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06-5-2016 4:33 pm  #1


Destruction of goods after seizure.

As a follow up to NoMoTax's recently found info on destroyed goods, we did a follow up FOI. It has finally achieved a reply, almost 9 weeks overdue!

The question was do goods have to be tagged as ''Do not Destroy'' if the legality of seizure is challenged or a request for restoration is received. The questions and answers are quite simply worded and the answer came back as a positive ''YES''. 

However from there the rest of the reply descends into the usual murkiness of HMRC/BF responses. It seems goods and vehicles must be tagged but nevertheless will be destroyed/disposed of at the earliest opportunity.

I would be interested to know your views.

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16-5-2016 1:06 pm  #2


Re: Destruction of goods after seizure.

Further to the above......
Dear HM Revenue and Customs,

Thank you for the reply to my request for information.

I note your point that goods should be tagged when they are subject to challenge or restoration. However I am confused by the following:-'' HMRC and Border Force will dispose of perishable goods ( including tobacco, beer and all food products ) as soon as possible.''

Am I correct with the following interpretation – Even though goods subject to challenge or restoration are tagged as ''Do not Destroy'', they will still be destroyed if perishable before any challenge has decided ownership of the goods?

Thanking you in anticipation,
Yours faithfully,   

 HM Revenue and Customs

16 May 2016Dear Mr 

Yes, this is correct. The Customs & Excise Management Act, 1979, Schedule 3, para 16(b) allows this. If the seized thing has been destroyed, HMRC or Border Force cannot restore it to you but they will usually offer you an appropriate payment instead. This may be an amount equal to the sum paid by you for the goods in question or an amount equal to the proceeds of sale (where HMRC or Border Force have sold the goods in question) or an amount equal to the market value of the goods at the time of seizure and not including any additional compensation (for costs, travel expenses, interest, etc.).

Yours sincerely


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19-5-2016 9:17 am  #3


Re: Destruction of goods after seizure.

(b)if the thing seized is a living creature or is in the opinion of the Commissioners of a perishable nature, sell or destroy it.

Who are the Commissioners who decide when a things usable life span is short enough to make it perishable by nature IF it has no best before date?

 

 

19-5-2016 9:39 am  #4


Re: Destruction of goods after seizure.

NoMoTax wrote:

(b)if the thing seized is a living creature or is in the opinion of the Commissioners of a perishable nature, sell or destroy it.

Who are the Commissioners who decide when a things usable life span is short enough to make it perishable by nature IF it has no best before date?

 

Yes indeed!

I was researching what is ''perishable'' but the only common, clear definition I can find is something which ''quickly decays'' usually in relation to food.

Looking at the definition of ''shelf life'' gives a bit more insight into the subject. Since tobacco manufacturers quote the shelf life of their products as being 2 years in ideal conditions, this is comparable to canned food products which have a high acidic content. I don't think anybody would class tinned food as perishable.

CEMA [3] para 16(b) is simply a clause to avoid customs needing huge storage capacity for seized goods. The argument would be, are customs legally correct in defining tobacco goods as perishable. The problem is I don't think there is too much to be gained by pursuing the matter.
 


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