More success for HMRC team

Peter Hastings, Rogers & Norton


Our HMRC team has recently had a fantastic result for a client after a case was referred to them from another firm of solicitors, who wanted to utilise our specialist skills and services concerning the seizure by Border Force of goods valued in excess of £1,500,000.00.

The goods contained traces of Alligator skin meaning they were seized under section 139 of the Customs & Excise Management Act 1979 as liable to forfeiture under section 49 (1) (b) as the required permits had not been obtained. This was contrary to the prohibition and restrictions imposed by the Convention on the International trade in Endangered Species (CITES) 1973 and specifically within the EU. Council Regulation 338/97.

HMRC sought a restoration fee of circa £100,000.

We were asked to review the case and challenge the sum requested by Border Force. On review, with new submissions made, HMRC reduced the restoration fee to £3,000. They applied “a sense of proportionality and reasonableness”.

The import or export of any item that requires a permit as required by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) 1973, is currently causing a great deal of confusion. The litigation team has dealt successfully with many cases where companies and individuals could potentially lose large sums of money as a consequence of seizures and failing to obtain the correct Import Permits before the goods have arrived in the UK.

Our detailed knowledge of CITES together with a thorough understanding of the system means we are able to act quickly and decisively to support our clients in getting goods restored.

If you have any problems or issues of a similar nature you can contact the team via or 01603 675639.


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