Hoverspeed and Customs and Excise were at loggerheads this week over the ferry company's new home delivery service for wines bought at its stores in France. C&E has said the service should be withdrawn. Hoverspeed said it is not planning to and is taking legal advice. A Customs spokesman said: "This is a commercial transaction because the company is being paid to move goods not accompanied by the owner. This makes them liable for UK tax and duty. We are making travellers aware this is the case." Hoverspeed said: "We have taken legal advice and we think their arguments are weak. We believe we have done everything to satisfy the regulations. Passengers still have to accompany their goods through controls so they can be questioned in the normal way." The Hoverspeed service allows foot passengers to buy their wine at its stores in Ostend, Calais and Boulogne incurring the French duty rate of 2p a bottle and avoiding the UK rate of £1.05. Once the purchases have been brought back to the UK and passed through Customs a third party carrier hired by Hoverspeed delivers them direct to the doorstep. {{NEWS }}

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