Customs: Civil evasion penaltiesby
As the holiday season approaches and international travel open up, Jason Croke reminds us what to consider when going through the green channel at the air or seaport.
When the UK was a member of the EU, an individual could bring into the UK (from the EU) a theoretical unlimited amount of excise dutiable goods for their own use, where duty has been paid in the country where the goods were purchased.
In reality, HMRC set thresholds that it considered to be for personal use:
Alcohol (pre Brexit)
|Wine||90 litres (still wines)|
|Wine||10 litres (sparkling wines & fortified wines such as port/sherry)|
|Spirits||10 litres (where alcohol is over 22%)|
|Wine||18 litres (still wines)|
|Wine||9 litres (sparkling wines & fortified wines such as port/sherry)|
|Spirits||4 litres (where alcohol is over 22%)|
You can see there is a significant reduction in the quantity of excise goods which can be brought in the UK post-Brexit, without paying further duty.
Penalties for not declaring at the red channel
Although there is an element of subjectivity and common sense required, generally Customs take a view that if you walk through the green channel with excise goods over your allowance, you knew you were over the allowance and that is an inherently dishonest act. The act of dishonesty carries with it a penalty.
Customs officers particularly take this view if the individual is a frequent traveller, as all ports have lots of signs listing the allowances. Even a first-time traveller would see the big signs as they walk towards the red/green channel.
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Jason has over 20 years’ experience working exclusively in indirect taxes (VAT, import duty, SDLT) with owner-managed businesses, corporates and not for profit sectors. He particularly enjoys challenging HMRC decisions, representing clients in tribunals or during inspections.
Experience includes land and property, partial exemption and...