EU says UK must recover billions in lost customs duties

EU says UK must recover billions in lost customs duties
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Britain and the EU are facing off once again - this time over an alleged customs scam by Chinese textile and footwear importers.

Brussels has given London two months to recover 2.7 billion euros in lost customs duties or risk referral to the EU's top court.

"The College (of European Commissioners) also decided to take a further step in the procedure and sent a 'Reasoned Opinion' to the United Kingdom because of its failure to make customs duties available to the European Union budget, as required by European Union law," European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told reporters on Monday (September 24).

EU fraud watchdog says the UK turned a blind eye to the rampant use of fake invoices and customs claims, despite having been warned about the risk of fraud.

The affair could undermine a UK proposal to handle customs checks for the EU after it leaves the union next year.

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