Under Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, it is an offence to avoid any prohibition or restriction on the importation or exportation of goods. The burden of proving the fact of importation exportation on the HMRC Prosecutors and HMRC Investigators (prosecution) the importation exportation will be considered to be proved unless the defence can prove to the contrary. It relates to all types of goods.

Proceedings can only be commenced 20 years from the date of the offence being committed. The goods may be forfeited. The penalty for improper importation of goods is in the Magistrates Court 12 months or in the Crown Court 7 years imprisonment and or a fine

Illegal exportation carries the same sentencing.


Untrue Declaration or Falsifying Documents

Section 167 Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 makes it an offence for a person to falsely declare or produce a document which falsely declares the importation status of goods (Magistrates Court 12 months - Crown Court 2 years).

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