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One of the facets of Boris Johnson’s “oven-ready” withdrawal agreement with the EU was that the UK would continue to be subject to European Court of Justice rulings for cases originating while the UK was a member of the bloc.

That includes a case brought against HMRC for failing to collect the right amount of import duties and VAT on a wide variety of Chinese-made apparel and footwear that arrived in the country between 2011 and 2017, a complaint the ECJ has now upheld.

The EU’s anti-fraud office claimed the imports had been organised by criminal gangs which made false declarations about the goods, thus allowing them to avoid the appropriate duties, according to The Guardian. “It found that more than half of all textiles and footwear imported into the UK from China were below the lowest acceptable prices.”

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