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16-1-2016 11:54 pm  #1

Another win for us at Hull

It was 2.5 kgs but our member won his case. Also he says that s144 was not issued by the court.

Hopefully the member will reveal all in good time but the case is still ongoing as he now has to negotiate compensation.



17-1-2016 7:43 am  #2

Re: Another win for us at Hull

Excellent news Eezy and no s144 ! Should prove interesting http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png

I am Homer of Borg, resistance is.............hmmmm doughnuts http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png

05-2-2016 4:34 pm  #3

Re: Another win for us at Hull

After waiting for some written confirmation from Hull about the case being dismissed I emailed them Weds night and rec'd an email back yesterday with an attachment of the memorandum with the case no, date of hearing and stating Dismissed with no costs.  
I was given a tel no by the BF officer after the hearing which he told me to ring about getting my tobacco back.l rang the number today which was a waste of time as the person on the end of the phone said they did not deal with this and that also the tobacco would have been destroyed after 3 weeks anyway. I am now seeking help and advice on how to and what I can claim back, expenses etc.
Any help & advice will be much appreciated
Will keep the Forum up to date with any developments and also later question & answers which may be of use to other people defending themselves



05-2-2016 5:20 pm  #4

Re: Another win for us at Hull

Well done Sparky, looking forward to the update.

START HERE, By answering these questions. http://n2d.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=1526
Useful documents for download : http://n2d.boardhost.com/viewforum.php?id=34
Goods been seized, Start here.  http://n2d.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=78
SOT Thanks to TBD. http://n2d.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=373

05-2-2016 6:14 pm  #5

Re: Another win for us at Hull

Claim for original cost of purchase or maybe today's replacement cost whichever is the greater. Obviously there has been some price changes mainly due to fluctuation in the exchange rates but if I remember correctly sterling is still up on what it was this time last year potentially making tobacco cheaper (need confirmation).

Travel expenses incl refreshments to point of purchase and return.

I'm not sure if you can claim expenses for court or if that is purely something that has to be claimed at the hearing. Maybe others can confirm. If you can claim then it is travel and refreshment, research time and correspondence, but there are limits for an L.I.P. , ie someone without legal representation.

You should be dealing with NPSU at Plymouth for compensation.

     Thread Starter

06-2-2016 2:10 pm  #6

Re: Another win for us at Hull

tobacco that was seized last march cost me £257.50.for 2.5kg.of gv.on the 27/3/15.Todays price in Ostend is £302.50 for2.5kg of gv..So will cost me more now to replace it.Just got these prices for British Tobacco Shop Ostend from Google.


06-2-2016 3:55 pm  #7

Re: Another win for us at Hull

Assuming there was no Cert 144, I'm surprised no costs were awarded. Did you ask for any?

Regarding compensation you have to wait 21 days from the date of decision in the mags while BF "decide" whether to appeal to Crown Court. Some time after this, (and they won't be in any hurry) they wll either offer you the goods back, or tell you they have been destroyed and offer you the price you paid abroad.

I suspect that if a Cert 144 was not issued they may offer you the goods back (Although they might not resemble the seized goods in every detail http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png
) Otherwise I don't see why you can't claim the fulll UK replacement price of the goods.

If you do get the goods back you need to examine them carefully for any damage. In this case you might also be able to claim for loss of use of the goods. A suitable figure for this would seem to  be the UK duty on 2.5kg of tobacco at the time of seizure.


06-2-2016 6:59 pm  #8

Re: Another win for us at Hull

It depends to a degree how much time and effort you want to put into this. If you are satisfied with getting the replacement cost of your goods (as you say at today's value, being as that is higher) and the cost of travel and refreshments, then I would take the simpler option and negotiate for that amount plus say a goodwill payment of £50 for loss of use of your tobacco.

However if you wish to make a case of it then I'm sure TU's advice above is good but you will almost certainly have to prepare a case and get judgement for that.

