Customs Act 2015


Power to deal with seizures, before and after condemnation

35. (1) The Commissioners may, in their discretion, restore anything seized as liable to forfeiture under the Customs Acts.

(2) Without prejudice to subsection (1), the Commissioners may as they think fit, and notwithstanding that the thing seized has not yet been condemned, or deemed to have been condemned, as forfeited—

(a) if a notice of claim in relation to such thing has been duly given under section 19, deliver it up to the claimant on payment to them of such sum as they deem proper, being a sum not exceeding that which represents the value of the thing, including any tax or duty on it that has not been paid, or

(b) if the thing seized is, in the opinion of the Commissioners, of a perishable or hazardous nature, sell or destroy it.

(3) If, where anything is delivered up, sold or destroyed under subsection (2), it is held by the court in condemnation proceedings under section 20 that such thing was not liable to forfeiture at the time of its seizure, the Commissioners shall, subject to any deduction allowed under subsection (4), on demand tender to such claimant—

(a) where a sum has been paid by such claimant under subsection (2)(a), an amount equal to that sum,

(b) if the thing has been sold under subsection (2)(b), an amount equal to the proceeds of sale, or

(c) if the thing has been destroyed under subsection (2)(b), an amount equal to the market value of the thing at the time of its seizure.

(4) Where the amount to be tendered under subsection (3) includes any sum on account of any duty or tax chargeable on the thing which has not been paid before its seizure, the Commissioners may deduct from the amount so much of it as represents the duty or tax.

(5) If the claimant accepts any amount tendered under subsection (3), such claimant shall not be entitled to maintain proceedings in any court on account of the seizure, detention, sale or destruction of the thing concerned.

(6) All goods seized by an officer of customs as liable to forfeiture shall after condemnation of such goods be either sold or destroyed or otherwise disposed of in such manner as the Commissioners may direct.