Eastenders 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 Revenue appealed against an order upholding that complaint.
Held: The appeal succeeded. Section 139 allowed only for seizure of goods actually liable to forfeiture, but the appellants had a general ancillary power to detain goods in order to examine them and conduct an investigation to discover whether they were in fact liable to forfeiture. ‘ The right to seize or detain property under section 139(1) is dependent on that property actually being liable to forfeiture under one of the various forfeiture provisions of the Act. This turns on the objectively ascertained facts, and not on the beliefs or suspicions of the Commissioners or their officers, however reasonable. ‘
When Parliament created the power to detain goods liable to forfeiture, it did not by implication abolish the power of detention which had previously been held to arise by necessary implication from statutory powers of examination.

Lord Neuberger, President, Lord Mance, Lord Sumption, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath
[2014] 4 All ER 1, [2014] WLR(D) 262, [2014] UKSC 34, [2015] 1 AC 1101, (2014) 178 JP 314, [2014] 2 Cr App R 26, [2014] STC 1741, [2014] 2 WLR 1580, [2014] BVC 30, UKSC 2012/0163
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary
Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 139(1)
England and Wales
See AlsoEastenders 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 . .
At FTTTxEastenders 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 v South Western Magistrates’ Court Admn 22-Mar-2011
The claimant sought judicial review of decisions by the magistrates first to issue search warrants, and then to refuse to disclose the information on which it had been based.
Held: The documentation now having been disclosed the second part of . .
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 AlsoFirst Stop Wholesale Ltd, Regina (on The Application of) v Revenue and Customs Admn 27-Mar-2012
The claimant sought judicial review of the defendant’s decisions to seize and detain alcoholic drinks from his business premises.
Held: Goods could not lawfully be detained under section 139(1) for the purpose of ascertaining whether the power . .
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 . .
Appeal fromEastenders 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 AlsoFirst Stop Wholesale Ltd, Regina (on The Application of) v Revenue and Customs Admn 16-Jul-2012
The applicant challenged the court’s refusal to pay its costs after a finding that the seizure of goods by the respondent had been unlawful. The defendant argued that section 144 of the 1979 Act protected it against such an order.
Held: . .
See AlsoFirst Stop Wholesale Ltd R (on The Application of) v Revenue and Customs Admn 5-Oct-2012
Claim for judicial review of various seizure notices issued by the defendants. The question was whether a statement in the notices that ‘no evidence of UK duty payment has been provided’ was a sufficient statement of the grounds for seizing the . .
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 . .
Appeal fromHM Revenue and Customs v First Stop Wholesale Ltd and Another CA 12-Mar-2013
‘Appeals . . against orders . . arising out of the detention . . by HMRC of large quantities of alcohol from the warehouse and other premises of First Stop, the respondent to the first two appeals and the appellant in the third. At the time the . .
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 . .
CitedD O Ferguson and Associates v M Sohl CA 1992
A building contract was repudiated by the builders at a time when the works had been partly completed. The contract price was approximately andpound;32,000. At the time when the builders abandoned the site they had been paid over andpound;26,000 and . .
CitedSharma and Another v Simposh Ltd CA 23-Nov-2011
The parties created an oral (and therefore void) contract for a development, the claimants paid a deposit, expressed to be non-refundable, and the defendant builders completed the building work. The buyers backed out. The developer now appealed . .
CitedJacobsohn v Blake and Compton 13-Jan-1843
Custom-house officers took possession of goods landed by the plaintiff for the purpose of examination and detained them upon a misapprehension that they were prohibited and liable to forfeiture. In an action for trespass, the defence was that, there . .
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 . .
CitedThe Six Carpenters’ Case 1610
Resolved – 1. When an entry, authority, or licence, is given to any one by the law, and he abuses it, he shall be a trespasser ab initio: but not where the entry, authority, or licence, is given by the party. 2. An act of omission cannot make a . .
CitedIrving v Wilson And Another 22-Nov-1791
If a Revenue officer seize goods as forfeited, which are not liable to seizure, and take money of the owner to release them, the latter may recover back the money in action for money had and received. In such an action a month’s notice need not be . .

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Customs and Excise

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Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.526417