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07年考研英语阅读理解精读100篇unit9

2006-7-6 21:39 印建坤 

Unit 9

  Richard Evans, a retired lorry driver, and his family were travelling in Spain last summer when their camper van broke down. They left it to be brought back by the AA. But customs officers at Dover claimed it was being used for smuggling. They seized the vehicle and all its contents, including 9,000 cigarettes and 20 bottles of spirits. The van, worth £20,000 ($30,800), is still impounded. It even took Mr. Evans six months to recover his 90-year-old mother-in-law's wheelchair.

  Under European Union regulations, people may import an unlimited quantity of alcohol and tobacco, so long as it is for their own personal use. Had Mr. Evans been driving his van himself, he would probably have had no trouble. Cases like this are putting Customs and Excise's considerable powers under scrutiny. A recent stinging High Court judgment about another vehicle seizure said, “the mindset of those determining these policies has not embraced the world of an internal market where excise goods can move freely across internal frontiers.” And, on September 18th, the EU announced that it was giving Britain two months to prove that customs officers were not breaching consumers' rights to shop freely in Europe. “Cross-border shopping……is a fundamental right under EU law and should not be regarded as a form of tax evasion,” said Frits Bolkestein, the internal market commissioner.

  Customs officers have an impossible job. Excise duty and VAT on a pack of premium brand cigarettes account for 79% of the recommended retail selling price of £4.51. An identical pack costs £1.97 in Belgium. One in every five cigarettes smoked in Britain——some 17 billion altogether——has been smuggled. The Tobacco Manufacturers' Association reckons that 80% of hand-rolling tobacco is smuggled.

  The main weapon Customs and Excise has in tackling abuse is to seize cars in which it suspects goods are being smuggled. Guidelines suggest “personal use” can mean only up to 800 cigarettes, for example. Anyone bringing in more can be asked to explain. In the past three years, customs officers have impounded more than 22,000 vehicles. Tellingly, only a fifth of seizures are contested, and fewer than 1% of appeals are successful. Officials say the value of cross-channel smuggling has fallen sharply in the past year, from £1.6 billion to £400m.

  Some customs officers, though, have clearly been over-zealous. And the recent High Court case ruled that the legislation under which Customs and Excise operates wrongly reverses the burden of proof. The defendant must prove that he is not bringing in tobacco and so forth for a commercial purpose. It also said that customs officers must have “reasonable grounds” for searches: suspicion and instinct are not enough. The government is appealing.

  The minister in charge of Customs and Excise, John Healey, accepts that there is an urgent need to respond to questions about the “legitimacy” of the Customs regime. But he says the charge that Customs are abusing their powers is wrong: “Customs,” he says, “never stop at random, they never do blanket searches. They always have some ground for stopping people.” Tell that to Mr Evans.

  注(1):本文选自Economist; 9/21/2002, p52-53, 2p;

  注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象2004年真题Text 3;

  1.How could Richard Evans have avoided such a trouble?

  [A]If the camper van didn't break down on the way.

  [B]If the amount of alcohol and tobacco were not too large.

  [C]If he carried cigarettes and spirits for personal use.

  [D]If he hadn't asked others to drive the car.

  2.How does the EU feel about the behavior of Customs and Excise?

  [A]Critical.

  [B]Optimistic.

  [C]Indifferent.

  [D]Supportive.

  3.How can Customs and Excise check the smuggling effectively?

  [A]By doing blanket searches.

  [B]By seizing the suspect cars.

  [C]By limiting shopping in Europe.

  [D]By stopping at random.

  4.What is the charge against Customs and Excise?

  [A]They are abusing their power.

  [B]They deprive Europeans of their right to a free shop.

  [C]They seize the car for no good reason.

  [D]Their power is too excessive.

  5.By “Tell that to Mr Evans.”(Last Line, Paragraph 6), the author means _____________.

  [A]Evans should learn a lesson from his experience

  [B]what John Healey has said is good for Evans

  [C]he does not believe what John Healey has said

  [D]Evans should understand what he has experienced

  答案:DABAC

  篇章剖析

  本文采用提出问题——分析问题的模式,非常客观地分析了海关工作确实是一件非常棘手,但也确实非常必要的工作,但在工作中有些官员表现得过于“热情”,有滥用职权的嫌疑,所以招致了一些公民的指控。第一段以理查德。埃文斯的经历为例,指出他在海关遇到的麻烦;第二段指出海关和货物税收部门的强大权力受到了密切关注;第三段指出走私现象非常严重;第四段指出关税及国产税务部门在对付走私时使用的武器主要是没收有走私嫌疑的车辆;第五段指出最高法庭诉讼案的新规定;第六段指出海关官员的反应。

  词汇注释

  AA=Automodile Association of Great Britain汽车协会

  impound [Im5paJnd]vt.关在栏中, 拘留, 扣押, 没收

  scrutiny [5skru:tInI; (?@) 5skru:tEnI]n.详细审查

  seizure [5si:VE(r)]n.抓, 捉, 没收, 查封, 夺取

  breach [bri:tF]vt.打破, 突破

  evasion [I5veIV(E)n]n.逃避, 借口

  VAT=Value-Added Tax 增值税, 附加价值税;

  premium [5pri:mIEm] adj 质优价高的;质量或价值极高的:

  reverse [rI5v\:s] vt颠倒,倒转;撤消或废除(法令等)

  burden of proof n.提供证据之责任

  defendant [dI5fend(E)nt]n.被告

  legitimacy [lI`dVItImEsI]n.合法(性), 正统(性), 正确(性), 合理(性)

  at random  adv.胡乱地, 随便地

  难句突破

  A recent stinging High Court judgment about another vehicle seizure said, “the mindset of those determining these policies has not embraced the world of an internal market where excise goods can move freely across internal frontiers.”

