Finance Act, 1995

Power to deal with seizures before condemnation.

94.—(1) Where any thing has been seized by an officer as liable to forfeiture, the Commissioners may at any time, if they see fit and notwithstanding that the thing has not yet been condemned, or is not yet deemed to have been condemned, as forfeited—

(a) if a notice relating to the thing has been duly given under section 91 , deliver it up to the claimant upon his paying to the Commissioners such sum as they think proper, being a sum not exceeding that which in their opinion represents the value of the thing, including any duty or tax chargeable thereon which has not been paid, or

(b) if the thing seized is in the opinion of the Commissioners of a perishable nature, sell or destroy it.

(2) If, where any thing is delivered up, sold or destroyed under this section, it is held by the court in proceedings under this section that the thing was not liable to forfeiture at the time of its seizure, the Commissioners shall, subject to any deduction allowed under subsection (3), on demand by the claimant tender to him or her—

(a) an amount equal to any sum paid by the claimant under subsection (1),

(b) if they have sold the thing, an amount equal to the proceeds of sale, or

(c) if they have destroyed the thing, an amount equal to the market value of the thing at the time of its seizure.

(3) Where the amount to be tendered under subsection (2) includes any sum on account of any duty or tax chargeable on the thing which has not been paid before its seizure, the Commissioners may deduct from the amount so much thereof as represents the duty or tax.

(4) If the claimant accepts any amount tendered to him under subsection (2), he shall not be entitled to maintain proceedings in any court on account of the seizure, detention, sale or destruction of the thing concerned.

(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter relating to goods seized as liable to forfeiture, an officer who seizes as liable to forfeiture any spirits or any stills, vessels, utensils, wort or other material for manufacturing, distilling or preparing spirits may at his discretion forthwith spill, break up or destroy any of those goods.