The UK Government has received a European Commission ultimatum to hand over £20 million within two months or face legal action. The wrangle is over the fact that import tariffs on frozen garlic from outside the EU are lower than the rates for fresh garlic. And, according to the Commission, UK authorities carelessly levied the lower rate applicable to frozen garlic on imports of the fresh product from China, in breach of EU customs rules.
A Commission statement explained: “Between 2005 and 2006, the UK customs authorities allowed imports of fresh garlic from the People’s Republic of China under wrong authorising documents. They have erroneously stated that the goods imported were frozen garlic for which significantly lower import duties apply.
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