Fraudulent evasion of duty
Fraudulent evasion of duty

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Fraudulent evasion of duty
  • Offences of fraudulent evasion of duty—the smuggling offences
  • What the prosecution have to prove
  • Meaning of 'fraudulent evasion'
  • Meaning of 'knowingly concerned'
  • Meaning of 'attempt at evasion' within section 170(2) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979
  • Knowledge that the goods are prohibited or restricted
  • Sentencing for fraudulent evasion of duty etc
  • Offence of taking preparatory steps for evasion of excise duty
  • Elements of the offence of taking preparatory steps for evasion of excise duty
  • more

Offences of fraudulent evasion of duty—the smuggling offences

A person commits an offence under section 170(1) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 (CEMA 1979) if they:

  1. knowingly acquire possession of goods which have been unlawfully removed from a warehouse or Queen's warehouse (CEMA 1979, s 170(1)(a)(i))

  2. knowingly acquire possession of duty chargeable goods (eg alcohol or cigarettes etc) upon which duty has not been paid (CEMA 1979, s 170(1)(a)(ii))

  3. knowingly acquire possession of imported or exported goods which are prohibited or restricted (eg drugs, firearms etc) (CEMA 1979, s 170(1)(a)(iii)), or

  4. are knowingly concerned in carrying, removing, depositing, harbouring, keeping or concealing any such goods with the intent to defraud Her Majesty of any duty payable (CEMA 1979, s 170(1)(b))

CEMA 1979, s 170(2) creates a much wider offence of being in any way knowingly concerned in any fraudulent evasion or any attempt at evasion of:

  1. any duty chargeable on goods

  2. any restricted or prohibited goods

Both subsections (1) and (2) appear to catch the same type of activity. However, s 170(1)(a) requires proof of possession and s 170(1)(b) requires proof of carrying, removing etc, whereas s 170(2) does not require proof of either possession or proof of carrying.

The offences are all triable either way.

See Practice Note: Prohibition on the importation and exportation of controlled drugs.

What