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On this page;

Cross Border Channel Shoppers Protest Campaign – useful contacts.

Useful Contacts

What to do if you are bullied or have your car or shopping confiscated

This page is dedicated to providing any contact or link which may prove useful in your own personal fight against C and E intimidation and tactics.

July 2003 – Let them know!

If you have been stopped by British Revenue and Customs please e-mail the Commissioner, Algirdas Semeta (), with copies to his Head of Cabinet (laurs.norlund at cec.eu.int) and the Director General for Taxation (robert.verrue at cec.eu.int), as well as your local MEP.

HELP! – if you have any comments or tips that will help advance the cause of channel shopping, please contact us

The information contained within this web site is intended to act as a general guide only, and does not form any offer or legal contract, whether actual or implied.

Customs and VAT matters are complex, and you should seek practical advice and assistance from a professional source rather than rely on the contents of this web site.

Useful contacts

British Parliament

Write your own MP and let them know how you feel. www.writetothem.com

Find your MP. Telephone (House of Commons Information service – just give your postcode). Tel: 020 7219 4272. www.parliament.uk

European Parliament. United Kingdom Members of the European Parliament, by Party and in alphabetical order. If you want to know who your local MEP's are please go to your local library where they will be listed.

7th term: 2009 to 2014, 7th parliamentary term. europarl.eu.int

Find your local MEP; www.europarl.org.uk

labour partyNasty Labour. From a site visitor – "I too was a life-long Labour supporter, but this issue has firmly persuaded me never to vote Labour again. This government has been and continues to be shamefully dishonest, and in this case has knowingly and willingly sacrificed innocent people in pursuit of a misconceived and unlawful policy calculated to intimidate people into not shopping abroad for their tobacco and cigarettes."

ConservativesConservative. John Purvis MEP is sympathetic to the problems faced by British shoppers.

Liberal DemocratsLiberal Democrat.

Diana Wallis MEP has one of the best records around helping victims. www.dianawallismep.org.uk

The Lib Dem Group in the E.U. Parliament have made this a campaign issue. www.alde.eu

Other organisations

Beer and Pub Association – Beer and Pub Association. www.beerandpub.com

Customs and Excise – more

Customs Review Officers have now moved from Dover, the new contact telephone number is 01227 783 600.

Excise and Inland Customs Advice Centre

HM Customs and Excise

Dorset House, Stamford Street

London. SE1 9NG

Tel: 020 7202 4227 / 0207 928 3344.

Advice line. Tel: 08450 109 000 then press 3. Open: Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 8.00pm.

Other useful Customs Contact details;

Prosecutions Group, Central Case Unit,

New Kings Beam House,

22 Upperground, London. SE1 9PJ

Tel: 020 7865 4890.

Excise Support Team

HM Customs and Excise,

No. 1 Control Building,

Eastern Car Terminal,

Dover, Kent CT16 1HZ

Tel: 01304 224 685.

Post Seizure Unit,

Detection South Region,

HM Customs and Excise,

No. 1 Control Building,

Eastern Car Terminal,

Dover, Kent CT16 1HZ

Tel: 01304 224 686.

Vat and Duties Tribunal, 15-19 Bedford Avenue, London. WC1B 3AS

Tel: 020 7631 4242.

Any intention to appeal against the Review Officers decision not to accept your appeal should be immediately addressed in writing, asking for a Tribunal Hearing. Quote your case reference number. You make an offer of a financial settlement, in order to avoid unnecessary waste of time and costs etc. for both sides. This should be addressed to the Review Officer dealing with your case. They can accept an offer of 25% of the duty value of goods seized or £250, which ever is the minimum amount. However this rarely happens as they now have a policy of condemning seized goods regardless.

The Adjudicator – The Adjudicator, whose services are free, acts as an impartial referee

The address is: The Adjudicator's Office, Haymarket House, 28 Haymarket, London. SW1Y 4SP.

Phone: 020 7930 2292.

