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26-9-2017 10:47 am  #1


Appeal help needed

Hello to you all.
I'm new here, I have read a lot on the forum in past couple of days but still need your help...

1) Were your goods seized within the last month?

Yes

2) Are you a UK resident?

Yes

3) What is the quantity of goods seized?

100 logs shared between us (20k) + (not mine) 100x50g of bacca and 5 logs of slim cigs

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

Yes

5) Have you appealed yet?

Not yet

6) How many times have you travelled abroad in the past 12 months?

3 (for me and my wife)

7) Did you have a full interview by Border Force officers?
Yes, did not sign the notes..

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?

*4 adults and 2 children*

10) Are you prepared to go to court to recover your goods?

I think I am... With your help ;)

The problem I have is that it's 1st time for me and I am not sure whether we need to appeal as a group or every one individually?
Once I got the answer for this I'll probably will need some help with the NOC...

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Michal (26-9-2017 12:19 pm)

 

26-9-2017 4:24 pm  #2


Re: Appeal help needed

what is a log?   if your refering to a carton/sleeve of 200 cigs,its not a phrase i have heard of before.
and when you say between you,are you referring to kids of what age?


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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26-9-2017 4:26 pm  #3


Re: Appeal help needed

each traveller who had goods seized,and received a seizure notice with their amount of goods needs to appeal,better if everyone in the party is prepared to appeal aswell.


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.
Better to live one day as a lion than a thousand days as a sheep'

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26-9-2017 5:08 pm  #4


Re: Appeal help needed

warrior wrote:

what is a log?   if your refering to a carton/sleeve of 200 cigs,its not a phrase i have heard of before.
and when you say between you,are you referring to kids of what age?

Yes I meant carton/sleeve, we foreigners say logs as well, sorry ;)
I'm referring to adults only as kids are 2-3 years of age...

You are saying that we should appeal individually... We have received only one seizure note/page and information booklets.

Does that mean we should all send "same paperwork" separately?
We were all interviewed one by one...

Does any of you have a good example of NOC, please?
Couldn't find it on the forum..

Last edited by Michal (26-9-2017 5:17 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

26-9-2017 5:20 pm  #5


Re: Appeal help needed

hello Michal.

You need to clarify a couple of points before we can advise. I agree the term '' log'' is confusing particularly in relation to the cigars.

We would need to know  how you divided up the goods e.g. did all 4 adults claim 5000 cigs each?

Was there just one set of paperwork issued for the seizure as a whole or 1 set to each of the 4 persons?

If only one set of paperwork was issued whose name was on it or were all 4 names on it?

We cannot advise you how to appeal unless we know the above answers.

Am I right in thinking the total was 20,000 cigs, 10 packs of tobacco and 500 cigars?


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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.

 
 

26-9-2017 9:10 pm  #6


Re: Appeal help needed

eezyrider wrote:

hello Michal.

You need to clarify a couple of points before we can advise. I agree the term '' log'' is confusing particularly in relation to the cigars.

We would need to know  how you divided up the goods e.g. did all 4 adults claim 5000 cigs each?

Was there just one set of paperwork issued for the seizure as a whole or 1 set to each of the 4 persons?

If only one set of paperwork was issued whose name was on it or were all 4 names on it?

We cannot advise you how to appeal unless we know the above answers.

Am I right in thinking the total was 20,000 cigs, 10 packs of tobacco and 500 cigars?

Hello eezyrider,

To clarify all...

Just looked on a copy of a Seizure Information Notice and Warning letter.

*Both pages were received on a day of seizure and contain 4 names.

* Only one set of paperwork issued as whole

Goods seized as stated:

19.960 of cigaretts
1.000 of slim cigarettes
5kg of tobacco

We divided goods as you said 5000 each.
One of us claimed the slim cigarettes and tobacco on top of that.

Hope that all above is clear now.

Just wanted to add that we tried to video recod them once stopped but they told us that we can not do it (we did not know that we can at the time) and tried to cover up the phone... We do have some camera pics of that if needed.

     Thread Starter
 

27-9-2017 9:01 am  #7


Re: Appeal help needed

Firstly let us point out what it will probably cost you if you don't appeal.

Duty would be £1343 and a an approx penalty of £805 per 5000 cigarettes.

Duty would be £1050 and an approx penalty of £600 per 5 kgs of tobacco.

Cigars are a slightly lesser amount.

My advice would be to appeal and ask for restoration. I would suggest each person does this individually with their own appeal letter. This way nobody is reliant on any other party member in presenting their case or dropping out halfway through the appeal. You have one month to send in a NOC from the date of seizure. Don't leave it until the last minute and we normally recommend all correspondence goes by recorded delivery, signed for.

