Success with impounded instruments!


Here is some encouraging news from Rogers Norton, our legal specialists working to help our industry with any impounded instruments resulting from the CITES regulations…….

Peter Hastings and his team were delighted to have assisted one of their music industry clients in securing the release of musical instruments, following their seizure due to the presence of Rosewood. Border Force agreed to restore a shipment of various instruments, that included ukuleles, they had impounded, free of charge.

Border Force also mentioned that they had over 11,000 ukuleles alone impounded – this obviously means that there are quite a few MIA members equally frustrated at their inability to get hold of goods they see as rightfully theirs.

Peter commented “It was pleasing to see that we were able to repay the faith our client had placed in us, by having the goods restored. In many instances people are reluctant to instruct a solicitor, as they see it as an unnecessary expense and they believe they can deal with Border Force direct. Our client was able to secure a retrospective CITES licence which helped, but we made several other points that justified the release, including that the seizure was unreasonable and disproportionate.

By instructing the R&N team, our client managed to save money by getting his musical instruments returned quickly and is now able to fulfil the orders he has on in books, together with keeping his valued customers happy.”

Peter is also delighted to assist those within the music industry. In his younger days, Peter was a percussionist and tuba player who was a Member and Tutor of NYBB of Great Britain and also performed with local orchestras, big bands and some of the top brass bands.

Peter comments “I have been delighted to assist businesses that my family and musical contacts have had associations with for many years together with businesses that are new to me. In doing so, it brought back many happy memories for me.  Music has always been a major focus and interest throughout my life and I have met and dealt with many people who have a similar passion. To assist and help those within the industry is a source of great satisfaction. Businesses are facing the loss of tens of thousands of pounds and are struggling to know which way to turn to recover the musical instruments”

Dealing with HMRC and Border Force is an involved and intricate process that needs a thorough understanding of how they work and what they are trying to achieve. Border Force admit that they are struggling to deal with both the volume and interpretation of the ruling by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Wild Fauna & Flora (CITES). This has caused considerable disruption in the industry causing many companies to have valuable amounts of stock seized by Border Force due to licensing issues.

If you are having similar problems and issues concerning:

  • Detentions and Seizure of Goods by the UK Border Force including goods stored in warehouses, detained/seized at Ports and Airports.
  • Restoration Claims
  • Condemnation Proceedings
  • Injunctions (including urgent injunctions)
  • Judicial reviews (including claims for the urgent release of goods and damages for unlawful detentions, and injunctions)

You can contact Peter and his team at or on 01603 675639