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Decision in case 624/2020/MIG on the European Commission’s refusal of public access to documents concerning the classification of a product by the World Customs Organization

Monday | 22 June 2020

The case concerned a request for public access to documents held by the European Commission and pertaining to the classification of a smartphone by the World Customs Organization (WCO). The Commission consulted the author of the documents, the WCO, who objected to their disclosure. The Commission therefore refused to give public access relying on the need to protect the EU’s international relations with the WCO and its members.

The Ombudsman found that the Commission’s decision to refuse public access was reasonable and that it had provided the complainant with a sufficient explanation. She thus closed the inquiry finding no maladministration.