Seizures Of Goods, Cash, Property Or Vehicles
If your goods have been seized by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) or the UK Border Agency, you can challenge the seizure and apply to have your goods returned. You should have been issued with either:
- A Notice of Seizure (sent to you if you or your agent, if you were not present when the thing was seized); or
- A Seizure Information Notice (handed to you or your agent if HMRC seized the thing in your or their presence).
The reason for the seizure should have been explained to the person present at the time of seizure. When customs officers seize goods in transit they can also seize the vehicle that is carrying the goods.
Challenging a Seizure
If you intend to challenge the seizure, then you have the following options, request Restoration and/or Condemnation. For either to work you Must Own The Goods. Between 2 UK companies, the Sale of Goods Act defines ownership as passing on the making of a contract. If you are trading with an EU company, unless specified in a contract which country’s rule of law is being adhered to, it is usually the law of the sellers country that will define the ownership.
Appeal against the legality of the seizure by sending HMRC or UK Border Agency a Notice of Claim. Or, Ask HMRC in writing to return the seized item(s) to you, even if you accept that HMRC or UK Border Agency had a legal right to seize it. This is called Restoration. There is a separate appeals process for people who are dissatisfied with decisions about returning things. This involves an internal review, followed by a right to appeal to an independent Tribunal.
Altion Law can assist in contesting the legality of the seizure and negotiating with HMRC to return the seized item(s) in the meantime. Prompt action is of utmost importance where goods have been seized.
Altion Law have substantial experience of managing Restoration negotiations with HMRC and appeals.
We have experience in handling Condemnation proceedings at court and are able to provide effective and prompt advice.
Successful Action To Recover Valuable Assets Seized By HMRC.
Altion Law was instructed to recover valuable assets seized by HMRC. Prior to instructing Altion Law the clients had been in a years of unsuccessful contested disputes with HMRC. All seeking the return of their valuable assets.
Altion Law advised the clients on the law, and the legal basis on which HMRC could seize assets. As this matter had been litigious for many years, Altion Law provided the clients with clear sensible advice on ways to resolve the disputed issue. We were instructed to represent the clients at negotiation meetings with HMRC. The result of the meetings was a success, as HMRC returned all the seized assets to our clients within weeks of our involvement with the matter.
The clients were delighted with the service they had received from Altion Law. A dispute which had been going on for years finally came to an end, with the outcome they had desired.
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“Professional and honest service who certainly know their business. Kept informed all of the time and it was smooth successful process”.