Section 91 of the Customs and Excise Act provides for a procedure which is an alternative to criminal prosecution. The procedure can be considered when it has been established that the person concerned “has contravened any provision of the Customs and Excise Act or failed to comply with any such provision with which it was his duty to comply”.
In terms of section 91 the person has the right to elect to be dealt with in terms of the section, but it is the Commissioner’s prerogative to decide whether he will so deal with him or prosecute him. The amount that the Commissioner may require may not exceed the maximum fine which may be imposed upon a conviction for the contravention or failure in question as provided for in the penal provisions of the Customs and Excise Act. An amount so called for cannot be deposited under protest.
The penal provisions (sections78 to 86) of the Act provides for offences in terms of the Act and their possible sanctions if convicted in a court of law.