Customs faces £450m cross-Channel claim
Customs & Excise could face a claim of £450m over its treatment of cross-Channel passengers from Sea Containers, the owners of Hoverspeed.
The company said it was preparing to make the claim after the European Commission issued its third warning against Customs because of the way it treats people returning from shopping in France.
Passengers have complaints that they are treated like criminals whereas UK officials claim they are trying to clamp down on smuggling.
The commission has received regular complaints from customers at the treatment received.
James Sherwood, president of Sea Containers said: ‘It’s important that the Customs & Excise stop harassing our passengers, dealing in an illegal way with them.’
Sea Container officials admitted privately that they were unlikely to get the full amount claimed but they wanted to make sure the harassment of passengers stopped, reported the Financial Times newspaper.