HM 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 alcohol in this case was detained . . HMRC gave as the grounds for their detention that they were ‘detained and removed from premises pending evidence of duty status’ and were ‘goods detained and removed pending duty status’.
Held: The court allowed the Commissioners’ appeal against the first two judgments. Beatson LJ accepted that the judge’s view that the power to detain under section 139(1) must not only exist, but must be exercised for the purpose intended by Parliament, gained powerful support from general principles of public law, but concluded that it was inconsistent with the judgments of the majority of the court in the first judgment in the Eastenders case. The court also considered that it followed from the first judgment in the Eastenders case that there was no duty to give reasons for the detention of goods under section 139(1). In their view, the effect of the Eastenders decision was that if the goods were in fact ‘liable to forfeiture’, detention for a reasonable time was lawful under section 139(1) irrespective of any reason that might have been given. The appeal against Singh J’s second judgment, relating to section 144(2), was allowed on the ground that the judge’s decision was inconsistent with the decision of the Court of Appeal in its second judgment in the Eastenders case
Jackson, Lewison, Beatson LJJ
[2013] EWCA Civ 183
England and Wales
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 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: . .
Appeal fromFirst 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 . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromEastenders 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 . .
CitedBarnes (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 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 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 30 April 2021; Ref: scu.471583