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Customs and Excise Management Act 1979

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171 General provisions as to offences and penalties.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Where—

(a)by any provision of any enactment relating to an assigned matter a punishment is prescribed for any offence thereunder or for any contravention of or failure to comply with any regulation, direction, condition or requirement made, given or imposed thereunder; and

(b)any person is convicted in the same proceedings of more than one such offence, contravention or failure,

that person shall be liable to that punishment for each such offence, contravention or failure of which he is so convicted.

(2)In this Act the “prescribed sum”, in relation to the penalty provided for an offence, means—

(a)if the offence was committed in England [F1or Wales], the prescribed sum within the meaning of [F2section 32 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 (£1,000 or other sum substituted by order under section 143(1) of that Act)];

(b)if the offence was committed in Scotland, the prescribed sum within the meaning of [F3subsection (8) of section 225 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (£5,000 or other sum substituted by order under subsection (4) of that section)];

[F4(c)if the offence was committed in Northern Ireland, the prescribed sum within the meaning of Article 4 of the Fines and Penalties (Northern Ireland) Order 1984 (£1,000 or other sum substituted by order under Article 17 of that Order);]

and in subsection (1)(a) above, the reference to a provision by which a punishment is prescribed includes a reference to a provision which makes a person liable to a penalty of the prescribed sum within the meaning of this subsection.

F5(2A). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)Where a penalty for an offence under any enactment relating to an assigned matter is required to be fixed by reference to the value of any goods, that value shall be taken as the price which those goods might reasonably be expected to have fetched, after payment of any duty or tax chargeable thereon, if they had been sold in the open market at or about the date of the commission of the offence for which the penalty is imposed.

(4)Where an offence under any enactment relating to an assigned matter which has been committed by a body coporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate or any person purporting to act in any such capacity, he as well as the body corporate shall be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

In this subsection “director”, in relation to any body corporate established by or under any enactment for the purpose of carrying on under national ownership any industry or part of an industry or undertaking, being a body corporate whose affairs are managed by the members thereof, means a member of that body corporate.

[F6(4A)Subsection (4) shall not apply to an offence which relates to a matter listed in Schedule 1 to the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 (former Inland Revenue matters).]

(5)Where in any proceedings for an offence under the customs and excise Acts any question arises as to the duty or the rate thereof chargeable on any imported goods, and it is not possible to ascertain [F7the relevant time specified in section 43 above] [F7the time at which a liability to import duty is incurred] [F8or the relevant excise duty point], that duty or rate shall be determined [F9as if the goods had been imported without entry at the time when the proceedings were commenced] [F9as if the time when the proceedings were commenced was the time at which the liability to import duty was incurred] [F8or, as the case may be, as if the time when the proceedings were commenced was the relevant excise duty point.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F1Words substituted by S.I. 1984/703, (N.I. 3) Sch. 6 para. 7(a)

F3Words in s. 171(2)(b) substituted (1.4.1996) by 1995 c. 40, ss. 5, 7(2), Sch. 4 para. 18(5)

F4S. 171(2)(c) inserted by S.I. 1984/703, (N.I. 3) Sch. 6 para. 7(b)

F5S. 171(2A) repealed (5.11.1993) by 1993 c. 50, s. 1(1), Sch 1, Pt. XIV Gp. 2.

F7Words in s. 171(5) substituted (13.9.2018 for specified purposes) by Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018 (c. 22), s. 57(1)(a), Sch. 7 para. 115(a)

F9Words in s. 171(5) substituted (13.9.2018 for specified purposes) by Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018 (c. 22), s. 57(1)(a), Sch. 7 para. 115(b)

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