Update on Tobacco Companies restricting supply of UK brands

There have been no further responses from the 3 tobacco companies contacted. There was an initial reply from Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International but none at all from British American Tobacco.

In both the replies got, they refer to HMRC and recent large seizures of tobacco but furnished no details. Despite a great deal of investigation, l can find no details whatsover of these 'large seizures' so l questioned their actual existance. Turns out l was right to do so.

Since April 1st 2009 (good starting date, eh?) HMRC released their approach to 'chain of supply' and what they expected tobacco companies to do about it.

The crux of the 'approach' is to treat tobacco companies like UK shoppers purchasing tobacco from the EU. lf shoppers are stopped with what they consider large but we are still allowed to take them home but are issued with a Notice 1. This states the amount you bought back and warns that if you bring anymore back in a given period it will be confiscated. There are no fixed quantities for what HMRC consider large, it is left for them to decide.

This is basically what they have done to tobacco companies. If the seizures are large,  the tobacco companies will be issued with an Initial Notice (a warning notice) that lasts for 6 months. lf within this period another seizure occurs HMRC will then issue a Penalty Notice with a fine of up to £5 million (this of course can be contested). The only difference is that unlike the Uk shoppers, the tobacco companies have it stated what a large seizure is.

It is 500 sleeves of cigarettes (sleeve = 10 x packets of 20) and 50kg of tobacco or over. Anything under these amounts will not be considered large.

So were the tobacco companies issued with an Initial Notice? lf they were, why no details of such. If they were not, why the restriction of supply?

It doesn't take a genius to note that sales of 500 sleeves of cigarettes and 50kg of tobacco to a shopper are probably not for personal use. Given that tobacco companies and HMRC monitor the sales and distribution of tobacco from the shops, how do such amounts get sold in the first place????

As for Mr Smuggler and the shops, one would think that to guarantee sales and supply that a self-imposed limit of 499 sleeves and 49 kg of tobacco ( or other blatantly obvious methods) would completely nulify the HMRC's 'chain of supply' ???

In the meantime, the UK shopper cannot purchase his 3kg of tobacco as he was not made aware of the impending restriction of supplies. I have no doubt that Mr Smuggler and the shops did have pre-warning and took appropiate action. Our legitimate UK shopper is the only one that suffers ... again!


  1. What a bunch of f'ing clowns!

  2. Somehow this situation is even reaching the non-EU crown dependencies of the Channel Islands, where, I was told, rolling tobacco is virtually unobtainable to island retailers. Strange, given the price differential to the UK is minimal (minus vat, with higher duty) and the duty free shops were well-supplied with the usual brands. I'm always more inclined to believe in collective stupidity than a conspiracy.

  3. Whats to stop non UK citizens emptying the shelves of Belgian shops In 10 years of being
    harassed by UK customs.I've never seen or heard a foreigner yet.

    Imagine what would happen if the Belgian Gov
    restricted ,say Scotch Whisky or British Gin.

    I will ask the Belgian Politicians one
    simple question,did they ration cigs to the BRITISH BOYS
    whose bones still remain in THEIR Flanders fields sacrificed for Belgian freedom

    Its about time these two bit jobsworths and
    political skivvies were given some sharp reminders about the price of freedom and those
    who gave all to pass it down to us

    Free Corps

  4. JTI and IT quote the same 'large seizures' with no evidence to back them up despite an Initial Notice would've had to have been recieved.

    HMRC don't release anything to the press about these 'large seizures' despite having to have had issued these Initial Notices.

    Conclusion = 'large seizures' don't exist.

  5. Grow your own and STUFF the GOVERNMENT AND HMRC.


  6. l do grow my own Eddie. Oop's wrong seed but still stuff the government and HMRC! :-)


  8. This is all completely ridiculous. The entire justification, for the monstrosity which is the EU, is "Free Trade". We therefore choose to spend our money in the country which gives us the best deal, but find that a UK government agency is using threats against the suppliers, (and us), in order to prevent this. When will the other EU countries make a fuss about this protectionism? I'm trying not to splutter incoherently, but... @$$#0£E$!

  9. They are all a bunch of fooking to$$ers, we should boycott there brands or pool some money into a pot buy some machinery and produce ourselves between us, Fook em...CNUTS!

    Hey Eddie, I have come across your site before but its not that easy to complete the whole process, i.e growing it and then producing it in smokeable form?

  10. Dead easy, there are links in the site about growing tobacco, curing it etc.

  11. FUCKHMRCANDJTIAND ALL THE OTHER TABAC CUNTSMonday, October 04, 2010 10:09:00 pm

    I will have another look, fuck the tobacco companies and customs, take the piss the CNUTS!!!


  12. Tuesday 5th OCT 16.00 GMT
    Latest reply from Belgian retailers on HMRCs
    interference with free trade (EU ?)

    We have to sell it all limited unfortunatedly, otherwise it’s all gone in 1 day…

    It’s the english government who’s blocking all the export of tobacco towards belgium and Luxemburg…


    I will leave it to the Blogmasters x 10 to
    question the issue and raise its profile on the
    Digital Highway

    Free Corps


"In the eyes of the Tribunal the review letter contained several preconceptions, prejudgments and non-sequiturs"

"the absurdity of this reason is demonstrated by simply stating it"

"We therefore find that Mr Sked misdirected himself as to the Policy in carrying out the review and his decision is therefore one that no reasonable review officer could have arrived at."

... commonly known here at N2D as 'Skeds' ... that is to say these are Judges comments regarding UKBA Review Officer Ian Sked's reasons for rejecting peoples appeals against seizures.

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