Adjudicators Office. www.adjudicatorsoffice.gov.uk

This what they say they can help with;

Q. I want to complain about the way I was treated at a port when my goods/car were seized.

A. You should contact the complaints co-ordinator at the port. If you have already done this, and have received a reply with which you are unhappy, you should go to our make a complaint page. If you want to appeal against the seizure of your goods please refer to the seizure notice you were given which explains how to do this.

If you feel that complaining to HM Customs and Excise is a bit like asking the person who has just mugged you, if their behaviour was reasonable, we suggest you write to the Director General of the European Customs Union;

Algirdas Semeta

European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Taxation and Customs Union European Commission

B – 1049 Brussels, Belgium.

E-mail:

The European Commission,

DIRECTORATE-GENERAL TAXATION AND CUSTOMS UNION TAX POLICY

Excise duties and transport, environment and energy taxes

Brussels.

E-mail: Erika.Andreasson at cec.eu.int

Free legal advice

There is a freephone number to Europe Direct were you can seek advice on your rights and seek some legal advice as a Citizen of the European Union. The freephone number is 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11. ec.europa.eu

European Commission

Michel Vanden Abeele

Direction Generale Fiscalite et Union Douaniere

Wetstraat 200

B-1049 Brussels. Belgium.

E-mail: Librarian-Information at cec.eu.int

Other

Enforcing your rights in the Single Market – to find out more; 0800 581 591. Simon Clark at FOREST on 07071 766 537 or 0403 345 579.

Or Paul Gilbert at Finers Stephens Innocent on 020 7323 4000 or 0410 328 843.

Data Protection

One of the major areas of concern to citizens should be the vast amounts of information gathered by customs in order to monitor travellers and shoppers. You can find out if they hold any information about you – one the benefits of the Data Protection Act. They have to give you a copy of all data including CCTV tapes / Computer data and even copies of written data within 40 days. The fee is £10.00, but if you offer to pay and they do not ask for the money then that is sufficient.

Send a letter recorded delivery such as detailed below;

Address your letter to Customs Data Protection Unit

Reference; Request for Data under section 7(1), 8(2) and section 35 of the Data Protection Act. Also list dates that may be relevant.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please send me a copy of all data and information that I am entitled to under the above act, including anything that affects me. This is to specifically include all Data and give full details of any occasion you have stopped me.

If you need a fee or further information please let me know as soon as possible.

If you do not normally handle this request for your organisation, please pass this letter and request to your Data Protection Officer or other appropriate official.

Yours faithfully

Name and address, Telephone number.

– you may be astounded at the amount of data they send you!

– they may also send you a reply letter informing you that to save time, do you wish only data concerning the days you mentioned. When replying inform them that you want ALL personal Data they have on you.

Exemption criteria of Section 29 of the DPA.

E.g. Crime and taxation. 29. – (1) Personal data processed for any of the following purposes-

(a) the prevention or detection of crime

(b) the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, or

(c) the assessment or collection of any tax or duty or of any imposition of a similar nature,

– are exempt from the first data protection principle (except to the extent to which it requires compliance with the conditions in Schedules 2 and 3) and section 7 in any case to the extent to which the application of those provisions to the data would be likely to prejudice any of the matters mentioned in this subsection.

Other European customs agencies

Belgium. fiscus.fgov.be

France. Direction générale des douanes et droits indirects, 11 rue des Deux Communes 93558 Montreuil cedex – FRANCE. www.douane.gouv.fr

Quote; "You may ask for your complaint to be recorded in a register provided for this purpose and available in all customs divisions.

You may ask the customs officials controlling you to present their credentials, which include their identity.

You also have various rights of appeal, which are detailed in the "guide des voies de recours et de conciliation" (in French)."General Directorate of Customs and Excise at the following address: Direction Gènèrale des douanes et droits indirects, 11 rue des Deux Communes 93558 Montreuil cedex – FRANCE.

Spain. www.agenciatributaria.es

E.u. member states Customs Agencies. ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs

Useful Outside links

Useful source of old cases. www.justice.gov.uk

Notices Forms and Leaflets – Explanatory Leaflets (download a form). www.tribunals.gov.uk

Decisions. www.tribunals.gov.uk

Decisions (very comprehensive listings). www.bailii.org

More – we have listed all the links you may find of use here

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