UK: UK faces court over cross border shopping
The European Commission has finally confirmed it will take the UK government to court over HM Custom's seizure of "excessive" imports of alcohol and tobacco.
The disagreement revolves around the treatment of Britons who bring home quantities of alcohol or tobacco over "indicative" guidelines.
If Customs officers believe the alcohol or tobacco are not for personal use, they can seize the goods and even impound the vehicles they are brought over in.
Under EU rules, shoppers can buy beer, wine and cigarettes abroad, where taxes are lower, and bring them into Britain without paying UK excise duties.
But the UK government argues it is just trying to target smugglers.
In a statement announcing its decision to take the UK to court, the commission said: "The UK's practices jeopardise the right of all EU consumers to buy goods in other member states, excise duty paid, and bring these products home for their 'own use' without any formalities and without having to pay taxes a second time.
"In particular, the commission considers the UK's policy of seizing goods and sometimes cars even for minor offences is disproportionate.
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