Slough-based Euromar has to wait to see whether its fourth bid for a one-vehicle international licence is successful or not, on the grounds of the repute of the firm’s sole Director Marek Orzechowski.
The company had been called to a Bristol Public Inquiry (PI) before Traffic Commissioner (TC) Kevin Rooney because of concerns over finance, repute and professional competence.
Mr Orzechowski was the sole Director of Polski Express Transport which, twice in 2010, sought a five-vehicle international licence. Those applications were withdrawn by Central Licensing Unit (CLU) as the application fee failed and could not be processed.
In 2014 and 2016, Euromar sought a one-vehicle international licence. Both applications were refused on financial grounds – decisions upheld by the Upper Tribunal on appeal [routeone/Court Report/5 August 2015 and 19 April 2017].
In April the TC ordered Euromar and Mr Orzechowski to pay £125 costs after they failed to attend a PI into its third application for a licence [routeone/Court Report/23 May].
The TC held that the company met the financial requirement after receiving an undertaking relating to finance and was satisfied that professional competence would be met after Mr Orzechowski, who acquired his CPC in Poland in 2004, undertook to attend a refresher training course.
Consideration of whether Mr Orzechowski met the requirement to be of good repute was adjourned by the TC.
This was to allow Mr Orzechowski time to take legal advice and make representations about a decision by the First-Tier Tribunal (Tax) in 2013 rejecting his appeal against a decision of HMRC refusing to return a vehicle that had been seized. This was after the vehicle was found to be used for smuggling 32,760 cigarettes in to the country, on which excise duty had not been paid.
In dismissing the appeal, the Tribunal held that Mr Orzechowski, who failed to attend the hearing, put forward no grounds to support a finding of exceptional hardship. They agreed with HMRC’s finding that there were no mitigating circumstances to justify restoration of the vehicle and that Mr Orzechowski had failed to substantiate his assertion that he required the vehicle for work.
The TC is to issue his decision in writing at a future date.