EXCISE DUTIES — importation of cigarettes and tobacco — admission by traveller that goods were for Appellant and her family and that sons and daughters clubbed together with Appellant to purchase — whether goods should be restored — whether review decision was reasonable — appeal dismissed
MANCHESTER TRIBUNAL CENTRE
ANNA KEENAN Appellant
- and -
THE COMMISSIONERS OF CUSTOMS AND EXCISE Respondents
Tribunal: Mr I E Vellins (Chairman)
Mr R Presho
Sitting in public in York on the 9th May 2003
No attendance or appearance by Appellant
Mr M Kellet of counsel instructed by the Solicitor for the Customs and Excise for the Respondents
© CROWN COPYRIGHT 2003
The Relevant Law
"Subject to the provision of this order a community traveller entering the United Kingdom shall be relieved from payment of any duty of excise on excise goods obtained for his own use in cross-border shopping of which he transported".
"Own use includes use as a personal gift provided that is the person making the gift receives in consequence any money or money's worth (including any reimbursement of expenses incurred in connection with obtaining the goods in question) his use shall not be regarded as own for the purpose of this order".
"(b) Any other thing mixed, packed or found with a thing so liable shall also be liable to forfeiture".
"8. As regards products acquired by private individuals for their own use and transported by them, the principle governing the internal market lays down that excise duty should be charged in the Member State in which there are acquired.
- 1. Without prejudice to Article 8 excise duty shall become chargeable where products released for consumption in a Member State are held for commercial purpose in another Member State.
- the commercial status of the holder of the products and his reasons for holding them,
- the place where the products are located or where appropriate the mode of transport used,
- any document in relation to the products,
- the nature of the product,
- the quantity of the products.
Member States may lay down guide levels solely as a form of evidence. These guidelines may not be lower than [specified levels]."
"In relation to any decision as to an ancillary matter, or, any decision on the review of such a decision, the powers of an appeal tribunal on an appeal under this section shall be confined to a power where the tribunal are satisfied that the Commissioners or other persons making their decision could not reasonably have arrived at it".
In John Dee Limited v Commissioners for Customs and Excise 1995 STC 941, Neill L J approved a principle that the tribunal could only properly review the Commissioners' decision if it was shown that the Commissioners had acted in a way in which no reasonable panel of Commissioners could have acted, if they had taken into account some irrelevant matter, or had disregarded something to which they should have given weight, and stated that the tribunal may also have to consider whether the Commissioners had erred on a point of law.
"that, if an individual acquires (or having acquired for his own use subsequently decided to hold) products for a purpose other then his own use such products are to be regarded as held for commercial purposes".
Further in the Lindsay appeal 2002 the court held that if friends or family are reimbursing on a not for profit basis this is nevertheless commercial and duty is payable.
I E VELLINS