Your NOC should include relevant details of why the seizure was wrong and why the goods should be returned. There is no point in writing a story about what happened when you were stopped - they already know what happened.

You should include relevant usage calcs of how much you smoke per day and how long the goods would last, and also what quantity, if any, were for gifts. Gifts must be goods given without any form of payment or favour, i.e. neighbour cuts your hedge so you give him 200 cigs - not allowed!

You should include a list of previous trips and state quantity of goods purchased. Point out that since BF do not record ''negative'' stops, they cannot prove you carried goods on previous trips, especially if you have good reason for travelling, e.g. business, family celebrations etc. Include any other information to support your claim.

We always advise to apply for a SAR. However they have now changed the rules making it more difficult to do so. Apart from the usual requirements you now have to send in a certified photo which they say has to be done by a notary. A SAR will give you access to a copy of the officer's notebook as well as any information they hold against you. There is plenty of info on the search button about SAR's.
 


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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.

 
 

27-9-2017 10:36 am  #8


Re: Appeal help needed

Further to your NOC I would add in the A-J questions and your answers which you would have been asked at the interview.

Also if you are happy to do so, add financial statements to show that you were able to afford the goods. Any ATM withdrawal slips etc.


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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.

 
 

27-9-2017 2:34 pm  #9


Re: Appeal help needed

Thanks for all the information.

The 4 persons involved are family so no one will drop out during the  process.
Can we appeal as one in this case?

Obviously all usage calculations, finances and any past trips will be provided separately.

You are saying that it is better to appeal for restoration, can I ask why?

As I read on the forum...
"People are attracted to the restoration process because there are no costs involved, but I think it's fair to say there is very little chance of succes"

Regarding SAR requires certified photo... Can it be signed by local Police? Just to say it is true etc...

Last edited by Michal (27-9-2017 2:38 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

27-9-2017 2:56 pm  #10


Re: Appeal help needed

Where does my post say it is ''better to appeal for restoration'' ?

'' My advice would be to appeal AND ask for restoration''

If you want to make one claim with all 4 names on it, then do so. This means that if one person fails by saying the wrong thing then all will fail.

I don't know about the photo. I suggest you look it up on Home Office or HMRC website.


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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.

 
 

27-9-2017 3:38 pm  #11


Re: Appeal help needed

eezyrider wrote:

Where does my post say it is ''better to appeal for restoration'' ?

'' My advice would be to appeal AND ask for restoration''

If you want to make one claim with all 4 names on it, then do so. This means that if one person fails by saying the wrong thing then all will fail.

I don't know about the photo. I suggest you look it up on Home Office or HMRC website.

I'm sorry I must have misread what you stated regarding restoration...
Too much of information to read on the forum and got me confused ;P

Thanks again and if I need any more help I'll get back to you.

     Thread Starter
 

27-9-2017 7:19 pm  #12


Re: Appeal help needed

This is a rather tricky one. Can you please anwer the following questions:

Were you travelling by car or on foot?
Were the goods packed separately or all mixed together?
Were you interviewed seperately or all together?

 

27-9-2017 8:52 pm  #13


Re: Appeal help needed

turbulentupstart wrote:

This is a rather tricky one. Can you please anwer the following questions:

Were you travelling by car or on foot?
Were the goods packed separately or all mixed together?
Were you interviewed seperately or all together?

We flew by plane...

The goods were all together in 2 (maybe 3) hand luggage bags.

We were interviewed separately but our statements were very similar...

     Thread Starter
 

28-9-2017 8:17 pm  #14


Re: Appeal help needed

One last question - did the officers give any of you any specific reasons for the seizure?

 

28-9-2017 9:25 pm  #15


Re: Appeal help needed

turbulentupstart wrote:

One last question - did the officers give any of you any specific reasons for the seizure?

The reasons from I can remember were:

- not sure exactly for how long it will last
(did say correctly when pushed for answer)

- not being able to smoke a pack a day due to long hours of work (8h) and contact with customers...
(own business etc)

- when one person suddenly stopped and ask if traveling together said "no, with husband but we are family"

- did not ask to go for a smoke
(we were kept for long time in luggage collection area with nobody there to ask also everything we had was seized)

Last edited by Michal (28-9-2017 9:57 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

29-9-2017 6:51 pm  #16


Re: Appeal help needed

I got another question for you...

Would it be OK if I/we attach SOT + bank statements and what else required as backup for NOC?

Or maybe you are doing it different way?

What would be a good reason why seizure was wrong? 

Other than it was for personal use, we could afford the goods and not planning any trips in near future...

