Evasion of duty in the United Kingdom is when an individual or group of persons does not pay the necessary taxes when bringing in an imported good into the UK. There are a few different examples of evasion of duty, and the penalties for cases depend on the severity of the charges. Thus, this article discusses examples of duty evasion offences in UK law, its penalties, and why you must hire capable lawyers to handle such cases for you or your loved ones.

Duty Evasion Offences in UK Law

There are different examples of evasion of duty in the UK. Below is not an exhaustive list but some examples of how individuals can be charged for this crime.

  • Smuggling (i.e., illegal entry) imported goods into the UK through false documentation or through concealment within a transportation vehicle
  • Acquiring possession of certain goods (that have chargeable duty) after knowing that the duty for those goods was not paid
  • knowingly carrying, depositing, removing, harbouring, concealing, or keeping any duty-chargeable goods with the intention to defraud the government of any payable duty
  • Acquiring possession of duty-chargeable goods that one knows were unlawfully removed from the Queen’s warehouse or a warehouse
  • Gaining possession of exported or imported goods that are restricted or prohibited (for example, firearms or drugs)
  • Attempting to evade paying duty on duty-chargeable goods or gaining possession of prohibited or restricted goods

A skilled and experienced solicitor in this field can better explain what offences are considered under duty evasion.

Penalties for Duty Evasion in the UK

The penalties for the crime can vary depending on the severity of the duty evasion offences in UK law. The case can fall into two categories: summary conviction case and Crown Court case. The former is far less severe than the latter. Therefore, the penalties for summary conviction cases related to duty evasion can have a maximum fine of £20,000, with no jail time.

However, the maximum fine for Crown Court cases for duty evasion is unlimited. In addition, perpetrators can be sentenced to imprisonment of seven years maximum. In both cases, you will also be expected to pay the duties that you evaded. In serious cases, you may have to pay more than double of the amount you owe to the government.

Final Words

Penalties can be severe for duty evasion offences in UK law. Thus, a team of capable solicitors experienced in this field can guide you on how to fight your case. In addition, the solicitors can develop a strategy to defend you and your loved ones to help reduce the charges and penalties of your case.

In some individual cases, you may also be unaware that you are committing duty evasion. So, you may be investigated for it, and without proper legal representation, you may not be able to have a favourable outcome.