R v White, Dennard, Perry and Rowbotham

In a 50 page judgment, the Court of Appeal rule on an interpretation of EC tax directives and domestic law, upon the issue of smugglers’ ‘personal VAT liability’ when it comes to calculating benefit for the purposes of confiscation. Martin Evans appeared for the Crown. Complex but important reading.

The appeal is characterised by Hooper LJ [paragraph 8]:

“The relevant Regulations will determine whether a defendant personally owes duty or VAT, subject to the compatibility of those Regulations with the primary domestic legislation and the relevant EC Directive. However before the law was clarified by the House of Lords in May and Jennings, the Regulations were generally unimportant in confiscation hearings since whether the defendant personally owed the duty or VAT did not matter because he would normally have contributed to the evasion of the duty or VAT by another.”

Download the case here and Martin Evan’s article here.