Obtaining condemnation of goods

Lavinia represented the Director of Border Revenue – the Complainant – in a case where the Claimant’s tobacco products had been seized.

The Claimant’s main argument was that; as he had purchased these goods in an EU country he was entitled to bring back as much as he wanted. Lavinia highlighted that, although there were no definitive levels, such as there are when goods are imported from outside the EU, the Claimant must show the goods were for personal use.

During cross-examination the Claimant would not answer questions regarding his income, and Lavinia made submissions regarding the inference that could be made from the Claimant’s refusal to answer. The Claimant also accepted during cross-examination that he gave tobacco products to friends as part-payment for domestic building work.

Lavinia successfully obtained an order for condemnation of the goods on behalf of the Home Office.