Customs Act 2015

Presumptions and onus of proof

23. (1) In any proceedings under the Customs Acts, an averment in any process that—

(a) those proceedings were instituted by the order of the Commissioners,

(b) any person is or was a Commissioner, an officer of the Commissioners, an officer of customs, a member of the Garda Síochána or a member of the Defence Forces,

(c) any person is or was an officer appointed by the Commissioners or authorised by them for the purpose of the Customs Acts,

(d) the Commissioners are or are not of an opinion as to any matter as to which they are required to have an opinion under any provision of those Acts, or

(e) any goods thrown overboard, staved or destroyed were so dealt with in order to prevent or avoid the seizure of those goods,

shall, until the contrary is shown, be sufficient evidence of the matter in question.

(2) In any proceedings relating to goods seized under the Customs Acts and brought against one or more of the following—

(a) the State,

(b) the Attorney General,

(c) the Commissioners,

(d) the Revenue Solicitor,

(e) an officer of the Commissioners,

any question arises as to—

(i) the place from which any goods have been brought,

(ii) compliance with any prohibition or restriction on the importation or exportation of goods,

(iii) whether goods were lawfully imported on payment of duties payable or on securement of duties payable, as the case may be, on them,

(iv) whether goods were lawfully imported,

(v) whether goods were lawfully unloaded from any conveyance,

(vi) whether goods were brought or sent to or kept at any place for the purpose of exportation,

(vii) whether goods were dealt with in any other manner for the purpose of exportation, or

(viii) whether any signal or communication made was not intended to aid or assist the unlawful importation or unlawful exportation of goods,

then in every such case the onus of proof in relation to any such question shall lie upon the person bringing the proceedings.

(3) In any proceedings for an offence, a certificate signed by an officer of the State Laboratory or an officer of the Forensic Science Laboratory, stating the result of any test, examination or analysis of any goods or a sample of those goods, as the case may be, shall be, with regard to those goods or sample of those goods, as the case may be, evidence of the matters stated in the certificate unless the contrary is proved.

(4) In this section—

“certificate” means a certificate referred to in subsection (3);

“officer of the Forensic Science Laboratory” means the Director General of the Forensic Science Laboratory of the Department of Justice and Equality, or another person employed or engaged at that Laboratory and authorised by the Director General to sign a certificate;

“officer of the State Laboratory” means the State Chemist or another chemist employed or engaged at the State Laboratory and authorised by the State Chemist to sign a certificate.