The Ties That Bind

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The European Court of Justice ordered Britain to reimburse the European Union for failing to prevent fraudsters from flooding the bloc with undervalued imports of goods from China and avoiding billions in duties, the Financial Times reported.

The verdict is related to a case brought by the European Commission involving imports between 2011 and 2017. The EU’s executive body calculated that it lost nearly $3 billion in tariffs and value-added tax because Britain failed to prevent undervalued products from entering the single market.

The bloc’s top court said that the UK had failed to fulfill its obligations under EU law to “apply effective customs control measures or to enter in the accounts the correct amounts of customs duties” on imported Chinese goods.

Even so, it ordered the commission to recalculate its claim before it received any compensation.

And even though the United Kingdom left the 27-member bloc two years ago, under the Brexit withdrawal agreement, Britain remains subject to ECJ jurisdiction for legal breaches that occurred during its membership in the bloc.

The UK government said that it is reviewing the judgment.

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