Guide

Customs seizures and penalties

Introduction

This guide explains what will happen if you break the laws regarding customs rules, procedures and duties and what action HM Revenue & Customs can take against you if you do. It also explains how warnings are delivered, how penalties are calculated, when interest may be charged and how to appeal against findings.

The penalties for import duty and excise duty operate under separate systems. Legal regimes operate differently depending on whether a contravention is committed under customs legislation or under laws covering the operation of excise. It is important that you fully understand the differences between the customs and excise regimes as different sets of penalties and procedures operate for each. For more information, you can see our section on excise duties.

This guide contains intermediate information. For related information, see our guide on sanctions, embargoes and restrictions.