Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2009] All ER (D) 50 (Aug)
Neutral Citation: [2009] EWHC 2046 (Ch)
Court: Chancery Division

Christopher Clarke J

Representation Philippa Whipple (instructed by McGrigors LLP) for the taxpayer.
  Andrew O'Connor (instructed by Solicitors Office HM Revenue & Customs) for the revenue.
Judgment Dates: 5 August 2009


Customs and excise - Duties - Imported goods - Valuation of goods for purposes of duty - Claimant obtaining binding tariff information in respect of imported swimwear - Respondent revenue subsequently re-classifying swimwear to lower rate of duty - Revenue proceeding to reverse re-classification - Taxpayer appealing to tribunal - European legislation enacted invalidating revenue's reclassification of swimwear into lower duty band - Tribunal finding for revenue - Whether tribunal erring - Whether abuse of process for revenue to refuse repayment - s 85 - Council Regulation (EEC) 2658/87 - Council Regulation (EEC) 2913/92 - Commission Regulation (EC) 651/2007.

The Case

Customs and excise Duties. Chancery Division: The claimant taxpayer's appeal against a decision of the VAT and Duties Tribunal to dismiss its claim for repayment of allegedly overpaid duty on imported swimwear was dismissed where, on the facts, the swimwear had been correctly classified for import duty purposes and it had not been an abuse of process for the revenue to decline to repay the amount said to have been outstanding, albeit that in an earlier decision the revenue had informed the taxpayer that the swimwear in question had been incorrectly classified and should have attracted a lower rate of duty.

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