(1)If any person, with intent to defraud Her Majesty, obtains or attempts to obtain, or does anything whereby there might be obtained by any person, any amount by way of drawback, allowance, remission or repayment of, or any rebate from, any duty in respect of any goods which—
(a)is not lawfully payable or allowable in respect thereof; or
(b)is greater than the amount so payable or allowable,
he shall be guilty of an offence under this subsection.
(1A)If any person, without such intent as is mentioned in subsection (1) above, does any of the things there mentioned, he shall be guilty of an offence under this subsection.
(2)A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1) above shall be liable—
(a)on summary conviction, to a penalty of the prescribed sum or of three times the value of the goods, whichever is the greater, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or to both; or
(b)on conviction on indictment, to a penalty of any amount, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years, or to both;
and a person guilty of an offence under subsection (1A) above shall be liable on summary conviction to a penalty of level 3 on the standard scale or three times the amount which was or might have been improperly obtained or allowed, whichever is the greater.]
(3)Any goods in respect of which an offence under subsection (1) [F2or (1A)] above is committed shall be liable to forfeiture; but in the case of a claim for drawback, the Commissioners may, if they see fit, instead of seizing the goods either refuse to allow any drawback thereon or allow only such drawback as they consider proper.
(4)Without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this section, if, in the case of any goods upon which a claim for drawback, allowance, remission or repayment of duty has been made, it is found that those goods do not correspond with any entry made thereof in connection with that claim, the goods shall be liable to forfeiture and any person by whom any such entry or claim was made shall be liable on summary conviction to a penalty of three times the amount claimed or [F3level 3 on the standard scale], whichever is the greater.
(5)Subsection (4) above applies in the case of any goods upon which a claim for drawback, allowance, remission or repayment of duty has been made where it is found that the goods, if sold for home use, would realise less than the amount claimed as it applies where the finding specified in that subsection is made except that it does not apply by virtue of this subsection to any claim under—
(a)section 123 or 134(2) above; or
(b)section 46, 61 or 64 of the M1Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 (remission or repayment of duty on certain spoilt liquors).
[F4(6)Without prejudice to section 6(5) of the European Communities Act 1972 (which provides for the application of certain enactments, including this section, if the Commissioners are charged or entrusted with the performance of certain duties in relation to the payment of refunds or allowances on goods exported or to be exported from the United Kingdom)—
(a)references in this section to amounts by way of drawback include amounts payable by or on behalf of the Secretary of State, the Scottish Ministers, the National Assembly for Wales or (in relation to Northern Ireland) the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development by virtue of Community arrangements to which section 6(3) of the European Communities Act 1972 applies; and
(b)in relation to such amounts, subsection (3) above shall have effect with the omission of the words from “but in the case” onwards.]