  主体句式:a judgment said …

  结构分析:本句是一个简单句,关键是理解其中一些词汇的含义。“stinging”在此句的含义是“棘手的”;在引用的话中,“mindset”的意思是“思想倾向”,“determining these policies”之前省去了“who are”,这就变成了现在分词做后置定语来修饰“those”:“embrace”的意思是“接受”:“where”引导定语从句来修饰“internal market”。

  句子译文:高级法院最近审理另一起棘手的机动车扣留案件时说明:“决定这些政策的那些人,在思想意识里并没有接受欧盟境内市场。在这个市场里,征税货物在各成员国之间是可以自由流通的。”

  题目分析

  1.答案为D,属推理判断题。原文对应信息是:“Had Mr. Evans been driving his van himself, he would probably have had no trouble.”本句是虚拟语气 .表示与过去事实相反,从句用过去完成时,主句用“would have done”。但有时会把“if”省略,把“had”提前,本句就属于这种现象。

  2.答案为A,属情感态度题。句子“A recent stinging High Court judgment about another vehicle seizure said, ”the mindset of those determining these policies has not embraced the world of an internal market where excise goods can move freely across internal frontiers.“”中显然包含了批评的含义;接下来的句子也是顺承这一含义的:“And, on September 18th, the EU announced that it was giving Britain two months to prove that customs officers were not breaching consumers' rights to shop freely in Europe.”,我们可看出欧盟也是不赞成海关的一些做法的;从欧盟内部市场委员Frits Bolkestein的话:“Cross-border shopping……is a fundamental right under EU law and should not be regarded as a form of tax evasion”,我们更加看出欧盟对待海关的一些做法的态度究竟如何。

  3.答案为B ,属事实细节题。原文对应信息是“The main weapon Customs and Excise has in tackling abuse is to seize cars in which it suspects goods are being smuggled.”。从给出的数据“In the past three years, customs officers have impounded more than 22,000 vehicles. Tellingly, only a fifth of seizures are contested, and fewer than 1% of appeals are successful.”,我们可看出这一手段确实非常有效。

  4.答案为A,属事实细节题。原文对应信息是:“But he says the charge that Customs are abusing their powers is wrong.”。

  5.答案为C,属推理判断题。从文章来看,作者非常客观地分析了海关工作确实是一件非常棘手,但也确实非常必要的工作,但在工作中有些官员表现得过于“热情”,有滥用职权的嫌疑,所以招致了一些公民的指控。虽然关税及国产税务部部长为之也做了辩解,但是并不使人信服,所以在文章最后,作者说了一句:“Tell that to Mr Evans.”。

  参考译文

  理查德。埃文斯是一位退休的货车司机。去年夏天,他和家人在西班牙旅行的时候,他们开的露营车出了故障。他们把车留给汽车协会,由他们负责拖回去。但是多佛港口的海关官员却声称此车被用来走私。他们没收了这辆汽车以及车上的所有物品,其中包括9,000支香烟和20瓶烈性酒。直到现在,这辆价值20,000英镑(相当于30,800美元)的露营车仍然被扣押着。埃文斯先生甚至还花费了六个月的时间才得以取回他那年高九旬的岳母的轮椅。

  欧盟法规规定,只要是个人使用,对带入境的酒和烟的数量并不限制。假如埃文斯是自己开车的话,那么他很可能就不会有任何麻烦。类似这样的案例使海关和货物税收部门的强大权力受到了密切关注。高级法院最近审理另一起棘手的机动车扣留案件时说明:“决定这些政策的那些人,在思想意识里并没有接受欧盟境内市场。在这个市场里,征税货物在各成员国之间是可以自由流通的。”9月18日,欧盟宣布:给英国两个月的时间来证明其海关官员没有侵犯消费者可以在欧洲自由购物的权利。内部市场委员Frits Bolkestein说:“根据欧盟法律,跨境购物是公民的基本权利,不应该被视为逃税行为。”

  海关官员的工作相当棘手。一包高级香烟所征收的货物税和增值税是其建议零售价4.51英镑的79%.而同样一包烟在比利时售价1.97英镑。在英国,人们吸的每五支烟中就有一支——总共约170亿——是走私过来的。烟草制造商协会估计有80%的手卷烟是走私来的。

  关税及国产税务部门在对付这一弊端时使用的武器主要是没收有走私嫌疑的车辆。条例规定的“个人使用”,打个比方,只限800支香烟。携带超出此数量者,将被要求做出解释。在过去三年里,海关扣留的车辆超过22,000辆。这样做有明显的效果,这些扣押案例中只有五分之一的案例是有争议的,上诉案件的胜诉率还不足1%.海关官员宣称去年跨境走私物品的价值从16亿大幅度下跌到4亿英镑。

  然而,有些海关官员明显表现得过于积极。最近的最高法庭诉讼案规定,海关方面执行有误的那项法规把双方提供证据的责任进行了交换。被告必须证明自己没有出于商业目的而携带烟草等物品。还规定海关官员必须有进行收查的“合理依据”:光靠怀疑和直觉是不够的。政府部门也在做此呼吁。

  关税及国产税务部部长约翰。希利表示,确实迫切需要对海关系统合法性问题做出反应。但他认为,有关海关滥用职权的指控是错误的。“海关,”他说,“从来不随意截停,也从不做地毯式搜查。他们拦住某些人都是有理由的。”把这话说给埃文斯先生吧。

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