Last edited by Michal (29-9-2017 6:58 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

29-9-2017 7:47 pm  #17


Re: Appeal help needed

Ideally you would enclose as much info as you can with your NOC in order to make them change their decision and give back the goods before action is taken, however unlikely this is.

There is no ''good reason'' to put in the NOC. You have to convince them that the goods were for own use and not commercial. That is personal to you and the circumstances of the seizure. My posts #7 and #8 above are the critical points to answer. This is where it becomes difficult if you are sending in one NOC. Each of the party may have different financial situations, some may have a partner to share the goods with and some may not, plus maybe a 1001 differences in circumstances. It's like trying to make one shoe size fit all.

The object of the SOT is to hand over to customs when you get stopped to hopefully avoid goods being seized. However some of the info may be relevant to your NOC.


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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.

 
 

29-9-2017 8:09 pm  #18


Re: Appeal help needed

Regarding your Notice of Claim,  Notice 12A states as follows:

Where some of the seized things are owned by different people, each person who wants to challenge the seizure of their items must send a Notice of Claim to HMRC or Border Force within the time limit.If you want to write a joint letter each person must:


  • sign the letter
  • give their full name and address
  • state which of the seized things their challenge refers to
  • use continuation sheets where necessary to include all relevant information

An example Notice of Claim letter is at Section 3.15 of this notice. You may use it to challenge the seizure or, if you prefer, you may write your challenge in your own words. The format of your claim will not affect how your case is treated but you must include:

  • clear reasons why you believe HMRC or Border Force was wrong to seize the thing
  • your full name and address
  • any reference you were given by HMRC or by Border Force
  • evidence of ownership if your vehicle has been seized
  • continuation sheets where necessary to ensure you include all relevant information

You should also consider an appeal to the tribunal if your request for restoration is refused (as it probably will be).  This is because if you were to lose in the magistrates' court, you might still be able to argue in the tribunal  (individually) that the goods were for your own use and were only legally seized because they were mixed with the other goods.

See Cade v Director of Border Revenue (EXCISE DUTY APPEALS : Jurisdiction)

and

Cade v The Director of Border Revenue (EXCISE DUTY RESTORATION OF GOODS)
 

Last edited by turbulentupstart (29-9-2017 8:11 pm)

 

14-11-2017 6:04 pm  #19


Re: Appeal help needed

Quick update from me...

Not long ago I have received 3 letters from BF in sort space of time between them.

1) The first one is dated for end of October and addressed to *myself and wife*.

BF stating their acknowledge of my wish to appeal against legality of the seizure and request for restoration.
Of course they mentioned £2,500 court costs and option to withdrawn... 

2) The second letter dated 6 days later addressed to *myself only*? (is that the coffee machine replay? )

"Further to your request for the restoration of the seized goods."

They stating that I had 5000 cigarettes and ... "they were held for commercial purpose and excise duty had not been paid on them." 
The duty amount mentioned is about £1,600
Decision
"... In considering restoration I have looked at all of the circumstances surrounding the seizure but I do not consider the legality or the correctness of the seizure itself."
If  I am not happy I can request to be looked at by an impartial Review Officer and I have 45 days for it.

* Should I write back to them and ask read to my appeal this time?

3) The third letter dated 2 days after the second one addressed to *wife only*?

Condemnation Proceeding in the Magistrates' Court

They stating excise goods involved as:
- Your share of 19960 cigarettes 
- Your share of 1000 Slim cigarettes   <---- did not share
- Your share of 5kg tobacco                <---- did not share

Decision made that they do not accept that she provided sufficient evidence to support the claim that the goods were seized improperly... "The BF will now therefore contest in Court your claim that the seizure was unlawful."

There is attached Summary of answers (wife's only) to questions asked during interview and the main reasons for seizure.
Once again £2,500 court costs mentioned and option to withdrawn.

** Until now no one else received any letter from BF **

My questions are:
Since when should I count the 6 months for them to apply to the Court?
Should I do anything now?
Should I write back and try to find out why different letters are addressed separately? (joint claim- all members)
Or should I ignore it all together and wait what they do?

Thank you in advance
Michal

     Thread Starter
 

14-11-2017 7:24 pm  #20


Re: Appeal help needed

Michal wrote:

They stating that I had 5000 cigarettes and ... "they were held for commercial purpose and excise duty had not been paid on them." 

Does the letter state the reasons why they regard the goods as being held for commercial purpose?

Regarding your Notice of Claim you don't need do anything at this stage. You should receive a summons to appear in the Magistrates Court in a few months time.

If you also want to appeal to the tribunal, however, you must first apply for a statutory review of the refusal to restore the goods within 45 days of the decision.

 

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