The reply from HMRC contained the following :-
"Your question related to the number of cases in 2007/8 where ordinary citizens successfully appealed against seizure of tobacco through the Magistrate's Court. You also asked how many appeals failed.
As you may know such cases are dealt with by the courts as Condemnation Proceedings. During the financial year 2007/2008 there were 423 condemnation cases concluded in the courts in the United Kingdom, in relation to excise goods. Approximately 8% of these appeals by the claimant were successful.
I'm afraid the information we hold does not break the statistics down to a lower level than excise goods, so the figures will include a number of alcohol cases and possibly oils too. We don't have the ability to separate out the tobacco figures. Hopefully you will still find the information we have provided useful."
l personally find this answer a little strange. HMRC state exactly 423 cases went to court but those won were approx 8%??? Now l'm sure the data held does not say approx 8%, it will state the exact number of cases won. So why change it? ls it because whoever sent the reply can state his maths is not very good when pressed after one finds that the number of cases won was 81 ... which would be 19.45% ???
Also, one must remember that there are Condemnation Proceedings that never get to court because appeals are won at the Review stage. Our own statistics for this are 100% won!
Now let's remember them UKBA Officers when they seize your goods and tell you that 'Appeals never get anywhere ... we never give anything back'. Now that's just a downright lie to intimidate you into not appealing and when HMRC then resort to altering exact data to approximate percentages it compounds the lie.
Truth of the matter is 'YOU CAN WIN!' and far more than UKBA/HMRC will ever admit to!