How to complain to the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) in the event of a seizure of your property

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  • Ladies & Gents.
    This might help. It's what exists out there but is basically all in one piece & the correct sequence from what I can see. All I have done is hash it in order & hi-light.

    When can I complain?
    You can complain to the UKBA about its poor service or the conduct of its staff or contractors. Poor service includes things such as delay and loss of documents. The conduct of it staff would include rudeness, physical or verbal abuse, being given the wrong information.

    You can complain if you have witnessed misconduct too.

    How do I complain?
    You can complain by email or post to:-

    UKBA Complaints Allocation Hub
    Lunar House
    Wellesley Road
    CR9 2BY

    You can have someone make a complaint on your behalf provided you provide them with written authorisation. If your complaint is serious or complex you may want to ask a solicitor to help you.

    How long do I have to complain?
    The UKBA will not normally investigate a complaint more than 3 months after the incident. This should not stop you making the complaint though and if the UKBA will not investigate you may be able to challenge that.

    What should I put in my complaint?
    You should set out briefly what happened and how it affected you. You should include copies of any evidence you have. Make sure you keep the originals for yourself. If your complaint is about a UKBA employee or contractor then you should identify them as best you can. You should be asking them WHO assessed the knife as being illegal, what qualifications they have for doing the assessment, what testing criteria and under which categorisation it was deemed illegal.

    What happens after I complain?
    The UKBA should respond within 20 working days. If your complaint raises misconduct they can take 12 weeks. If the complaint is very serious the UKBA will refer the complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

    What if I am not happy with the outcome?
    You can first ask the UKBA to review their decision and they should do so within 20 working days. If you are still not satisfied then you can ask your MP to refer the matter to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

    Can the UKBA pay me compensation?

    If the UKBA accepts it was at fault and you provide evidence of financial loss then they may offer you compensation. You may have travel costs, have had to take time off work and should evidence of this.

    Is a complaint always the best way?
    Complaining is relatively straightforward and cheap. There may be times when you need to think about legal action. The UKBA may be taking too long to decide an application when you have an urgent need for a decision. In such cases a judicial review or civil claim may be more appropriate. Seeking specialist legal advice is recommended if you are unsure of any aspect. The Citizens advice Bureau can also put you in touch with a legal specialist who will provide 30 minutes advice at a reduced rate. Further correspondence should then be directed to :

    The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
    Millbank Tower
    SW1P 4QP

    Stage 1 – Challenge the seizure by sending a Notice of Claim and issue a 12a form of ownership. This should go to...
    HM Revenue & Customs
    Specialist Investigations
    Appeals and Reviews Team S0777
    PO Box 2999
    G70 6AB

    I would also send a copy of all the correspondence to
    UKBA Complaints Allocation Hub
    Lunar House
    Wellesley Road
    CR9 2BY

    (However, they might just redirect you to the above address)

    Send a copy to your MP informing them that you will keep them informed of the progress and will be expecting them to raise it with the The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman if you have not received a satisfactory response.

    Stage 2 – Ask for an independent officer to review the case. Again, you should be asking WHO will be assessing the knife as being illegal, what qualifications they have for doing the assessment and what testing criteria will be used.

    Stage 3 – appeal to the Tribunals Service. You should send your appeal against the Review Officer’s decision to the Tribunals Service and not to HMRC or Border Force. You must include a copy of the original restoration decision by HMRC or Border Force and a copy of the Review Officer’s letter notifying you of the outcome of their review.

    You can find more information about the Tribunals Service, including how to appeal to the tribunal, details of procedures leading up to a tribunal hearing, what happens at the hearing and how costs are treated, by visiting the Tribunals Service website (here) or by phoning 0845 223 8080 between 8:30am and 5pm.

    Most of this info came from here and it's a pretty comprehensive detailing of process...
    UK Government Web Archive