Last year, by the decision of the Minister of Finance, certain restrictions were imposed on import and export of wheat in the territory of Georgia. In particular, the goods from the customs territory were made only by rail and maritime transport, through the relevant customs checkpoints. In certain cases, with the consent of the Revenue Service, goods can be imported/transported by means of motor vehicles.
In the summer of last year, the decision of the Ministry of Finance was followed by the protest of truck drivers and wheat exports/importers, after which the Minister of Finance put the decision into force for one year.
The court also appealed the Minister’s order at the Constitutional Court.
In particular, the following companies applied to the court suit: “Keeb Logistics” Ltd, “Fortuna”, “Chirina Ltd”, “POLTER GEORGIA”, “KOMIYI XXI” and “NUTRIMAX LLC”.
The companies demanded the Finance Minister’s order to be unconstitutional, although the court did not take the case for consideration.
The companies pointed out that after the entry into force of the decision, they would have limited their entrepreneurial activities. Among the plaintiff companies were wheat exporter/importers, as well as companies that purchase the goods and drivers who transport it.
According to the applicants, the disputed norm poses serious damage to the economic activity of entrepreneurs, as they are increasing costs of production, which, in turn, increases the value of their products by 20-25%. In the suit, we read that the contested regulation does not allow the importers to choose the forms of entrepreneurial activities to manage the means which are the most profitable and convenient for them. Besides, the drivers of motor vehicles are able to fully provide services.
According to the constitutional claim, the legitimate aim of the controversial regulation is to defuse the movement of traffic movement at Zemo Larsi customs crossing point by the Minister of Finance of Georgia publicly voiced by the Minister of Finance, which hindered the free movement of tourists on the border. By the plaintiffs, the Minister did not provide the relevant statistics to prove the reality of the above-mentioned problem.
The Constitutional Court has not received a case for the hearing. The Ministry states that there was no reasonable submission in the constitutional claim, how and how it would affect the disputed norm on the financial side of the production process of the plaintiff entrepreneurs.