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Tuesday, 5 November, 2002, 10:18 GMT
Channel shoppers wait on appeal
Tobacco and alcohol seizures at Dover
Smuggling costs the government 9m a day
The government is seeking to overturn a High Court ruling, which was heralded as a victory for booze cruisers.

On Tuesday, Customs and Excise will challenge the decision made in July, which said methods employed by customs officials were "incompatible" with EU law.

The original case was brought by cross-channel operator Hoverspeed and a group of disgruntled passengers.

In July, the High Court found that passengers cannot be searched when entering the UK unless customs officers have 'reasonable grounds' for suspecting an offence has been committed.

After the ruling, Customs and Excise were given leave to appeal.

Government limits

Tobacco and alcohol smuggling is believed to cost the government 9m a day in lost tax revenue.

But customs and Excise has been accused in the past of using heavy-handed tactics against day-trippers.

These tactics include stop and search, and even the seizure and destruction of vehicles belonging to people that have exceeded government import limits on tobacco and alcohol.

In October, the government announced it was raising the limits for the amount of tobacco and alcohol that individuals could bring into the UK.

In addition, the government announced that it would abolish the burden of proof on individuals to show that the goods brought in were for their own personal use.

See also:

31 Jul 02 | England
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