TaxPersonal TaxHoverspeed hits back at Customs block on cut-price wine delivery service

Hoverspeed hits back at Customs block on cut-price wine delivery service

Hovercraft ferry company Hoverspeed has expressed surprise at Customs & Excise stance on the launch of its home delivery service for wine.

Last week Customs officials told the company to cease the service or face seizure of the goods or a heavy tax bill.

But a Hoverspeed spokesman responded: ‘Not only do those of us living in the UK have to pay some of the highest duty rates in the EU, Customs appears determined to ensure that cross-Channel travellers cannot enjoy the benefits of lower prices on the near Continent.’

Under the service, Hoverspeed had offered delivery anywhere in England and Wales for purchases of four cases of wine bought in its Calais and Ostend ‘hoverstores’. Cross channel shoppers pay 2p duty in France compared with more than £1 in the UK.

But the scheme required customers to walk their purchases through Customs in Dover, before handing it over for delivery within 72 hours.

Customs wrote to Hoverspeed saying personal imports cannot be used for commercial purposes. As holding the wine for delivery is considered a commercial purpose by Customs, it is liable to forfeiture or payment of UK taxes in full.

‘We have done everything to satisfy Customs requirements by ensuring that passengers travel and accompany their goods through Customs controls, thereby providing an opportunity for them to be questioned in the normal way,’ the spokesman added.

Customs has pledged no action will be taken against consignments already delivered.

Hoverspeed faces seizure threat over new wine delivery service

Related Articles

Rent-a-room relief – the survey says…

Personal Tax Rent-a-room relief – the survey says…

1m Helen Thornley, ATT Technical Officer
What should the OTS prioritise in its review of inheritance tax?

Personal Tax What should the OTS prioritise in its review of inheritance tax?

3m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

Administration LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

4m Lucy Skoulding, Reporter
HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

Administration HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

5m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
HMRC urged to clarify impact of income allowances on Self-Assessments

Personal Tax HMRC urged to clarify impact of income allowances on Self-Assessments

6m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

Administration New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

7m Emma Rawson, ATT Technical Officer
Wealthy individuals could circumvent top tax rate rises

Personal Tax Wealthy individuals could circumvent top tax rate rises

8m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Italy grants first successful non-dom status application to former UK non-dom

Personal Tax Italy grants first successful non-dom status application to former UK non-dom

9m Emma Smith, Managing Editor