UK Border Force CBD clampdown continues – success for Rogers and Norton

5th Sep 2019

The litigation team continues to be busy, having successfully recovered a consignment of cannabidiol (CBD) seized by UK Border Force.

As we have previously covered in an earlier article, there is considerable confusion in UK law around CBD oil and across the EU in general, with the vast majority of cannabinoids listed as controlled substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

However, CBD is an exception and is completely legal in the UK, provided it has been derived from an industrial hemp strain that is EU-approved.

For CBD oil to be legal in the UK, it must contain no more than 0.2% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which must not be too easy to separate from it. By contrast, cannabis oil, which has a higher THC content, is not usually allowed in the UK.

The legalisation of certain aspects of this rule has created uncertainty and misinterpretations of the law by both UK Border Force and those wishing to import the product, this has led to wide ranging and high profile seizures at points of entry into the UK.

The seizures are highly emotive and create anxiety for the importer, as they normally for medicinal purposes thus often making a difficult situation worse. The need to seek experienced and knowledgeable legal advice at an early stage is of paramount importance

An understanding of how UK Border Force works and to know the process of dealing with the courts, together with the basis of how to question the reasonableness of the seizure, is vital to the speedy and prompt return of the items in a very stressful scenario.

Rogers & Norton’s HMRC and Border Force litigation team specialise in handling HMRC Border Force claims relating to the detention and seizure of a wide variety restricted goods in addition to VAT, Tax, Duty and Tariff issues.

We are challenging seizures and seeking restoration on a variety of goods and seeking restoration, in addition to challenging Assessments.

The team deals with the worldwide importation of goods to the UK, including the huge market from China. We work with clients who want goods restored at all major ports of entry, such as Felixstowe and London Gateway, together with Stansted, Gatwick & Heathrow.

We have a strong understanding of Border Force systems and can act quickly and decisively to support our clients in getting their goods restored through the High Court, First Tier Tax Tribunal and also injunctions and Judicial Reviews.