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09-5-2016 1:44 pm  #1

Customs Seizure, excise fine and wrongdoing penalty

Hi Guys
I am looking for a bit of advice. My cigarettes were sized on the 2nd of January this year (45 cartons). I signed first two sentences during the interrogation stating about the amount of the cigarettes I brought to UK. When I was questioned about them I said about 40 and then 45 when the boarder officer started the search. I was travelling last year a lot and during the questioning I had not mentioned some of my trips. Those came out when the worker checked the bag that was given to me by my ex-girlfriend. I know I should have checked what it contained before I flew. I have admitted that I had brought large quantities into the UK in the past as I understand that law allows mi to bring unlimited number of goods for my own consumption or for gifts. Also advised that the reason for large amount of cigarettes this time is the end of my relationship and as the result of that I will not be traveling to Poland that often. The cigarettes were sized and I was advised about an option to appeal. I decided not to due to the costs of the court case being twice as much as I paid for the cigarettes. Did not want to take the risk. About 1,5 month later I received a letter from HM Revenue about unpaid tax and penalty for wrongdoing in total of around 3k. So far I have send them two letters advising of the circumstances that were not taken into the consideration – brought cigarettes in the past and was not stopped and pointed out the wrong doing as well as ex – girlfriend story.  I asked for the case to be reviewed by somebody else as well as pointed out that I did not appeal against the seizure purely due to the cost of court hearing. Can you please advise about the best course of action? I have answered the 10 questionnaire below
[*]Were your goods seized within the last month? No 02.01.16

2) Are you a UK resident? yes

 3) What is the quantity of goods seized?45 cartons

 4) Were the goods purchased in the EU and with your own funds? yes

5) Have you appealed yet? Appealed the penalties

 6) How many times have you travelled abroad in the past 12 months? Every month on average before 02.01.16, although not to Poland where from I brought the cigarettes from.

 7) Did you have a full interview by Border Force officers? yes

8) Did you inform the officers that all goods were for personal use incl as gifts (not paid for) ? yes

 9) Were all goods seized your own or were you travelling with another person? On my own

 10) Are you prepared to go to court to recover your goods? Yes
Much appreciate any help. Many thanks and all the best.


09-5-2016 3:07 pm  #2

Re: Customs Seizure, excise fine and wrongdoing penalty

If the Border Force have destroyed the goods no duty is payable (according tothis post anyway) . To establish whether they have been destroyed you need to write to the NPSU and ask them to confirm whether they still have the goods and if they have inform them that  you want them restored to you.

However, because you did not appeal the seizure, (some of)  the goods are deemed to be held for commercial purpose and you are still liable to a wrongdoing penalty. You might be able to get this reduced on the grounds that the goods were mosty for your own use.

Therefore you need to do the following:

1. Regarding the assessment, write to HMRC and tell them you are attempting to establish whether the goods have been destroyed.

2. At the same time, ask them to recalculate the penalty on the basis that some of the goods were for your own use

3. Apply to Border Force for restoration of the goods.

... and the best of luck!


10-5-2016 6:19 pm  #3

Re: Customs Seizure, excise fine and wrongdoing penalty

Many thanks for your advice turbulentupstart!

     Thread Starter

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