Custom Valuation Fraud

What is Custom Valuation Fraud?

Custom valuation fraud is a serious offence in the United Kingdom, and it occurs when individuals or businesses deliberately falsify information about the value of goods they are importing or exporting in order to avoid paying the appropriate customs duties and taxes. This fraudulent practice has serious consequences for the economy, as it deprives the government of valuable revenue, and creates an uneven playing field for legitimate businesses.

In recent years, the UK government has been cracking down on custom valuation fraud, with increased enforcement measures and penalties for those caught engaging in this illegal activity. Despite these efforts, however, custom valuation fraud remains a pervasive problem, with individuals and corporates constantly finding new ways to evade detection.

What are the different types of Custom Valuation Fraud?

One common form of custom valuation fraud is undervaluation, where importers or exporters misrepresent the value of their goods in order to pay lower duties and taxes. For example, they may claim that a shipment of goods is worth less than its true value or that the goods are of a lower quality than they actually are. In some cases, importers may also use false invoices or other documentation to support their claims.

Another form is misclassification, where importers or exporters falsely declare the nature of the goods they are importing or exporting in order to avoid paying the correct duties and taxes. For example, they may declare that a shipment of luxury goods is actually made up of cheaper, less heavily taxed items. Alternatively, they may falsely claim that a shipment of goods is exempt from customs duties and taxes altogether.

To combat custom valuation fraud, the UK government has implemented a range of measures aimed at detecting and preventing this illegal activity. For example, customs officers are trained to identify suspicious shipments and to use x-ray machines and other advanced technologies to detect hidden or mislabelled goods. In addition, the government has established a number of specialised units to investigate and prosecute custom valuation fraud, such as the Fraud Investigation Service and the Border Force Intelligence Command.

How can Richardson Lissack help?

If you are being investigated or charged with an R&D fraud offence our team of expert lawyers can provide expert litigation and representation.  Our lawyers are available 24/7 to assist you and provide legal advice. Contact London 020 3753 5352 or Manchester 0161 834 7284. Alternatively, you can email



3 buildings where companies address unpaid tax on crypto assets

Addressing Unpaid Tax on Cryptoassets in the UK: A Comprehensive Guide

The rise of cryptocurrencies has introduced a new dimension to taxation, with individuals and businesses seeking clarity on their obligations. For th...


HMRC’s crackdown on social media influencers

In recent years, HMRC has been cracking down on social media influencers who are not paying the correct amount of tax. HMRC has sent “nudge lett...


HMRC targets offshore corporates owning UK property

The UK tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), has sent out a new round of “nudge letters” to offshore corporates that own UK proper...

looking at buildings above

Research and Development (‘R&D’) Fraud

Research and Development (‘R&D’) is an essential component of modern-day business. It is a process through which companies invest in the devel...

2 buildings looking up at them

Criminal Tax Investigation

A tax investigation is an investigation by HMRC into your tax affairs and tax history. They have a broad remit to investigate a wide range of potentia...

2 buildings looking up at them

What are the penalties for tax evasion in the UK?

If you are being investigated for tax evasion it is highly likely that HMRC has discovered irregularities which it believes are suspicious or has foun...

2 buildings looking up at them

Civil tax investigations versus criminal tax investigations

HMRC’s policy is to deal with most tax fraud and evasion cases through civil investigation. It does this by making use of the Contractual Disclo...

2 buildings looking up at them

How common are civil tax investigations?

We are often asked how common civil tax investigations are. The accurate figures are difficult to quantify, but some have been released because of Fre...

2 buildings looking up at them

Richardson Lissack quoted in the Law Gazette regarding HMRC Investigations

Managing Director, Ben Richardson quoted in the Law Gazette in relation to an article regarding HMRC Investigations.

Let’s work together

Contact Us

arrow-downarrow-left-greyarrow-leftarrow-right-0c2535 arrow-right-ffffff arrow-right-greyarrow-rightbullet-icon-whitebullet-iconcloseicon-connecticon-cross-double icon-cross-right icon-email icon-nav-lefticon-nav-righticon-phoneicon-pinicon-reachlawyer-linkedin-icon nav-menu-arrow rl-logo-icon social_facebooksocial_googleplussocial_instagramsocial_linkedin_altsocial_linkedin_altsocial_pinterestlogo-twitter-glyph-32social_youtube