     Thread Starter

10-3-2016 7:38 pm  #9

Re: Another win for us at Hull

Hi guys, It's been 2 months now since I won my case to get my 2.5 kg of G.V, back. I have emailed Plymouth twice regarding this matter and all they say is that my case has been assigned to an officer and that the officer will be in touch in due course.  I am still waiting to hear from someone.  Is there anyone else I should be contacting regarding this or do I just have to keep hanging on.  They are quick enough to grab it off you but its like pulling teeth trying to get any sense from them. The price of tobacco today in Ostende for the same amount is £330.00 against £257 last March. I am now getting pissed off with the arrogance of these people.  If they had won their case they would have been hounding me for thousands Maybe they will read this. Any advice with this matter will be much appreciated.  Thanks


10-3-2016 7:57 pm  #10

Re: Another win for us at Hull

Really you should be making a nuisance of yourself by phoning them every other day for a progress report.

The only alternative is to issue a 14 day notice of action. Being a govt dept it has to go through county court.

Since you say that a s144 cert was not issued I would invoice them also for travel and refreshment costs, court costs as well as the replacement cost of you tobacco. We now have a court costs calculator in the Help section.

Whatever you choose I would still send an invoice for all your out of pocket expenses and point out that no s144 was granted.

     Thread Starter

10-3-2016 8:50 pm  #11

Re: Another win for us at Hull

there was no order for costs.magistrates find that the circmumstances of the seizure were reasonable.I have tried ringing them on a regular basis but it just rings and rings,no one answers.

Last edited by SPARKY (10-3-2016 9:06 pm)


10-3-2016 9:16 pm  #12

Re: Another win for us at Hull

SPARKY wrote:

there was no order for costs.magistrates find that the circmumstances of the seizure were reasonable.I have tried ringing them on a regular basis but it just rings and rings,no one answers.

In that case if the mags found the circumstances reasonable that means a s144 was granted limiting you to the £257.

If you are not getting through by phone the best way of contacting them is by fax, it usually gets an immediate response. If you can't do fax online the best option is the local library or a friendly office.

Really there is no other way forwards.

     Thread Starter

11-3-2016 9:44 am  #13

Re: Another win for us at Hull


18-3-2016 1:33 pm  #14

Re: Another win for us at Hull

Hi again, just received a letter today from B.F. officer stating that due to the cost incurred by the tax payer for the storage of my tobacco it has now been destroyed. I have been offered the cost of the tobacco which cost me £257.50 last March but will now cost me £333 to replace at todays Belgium price.  They enclosed a form for me to fill out accepting their offer.  Shall I write back asking for the cost of replacing it at todays Belgium price or the supermarket price in England.  Dont know when I will be going abroad to get replacement bacca.  Any ideas, thanks again  (Once this is all finished with I will update the forum with my court experience)


18-3-2016 3:17 pm  #15

Re: Another win for us at Hull

Sparky, there is no harm in trying but I fear the worst. There are plenty of precedents that HMRC can use.

You can only complain to them and see what they say.

     Thread Starter

18-3-2016 11:40 pm  #16

Re: Another win for us at Hull

Please inform me what the gap was between purchasing the goods and the courts decision, less than a year? longer than a year?

Last edited by NoMoTax (18-3-2016 11:45 pm)


19-3-2016 8:13 am  #17

Re: Another win for us at Hull

hi.goods seized on 28 march 2015.case won on 15 january 2016.thanks.


19-3-2016 11:34 pm  #18

Re: Another win for us at Hull

Not sure if you have been given a date for when they were destroyed,  but I would argue that the cost to the tax payer of storing the goods is of no concern of yours as you bought the tobacco in to the country legally.  As the court have decided that, without prejudice to the reasonableness of the seizure , the seizure should not have happened.  The court also granted them the rights of protection given in section 144 of the 1979 CEMA act, but this affords them no protection in regards to compensation for the tobacco nor does it afford them protection in regards to the compensation for costs incurred replacing it.

