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The Venerable H Glaisyer v Director of Border Revenue

In The Venerable H Glaisyer v Director of Border Revenue (TC01964 – 21 May) a clergyman (G) imported a large quantity of wooden crosses from Israel. The UK Border Agency charged import VAT of £60. G appealed contending inter alia that the crosses should be treated as ‘basic necessities’ which qualified for relief from import VAT under VAT (Imported Goods) Relief Order SI 1984/746 Sch 2 Group 6 Item 1.

The Tribunal rejected this contention and dismissed his appeal. Judge Mosedale held that ‘neither Parliament nor the European Council intended to include in the exemption articles to meet spiritual needs. The crosses are not "basic necessities" under either UK or EU law.’

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Why it matters: SI 1984/746 Sch 2 Group 6 Item 1 provides relief from VAT on the import of ‘basic necessities’ from outside the...

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