative remedy constitutes an unnecessary restraint on the people’s right of instituting legal proceedings, and is inconsistent with the essence of Article 16 of the Constitution in protecting the people’s right of instituting legal proceedings.
  • Reasoning
    •        It has been made clear by this Yuan in J. Y. Interpretations Nos. 224 and 288 that a provision requiring the payment of a portion of the tax or the lodgment of a security as a condition upon which a petition for review may be filed in a tax case makes a person unable to pay the tax or to furnish a security lose his opportunity of seeking legal remedy, thereby constituting an unnecessary restraint on the people*s right to institute administrative appeal and suit, and is thus inconsistent with the essence of Article 16 of the Constitution. Article 23 of the Customs Act as amended on June 29, 1986, provides: "Where a taxpayer is dissatisfied with the tariff number, duty-paying value, amount of make-up duty payable or special duties, as the case may be, assessed by the Customs on his import goods, he may, upon full payment of the duty payable as shown in the certificate of duty payment, to be made within fourteen days from the date of receipt of such certificate issued by the Customs, file with the Customs a written statement of objection in the required form and apply for review. However, subject to approval by the Customs, the taxpayer may lodge an appropriate security in lieu of payment of the foregoing duty." And the second paragraph of said article states: "A taxpayer who fails to pay the duty or lodge a security within the period specified in the preceding paragraph shall be deemed to have not applied for review." While such provisions are designed to prevent frivolous applications for review for the purpose of delaying the payment of duty, they have no significance under our current system of administrative remedy, because the institution of the remedial proceeding has no effect in staying the enforcement of the original administrative act. They do, nevertheless, deprive those taxpayers who are unable to make full payment of the duty or to put up an appropriate security within the specified time limit of the opportunity to seek administrative remedy, and impose an unnecessary restraint on the people*s right of instituting legal proceedings, and are thus inconsistent with the essence of Article 16 of the Constitution in protecting the people’s right of instituting legal proceedings. 
      
    • *Translated by Raymond T. Chu.
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