back to article HMRC can't corral non-EU counterfeits

Customs authorities do not have the power to seize goods that enter the UK in transit from a non-European Union country to another non-EU country even if they know they are counterfeit, the High Court has said. The Court backed the view of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that it cannot hold the goods because they will never go on …

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Anonymous Coward

Elvis had the same problem

He couldn't stop Elvis impersonators travelling from country to country either.

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Silver badge

Seems fair enough

Seems fair enough.

If the phones were intended for sale in Colombia, it's a matter for the Colombian authorities. And if the phones happen to be somehow legal under Colombian law (if Nokia don't hold the relevant trademarks there, for instance), then HMRC might well have committed an act of war had they impounded them.

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Bronze badge

Though one does hope...

That HMRC informed the Columbian authorities that they were fakes, and left it up to them to take further action.

Unless they were prevented by the data protection act that is.

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Coat

Look it's easily sorted

You just get the Metropolitan Police to have a suitable quiet word with the truck driver(s).

And then they'll be late truck drivers.

(As in late JCdM, late Ian Tomlinson, etc, just in case it's not obvious).

But seriously folks: Sincere condolences to family and friends of the victims of the UK's finest.

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Go

interesting

So as the law stands, all a counterfeiter has to do is make it seem as though the goods originated outside the EU and are destined to be sold outside the EU. In other words, all you need is a customs declaration.

If, say, his lorry stops en route from Harwich to Liverpool and the contents are nicked, thats unfortunate but nothing more... interesting loophole.

By the way,does this mean that next time I'm in Bolivia, I can bring back a truckload of Marching Powder, as long as its not for resale in the EU?

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FAIL

@AC, 11:45

"If, say, his lorry stops en route from Harwich to Liverpool and the contents are nicked, thats unfortunate but nothing more... interesting loophole."

No, the ruling was quite clear - they become counterfeit and subject to the laws at the point of trade, so if you distribute them in the EU then you are in breach of EU law. It would be fair to assume anyone nicking them had the intention of selling them for profit rather then just to use amongst friends.

"By the way,does this mean that next time I'm in Bolivia, I can bring back a truckload of Marching Powder, as long as its not for resale in the EU?"

Hmmmm, not aware of how you would counterfeit Marching Powder. I guess if you were try to pass off a box of Daz as Cocaine you could be in breach of the Trades Description Act, but I think the Police would pursue the dealing charge first.

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Silver badge
FAIL

@ AC 11:45

"So as the law stands, all a counterfeiter has to do is make it seem as though the goods originated outside the EU and are destined to be sold outside the EU. In other words, all you need is a customs declaration." -- yes, but selling goods that a customs certificate says aren't for sale is a separate offence in its own right. And the fact of the goods being counterfeit would almost certainly come to light during the course of the investigation.

"By the way,does this mean that next time I'm in Bolivia, I can bring back a truckload of Marching Powder, as long as its not for resale in the EU?" -- mere possession of cocaine, except in limited circumstances, is an offence in its own right in the UK (and most of the world). If you somehow obtained a licence to move a quantity of cocaine through the UK to some other jurisdiction for purposes that were officially licenced there, then you would be OK doing so -- but it would almost certainly be a requirement of the trans-shipment licence that the cocaine not be opened while in the UK.

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Eurovision

We'll be getting no more points from Finland then

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Pirate

@ AC 12:54

"It would be fair to assume anyone nicking them had the intention of selling them for profit rather then just to use amongst friends."

While that may be true, the point is that they were "nicked". Because of this, two things happen: 1) insurance claim against contents of shipment and 2) "stolen" shipment has no more legitimate connection to the original shipper or receiver.

Win-win, I say. Whatever legal ramifications occur in UK, the target is the person(s) responsible for the "theft". It would be a slightly harder matter to prove any connection between the "thieves" and the "legitimate" shippers, even if they are the same.

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Good

Quite right. And just why do we have all the majesty of the state -- us -- protecting these multinationals? How is this in OUR interest?

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Surely some mistake !

HMRC complying with the law - that has to be some mistake.

They have proved time and time again that when it suits them they will ignore the law - even on points that have been dealt with (and they've lost) before. Imposing limits on "for personal use/consumption" and impounding vehicles for "smuggling" when people go on a "booze cruise" day trip to France. They done it many times, been taken to court and lost, and yet they still continued.

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