The Appeal Court overturned a High Court decision that had forbidden random Customs checks and seizures on passengers entering the UK. The new ruling allows Customs to use trends and profiles in assessing whether goods are being imported for commercial use rather than personal use.
Toft said: "We were surprised at this decision. For once the judiciary has proved itself in touch with reality. All wholesalers will welcome this decision which will help the independent retailers we serve."
Wholesale Confectionery and Tobacco Alliance chief executive John Bowden said: "The WCTA welcomes the Court of Appeal decision but we still need more clarity in this area. It is a pity decisions have to be thrashed out in the courts, when the simple solution is to lower duty rates."
Association of Convenience Stores public affairs and commercial manager James Lowman said: "This clarifies Customs' powers, but the government must address the cause of the problem duty rates."