Demand and Supply Cash and Carry Ltd and Another v HM Revenue and Customs: Admn 18 Dec 2009

The claimants challenged the removal of substantial quantities of alcohol and tobacco from their warehouses.
Held: One ground of challenge was that HMRC had acted unlawfully in removing and detaining a number of computers found at the Claimants’ premises. However, at the hearing the Claimants had not pursued their argument that ‘document’ in section 118B did not include a computer.
Parker J observed: ‘The Claimants initially contended that ‘document’ in Section 118B of the Act did not include a computer. At the hearing Mr. Brown, who appeared on behalf of the Claimants, prudently did not pursue this contention. Section 114(2) of the Finance Act 2008 expressly expands the meaning of ‘document’ to include anything in which information of any description is recorded, an expansion that is plainly broad enough to cover the hard disk of a computer. In any event there is a welter of authority, from different contexts, where the expression ‘document’ has been interpreted to include a computer (see, for example, R v The Commissioners of Customs and Excise (ex parte Bottlestop) [1997] EWHC Admin 467 at paragraph 16; and cf CPR 31.4.1 ).’


Kenneth Parker J


[2009] EWHC 3321 (Admin), [2010] STC 832




Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 118B, Finance Act 2008 114(2)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedGlenn and Co (Essex) Ltd), Regina (on The Application of) v HM Revenue and Customs Admn 18-Jun-2010
The company objected to the search of its offices and removal by the defendant of its computers, the officers having entered without any warrant purporting to use powers under the 1989 Act.
Held: The request for judicial review failed. The . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Customs and Excise

Updated: 07 February 2022; Ref: scu.384455