Companies find it extremely painful, in terms of cost and lost management time, dealing with unexpected demands for back duty. HMRC can recover duty on importations that have taken place over a previous three year period.
Customs powers are considerable and may be used against otherwise innocent importers or exporters who unwittingly commit offences. We have experience in defending clients in such cases, and in negotiating settlements where offences have been committed.
Where a company disputes a decision made by Customs, it can first obtain an internal Departmental Review and, if the matter is still not resolved to the company's satisfaction, it can also appeal the matter to the independent Tax Tribunal. The case will be heard by a judge who will provide a full and reasoned opinion based on the facts.
The types of cases which have been considered by the Tax Tribunal include those on classification, valuation, anti-dumping duty and tariff preferences.