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03-4-2016 11:25 am  #1

You won - Claiming court costs and compensation.

Claiming Court Costs and Compensation 

When you have won your case in court the BF barrister will almost certainly ask for a section 144 ''certificate of reasonableness''. This means that although the court has ruled that the seizure was illegal, BF acted reasonably in taking the course of action that they did. If a s144 is granted it precludes you from claiming court costs (normally) and any compensation for travel to replace your goods at today's value. At the point a s144 is issued it protects BF from any further action. Financially therefore it is important to challenge the request for a s144. Strictly speaking the 'reasonableness' is about what took place during the course of your goods being seized and not anything after. However magistrates are human and may consider the unfairness of the situation – who knows? 

We have therefore put together the following points. After the barrister has requested the s144 certificate you should stand and say ''I wish to object to the grant of the certificate on the following grounds''. 

1] On the day I was stopped, I was asked some questions. This led to a full interview after which my goods were seized. The officer read out the commerciality statement and told me I was free to leave at any time. He did not inform me that this interview may lead to my goods being seized. If he had done so I would have considered legal representation at this point. My basic legal rights were therefore denied. 

2] EU directive 2008/118ec article 32, p2 (c) requires that any documentation relating to the goods must be taken into consideration. At the time of the stop I handed the officer a Statement of Truth which contained my reasons for travel, a log of all my trips and purchases for the previous 12 months and a spreadsheet of how my goods are used and how long they would last. The officer chose to ignore this and used his powers of discretion instead. 

3] According to the landmark Hoverspeed ruling 2002 and subsequent appeal by the then HMCE the burden of proof to prove that the goods were for commercial use falls upon the customs officer. As has been decided by this court the officer failed to do that. (Customs-v-Hoverspeed Appeal

I would like to add that BF have had several opportunities to correct the situation. There was my Notice of Claim which was refused followed by my request to reassess, refused, a request for restoration and review which were both refused. 

My goods were destroyed before ownership had been decided. The shelf life of tobacco in thermoform packaging is 2 years.(Tobacco Shelf Life

 I would like the court to consider my claim for expenses in relation to defending this action and my costs involved in replacing the goods. If a certificate of reasonableness is granted this will preclude me from claiming anything other than purchase price of my goods
.Court Costs
Compensation Form


Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.


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