Customs and Excise

Treasury written question – answered on 6th November 2001.

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Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Shadow Financial Secretary

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer in what ways the powers and responsibilities of HM Customs and Excise have been affected by the Terrorism Act 2000.

Photo of Mr Paul Boateng Mr Paul Boateng Financial Secretary, HM Treasury, The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

Under the Terrorism Act 2000, all Customs officers at ports and airports in Great Britain, but not Northern Ireland, are designated as examining officers. This provides officers with a range of investigative powers to enable the officer to determine whether a person is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

In addition, the Act designates all Customs officers in the UK as authorised officers. This provides officers with powers to seize cash at import or export, or moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is believed to be linked to terrorism. The detention of seized cash beyond 48 hours must be authorised by the courts.

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