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European Brand Trading v HMRC

In European Brand Trading v HMRC [2016] EWCA Civ 90 (16 February 2016) the Court of Appeal found that once the magistrates’ court had condemned goods as forfeited for non-payment of excise duty European Brand Trading (EBT) could no longer contend that duty had in fact been paid.

Under CEMA 1979 where goods are liable to forfeiture for non-payment of excise duty HMRC has the power to seize or detain them and the owner of the goods has one month to challenge the seizure. If no challenge is made within the deadline the goods are deemed to have been duly condemned as forfeited. If a challenge is made in time HMRC must take proceedings for condemnation in the magistrates' court or the High Court.

This was what had happened in this case and the magistrates’ court had ordered that the goods be condemned...

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