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Food: Supplements

Volume 699: debated on Monday 18 February 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Davies of Oldham on 8 January (WA 196), what steps HM Revenue and Customs is taking to ensure that the valuation limit of £18 is not exceeded for each personal import from the Crown Dependencies of food supplements and herbal remedies which, if placed directly on the United Kingdom market, would be illegal by virtue either of their composition or of the claims made about them; and whether those steps include verifying the records of the supplying companies to ensure that they are not splitting single orders of higher value to benefit from the relief. [HL1691]

Goods dispatched from the Channel Islands which are destined for the United Kingdom are separated into different bags, which identify those items with a declared value of less than £18 and those with a value greater than £18. Under EC legislation, goods with a value of £18 or less are free of import charges but UK customs carries out physical checks on goods imported into the United Kingdom using risk-based criteria. HM Revenue and Customs does not have any jurisdiction over an exporter's fulfilment of an order placed by a private individual.