Hoverspeed faces seizure threat over new wine delivery service
Customs & Excise has told hovercraft ferry company Hoverspeed to cease its home delivery service for wine or face seizure of the goods or a heavy tax bill.
Under the service, introduced last week, Hoverspeed 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.
The scheme requires its customers to walk their purchases through Customs in Dover, before handing it over for delivery within 72 hours. Charges start at £10 for four cases.
But Customs has written 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.
Customs has pledged no action will be taken against consignments already delivered.