DB Breweries has lost in its quest to get a refund for ginger beer and cider which expired while contained in a Customs-controlled area.

The Supreme Court judgment, released yesterday, ordered that DB Breweries pay costs of $2,500 to Customs.

The issue arose when DB imported the alcoholic ginger beer and cider by sea and the goods were moved into Customs-controlled areas inside DB's own manufacturing facilities.

While in the area, the ginger beer and cider passed its used by date and could not be sold. DB attempted to claim a refund of the excise duty on the expired goods which the chief executive of Customs declined.


DB successfully appealed the decision, and it was upheld by the High Court - however a Court of Appeal decision ruled in favour of Customs.

The Court of Appeal found that despite technically being under the control of Customs, the government agency did not have regulatory control of the import.

The Supreme Court refused DB leave to appeal and said there was no miscarriage of justice in the lower court's decision.