Eastenders Cash and Carry Plc and Another v Revenue and Customs: Admn 4 Nov 2010

Applications for judicial review in relation to alcoholic goods detained by the Defendants on grounds of a suspicion that duty may not have been paid in respect of them.
Sales J said: ‘In my view, there is a clear reason why Parliament wished to create a distinct power of detention, namely to allow for the goods to be held where there is uncertainty whether duty has been paid on them or not, to allow for investigations to be carried out before HMRC decide whether to seize the goods or return them. That was the view of Pill LJ and Chadwick LJ in Gora (see paras. [50]-[52] and [59]) which, although not binding upon me, is strong persuasive authority. It does not require much imagination to see that there may be many cases in which there is uncertainty when HMRC officers inspect goods whether duty has been paid on them or not, and to see that in such cases the effective and fair implementation of the relevant tax and its associated enforcement regime will require that goods are held for a period while investigations are carried out in an effort to remove that uncertainty. In general (and without seeking to level criticism against the Claimants in the present cases), Parliament cannot have intended that an owner of goods should be able, just by obfuscating and creating uncertainty at the point of inspection in relation to his supply chain and whether duty has or has not been paid, to avoid the full rigour of the machinery for the enforcement of payment of taxes, including by forfeiture of goods on which duty has not been paid. Section 139(1) was intended to confer powers on HMRC to facilitate the effective and fair collection of tax, and to create effective sanctions where duty is not paid, and I consider that it is plain in that context that Parliament intended that there should be a distinct power of detention of goods to allow for a period of investigation where there is uncertainty whether duty has been paid on goods as it should have been.’
Sales J
[2010] EWHC 2797 (Admin), [2011] STC 64, [2011] 1 WLR 488, [2010] STI 2887
CitedGora and others v Commissioners of Customs and Excise and others CA 11-Apr-2003
The appellants challenged decisions of the VAT and Duties Tribunal after seizure of their goods, and in particular whether the cases had been criminal or civil cases and following Roth, whether the respondent’s policy had been lawful and . .

Cited by:
See AlsoEastenders Cash and Carry Plc v Revenue and Customs FTTTx 29-Dec-2010
FTTTx Excise Duty – warehouse – application for registration as an owner of goods under Warehousekeepers and Owners of Goods Regulations 1999 (‘WOWGR’) – whether decision of HMRC could reasonably have been . .
See AlsoEastenders Cash and Carry Plc and Others v HM Revenue and Customs CA 20-Jan-2012
The Court considered the lawfulness of the exercise of the power claimed by the Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise (HMRC) to detain goods temporarily for the purpose of investigating their status. . .
See AlsoEastenders Cash and Carry Plc v Revenue and Customs FTTTx 27-Mar-2012
FTTTx Procedure – costs – application for costs out of time – whether discretion to entertain an application should be exercised – Rule 5 (3) (a) Tribunal Rules 2009 – whether direction should be made to apply . .
See AlsoBarnes v Eastenders Cash and Carry Plc and Others CCC 4-Apr-2012
The respondent had had a receivership order made after ex parte restraint orders were made. The orders were set aside as unlawful, but the receiver now sought his very substantial costs from the respondent’s assets. . .
See AlsoEastenders Cash and Carry Plc and Another v HM Revenue and Customs CA 22-May-2012
The appellants had succeeded in resisting proceedings commenced by the respondents for the seizure of goods. The respondent now argued that costs should not follow the event, asserting a statutory bar. The appellant additionally argued that any such . .
See AlsoCrown Prosecution Service v The Eastenders Group and Another CACD 23-Nov-2012
‘application by the CPS for permission to appeal against . . orders made . . in the Central Criminal Court on 8 May 2012. I use the expression ‘in form’ because as will appear there are issues as to the jurisdiction of the court. The case raises . .
See AlsoEastenders Cash And Carry Plc And Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 27-Nov-2013
Statement of Facts – The company’s goods had been detained by Customs and Excise. A court later ordered their return, but found the detention to have been with reasonable cause. The Revenue had successfully argued that costs could not be awarded . .
See AlsoBarnes (As Former Court Appointed Receiver) v The Eastenders Group and Another SC 8-May-2014
Costs of Wrongly Appointed Receiver
‘The contest in this case is about who should bear the costs and expenses of a receiver appointed under an order which ought not to have been made. The appellant, who is a former partner in a well known firm of accountants, was appointed to act as . .
See AlsoEastenders Cash and Carry Plc and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Revenue and Customs SC 11-Jun-2014
Alcoholic drinks had been seized by the respondents pending further enquiries with a view to a possible forfeiture, then held and returned but only under court order. The company had complained that the detention of the goods was unlawful. The . .

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Updated: 01 March 2021; Ref: scu.425777