High Court sides with Seafish


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
July 26, 2009

 The United Kingdom's High Court on Friday ruled in favor of Seafish (the Sea Fish Industry Authority), settling a lawsuit involving uncollected duties on imported seafood.

Judge Nicholas Archibald Hamblen awarded approximately GBP 2 million (USD 3.3 million, EUR 2.3 million) in unpaid duties to Seafish from the British Seafood Group. In a lawsuit filed late last year, the London-based company contested a requirement forcing it to pay duties on product it imported.

But the judge ruled that the British Seafood Group is required to pay the duties regardless of the product's origin under Section 1 of the Fisheries Act of 1981. He also ordered the company to immediately pay GBP 300,000 (USD 493,000, EUR 347,000) in costs.

Seafish CEO John Rutherford welcomed the ruling.

"The judgment confirms our remit to serve the entire UK seafood chain regardless of the product's origin," he said. "We are confident of our prospects for a similar result in any appeal."

The British Seafood Group is expected to appeal the decision.

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