The tobacco would still have been in a reasonable condition at least up to the 28th March 2016 before any reduction in quality would have been an issue, however the judgement was made on an earlier date, the 15th January 2016. I would feel it fair to both sides that earlier date of 15th of January 2016 is used for the conversion date and as such the market price used should be the market price for the 15th January 2016.  I would note that the UK market price is substantially higher than the Belgium market price,  and would be willing to accept the Belgium market price on the 15th January 2016. However as such I would also incur consequential costs involved in travelling to and staying in Belgium to replace the tobacco, and would feel that a nominal fee of £500 should be added to the compensation claim in order for those costs to be met.

So my claim would be in two parts,  the 1st part for market price in Belgium 15th January 2016, and the 2nd part for consequential costs incurred in travelling and staying in Belgium for a nominal £500.

That is how I would do it, I dare say they would throw it back at me but it seems fair to me.


20-3-2016 12:04 am  #19

Re: Another win for us at Hull

Power to deal with seizures before condemnation, etc.

16 Where any thing has been seized as liable to forfeiture the Commissioners may at any time if they see fit and notwithstanding that the thing has not yet been condemned, or is not yet deemed to have been condemned, as forfeited—
(a) deliver it up to any claimant upon his paying to the Commissioners such sum as they think proper, being a sum not exceeding that which in their opinion represents the value of the thing, including any duty or tax chargeable thereon which has not been paid;
(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.

17 (1) If, where any thing is delivered up, sold or destroyed under paragraph 16 above, it is held in proceedings taken under this Schedule that the thing was not liable to forfeiture at the time of its seizure, the Commissioners shall, subject to any deduction allowed under sub-paragraph (2) below, on demand by the claimant tender to him—

(a) an amount equal to any sum paid by him under sub-paragraph (a) of that paragraph; or (b) where they have sold the thing, an amount equal to the proceeds of sale; or (c) where they have destroyed the thing, an amount equal to the market value of the thing at the time of its seizure.

As I said all court precedents are that they are only obliged to pay the amount paid for the goods in the first place.

Hence the importance of finding an argument to challenge granting a s144 in court.

     Thread Starter

20-3-2016 4:11 am  #20

Re: Another win for us at Hull

Interestingly in the judicial review Checkprice v HMRC. 

section 144(3) preserves the right to claim compensation "in respect of the destruction" of the goods, which is in my view language sufficiently wide to encompass Checkprice's claim that its goods were detained and destroyed without being returned to it as they should have been.

This protects your right to claim for losses from the destruction.

And more importantly when deciding what compensation payments should be in the case of destruction...

As regards the other goods detained by HMRC, I do not consider that damages equivalent to the market value of those goods would be appropriate. Although that is the usual measure of damages for conversion of goods, that is only because that is usually the best measure of the true loss suffered by the claimant. The principle to be applied, however, is that damages should be awarded to provide a just remedy reflecting the loss actually suffered by the claimant which may, in some circumstances, be different from the market value of the goods: Kuwait Airways v Iraqi Airways [2002] 2 AC 883, [63]-[68].

This is basically equity law.  The question then becomes what was your actual loss.

There are a few ways of looking at this.  If you were on the way back from a holiday, or a sightseeing trip and bought tobacco whilst over there then it really could be argued that all you lost was what you paid at the time for the tobacco.
If on the other hand, it was a trip specifically for tobacco and nothing else then it could be argued that you lost the cost to get there and back as well as the cost of the tobacco.  This should be allowed as it is impossible to buy tobacco from abroad without actually fetching it yourself.

You really need to find out when the tobacco was destroyed.  It had plenty of life left in it and the decision of its legality still had not been decided... unless it was destroyed after the s144 was awarded in January in which case you have a very good case for substantial damages.  I do not believe "saving the tax payer money" is a valid excuse for destruction (is this actually what they said or was it your own thoughts as to what they were doing?).



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