A two-year confrontation between the LLC “Apple Rus” and the Federal customs service ended with a victory for Apple. The Supreme court reversed the decisions of three lower courts, recognizing the Apple Watch smart watch.
At the end of 2015, Russian customs has recognized Apple Watch common wristwatch, import duty which varies from 7% to 10%. This solution did not work for Apple, since the fee for electronic devices, including “smart watches” are missing.
In connection with the Russian representation Apple – LLC “Apple Rus” asked the court.
Three instances supported the approach of customs, including referring to the rules of translation, “the word Watch is translated from English as a clock”.
In the meeting of the judges of the Supreme court tried to clarify with the customs, why they believe Apple Watch common watches. The customs representative explained that the fact that the watch function which works always, even in the power saving mode. To connect to the smartphone it does not need. In her opinion, the device is an ordinary electronic watch, augmented components.
“The case is, there is a cover, a mechanism for displaying the time. So there is a mechanism and reference time”, — the representative of customs Tatiana Pavlovskaya.
An Apple representative objected, insisting that the main purpose of gadget is to provide remote access to the main unit, without synchronization with the Apple Watch will not work. Limited functionality hours — not something for which they were issued.
Another question which interested all — why the customs did not follow the recommendations of the world customs organization (WCO) and the Eurasian economic Commission (EEC), recognizing the Apple Watch, an electronic device, which is not subject to taxation.
The representative of management has informed that the solutions imposed by the first device that really couldn’t work offline. But later hours had new opportunities. For example, uploading music to the device itself without connecting to the phone. Therefore, the recommendations of the WTO and the EEC to apply to the disputed goods were not.
After some discussion, the three judges of the SC repealed the decisions of lower courts have taken the side of customs, recognized the decision on the classification of the Apple Watch as a classic hours invalid.