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Received Notice of Seizure from HMRC

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I'm just after a little help. I've received this...


NOTICE OF SEIZURE for Products of Animal Origin



Dear Sir,


The postal packet described below has arrived here addressed to you. It does not comply with the provisions of the Postal Packets (Revenue and Customs) Regulations 2011 (S.I. 2011 No 3036 because:-


The importation of certain meats and products of animal origin are prohibited under the trade in Animal and Related Products Regulations (TARP) SI No. 1197 2011.


The packet and all its contents are therefore liable to forfeiture under Sections 49 (1) (b) and 141 (1) (b) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979. I nearby give you notice that the items specified below have been seized.


7.62kg of Gelatin


Condemnation Proceedings.


You have the right to claim that the packet is not in law liable to forfeiture. If you wish to do so you must send your claim in writing with signature, name and full address to the office above within one month of the date of this notice. The Border Force will then be obliged to commence legal proceedings so that a court can decide the matter. These are civil proceedings, concerned only with liability to forfeiture. If no such claim is made, the items will be deemed to have been duly condemned as forfeited....






You can ask us to consider returning the goods even if:


* You accept that they were properly seized; or

* You are challenging the seizure; or

* You have already challenged the seizure and a condemnation hearing has confirmed that the items were properly seized; or

* The time limit for challenging the seizure has expired and ownership of the items has automatically passed to Customs/


This process is called restoration. If you wish to have the goods returned to you, you must send your request in writing. Explain why you think the thing should be restored to you. Tell us the full circumstances and enclose any available evidence to support your claim....




Yours faithfully,



Yours Faithfully


Border Forces


I've been doing a little reading online and I'm even more confused about my best options now than I was before. I'm Autistic so I'm worried about making things worse than they already are.


I've been importing this product (Gelatin) from the USA for quite a few years as it helps my health. I use it as a food, it is from healthy animals and I have the relevant documentation from the company I buy it from. Naturally I buy it in bulk and get through about 3 cans a month. I have numerous Parcelforce Import invoices which document the previous Import VAT I've paid before. No other packet has been stopped and am I right in assuming that previous parcels have been deemed ok by the fact that I got invoiced? I'm hesitant to bring up the previous parcel in case they use that as further evidence against me. Would it be ok to use that in my appeal or should I keep my mouth shut?


I'm also confused about if I should go for condemnation proceedings or restoration and what I should use as the reasons to challenge it?


Finally, as this parcel was taking its time I ordered another which is now also sat in customs (and from what I've read will be seized because my address is now blacklisted), the bottom of the letter I received had a warning.




You should also be aware that if any further detections are made which result in goods being seized from you, this may lead to prosecution under Section 170 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979. A person found guilty of an offence under this section is liable to an unlimited fine and/ or up to seven years imprisonment.


Now I ordered this second lot before I knew they had seized the first (with the knowledge that around 20 previous deliveries had arrived without issue), am I in big trouble or will they listen??


Any help or guidance gratefully appreciated.



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You can't deem the other packets as ok, not every parcel coming into the country is, or could be, checked.



I would write to HMRC using one of these - http://search2.hmrc.gov.uk/kb5/hmrc/contactus/view.page?record=iQ9MFQAxnZk and quoting any reference number in the letter you received.



Not only will you be checking that the letter is genuine but you will also be able to receive assistance in what to do.

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You can't deem the other packets as ok, not every parcel coming into the country is, or could be, checked.


Thanks for your reply. I assumed that being charged Import VAT had meant it had been previously been checked and was ok.


I've been reading on various sites about people who've imported fake goods from china having their address blacklisted. Would you know if its standard procedure to blacklist addresses once a package has been seized?

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Why do you import gelatin when you can buy it in this country? If you believe that it comes from healthier animals than that derived in the UK then you need to look into importing it properly.


Thanks for your reply, I can't really buy it in this country other than from somebody else who has bought it the same way I have been doing. As I use quite a lot I have always just bought myself a batch to cut down on shipping costs etc. I use a hydrolysate version which is from animals that are grass fed, sadly I can't locate that in the UK.


Would you care to expand a little on your statement "if you believe that it comes from healthier animals than that derived in the UK then you need to look at importing it properly"


I thought I'd made it clear, I assumed I had done everything properly, especially considering I've been buying it from America for at least 3 years. What do you mean buy doing it properly?

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I would say he means to get yourself an import license and import it by the ton and sell it on.


Ah right. Not got time for that as I'm mid dissertation. Even if I had been tempted, this episode would of certainly put me of dealing with HMRC.

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