Border Force Step Up Illegal Tactics On Cross Border Shoppers

There were some that naively believed that now the Border Force have split from UKBA and are under the control of a former policeman, CC Brian Moore, that things would become more just and fair. Recent cases forwarded to us show that isn't the case .... they are doing entirely the opposite ... they are getting worse! Either their new boss is oblivious to this or he's going along with it and ditching all the safeguards and rights of citizens that he upheld as a policeman.

Only a few days ago we received this :-

"We had a trip over again on the 17th feb, again stopped and argued that the 1kg each was for our own use as they had taken our previous purchase, demanded the officers name and they were not happy about this but finally gave it, sure this is what has put us on their definite target list.

Had trip over yesterday,7th March, with my wife and her niece, reason for this was so that they could throw flowers of remembrance over the side as this is where the ashes of my wifes brother and nieces father were scattered after he died on the "Herald of Free Enterprise", they don't go on the exact day as it is too emotional for them then. As I had used my tobacco from the previous trip we decided while we were this far and to save a trip in a few days time we bought 1kg of tobacco each knowing this was their guidelines. 

Stopped again and they go to town, there were loads of them and a lot were new trainees, thought no problem just expected  a few questions then on our way. No chance kept for 3 hours again, seperated and interviewed, all said about the same thing as we were GENUINELY not doing anything we shouldn't have been. Then we were told that they were seizing our tobacco as they say it's for commercial use, I ask you 440 mile round trip, ferry fare , personal use and make a profit out of tobacco that cost £90. 

They never took the car but threatened me that every time I travel and buy tobacco they will take it from me and they are only doing their jobs. Not only that we each got a warning that if they take anything from us in future we may be prosecuted under section 170 of the customs and excise management act 1979 and face an UNLIMITED FINE AND OR UP TO 7 YEARS 

I did record what happened yesterday and they caught me and demanded that I erase it, I REALLY wished I had seen your site before last night."

Here we have it in black and white about the mindset of particular Border Force Officers at Dover. A total lack of humanity is self-evident which is then coupled with threats and intimidation. The threat of prosecution under section 170 of CEMA 1979 is utter garbage. They have no evidence at all to use 170 and they know it ... unfortunately cross-order shoppers don't.

Then we have them demanding that the audio recording is erased ... with NO POWER whatsoever to do so! Annex of Excise and Civil Interviews states :- Note: Officers cannot stop someone if they choose to make a video or audio recording of the interview themselves using their own equipment such as a mobile phone, video camera etc.

Another recent correspondence showed the same illegal tactic where Officer Diane Daly stated in her own words in a statement of truth "This interview is not a tape recorded interview and should not be recorded by yourself on your mobile phone"  She then went on to force the deletion of the recording.

Well Diane dear, you're either incompetent or a liar? Which is it?

At P/O Ferry Terminal at Hull, this correspondence :-" Just wondererd if you have heard of Customs making all foot passengers put their hand luggage through the scanner at Hull on return from Zebrugger?
This what happened to 1 of my mates last week."

This tactic is illegal and they know it. Hoverspeed v HMRC judgement states and l quote :- 
  1. "It follows that the only power available to Customs and Excise officers to stop and search people (or their vehicles) at an internal frontier arises if there are reasonable grounds to suspect one or other of the matters set out in sections 163 and 163A of CEMA. They are not entitled to rely on generalities or trends: there must be reasonable grounds to suspect the person(s) whom they are checking. In the absence of such suspicion on an individualised basis, they have no right to impede Community travellers’ movement at the frontier for purposes connected with the collection of excise duty. The powers they use at a frontier must be the same powers as they would use anywhere else within the state for the purpose of ensuring that duty is paid on excise goods chargeable within that territory. 
So, don't just stand there herded together like sheep and meekly waiting to be processed like livestock. You're not alone, there's many others like you that are 'kettled' up and probably thinking the same as you are. Speak up, be vocal and then there will be a group of you. Start recording in video and audio on your phones etc and then demand from the Border Force under what laws and regs they are operating under. Don't back down one inch ... keep up the pressure. They are used to people obeying them ... what they are not used to is being confronted by a group and being recorded at the same time. They'll fold and back off because what they are doing is illegal ... period! Stand up for your rights!

We and others have now booked on various trips at Hull P&O to do exactly that. lf they use this tactic l can promise you that there WILL be consequences.

 "The Spartans do not inquire how many the enemy are, but where they are." AGIS II 427 B.C.


  1. ""This interview is not a tape recorded interview and should not be recorded by yourself on your mobile phone""

    The important word here is 'should'...note that she didn't say 'mayn't' or 'may not' or 'not allowed' or 'it is an offence' etc.

    In other words it goes back to my comment on the previous thread about them making a request sound like an order.

    That 'should' is a statement of the officers own twisted morals or preferences not a legally binding 'must' ie she'd rather you didn't or doesn't think it fair that you do.

    In other words a cheap dirty trick to try and circumvent the law.

    1. 'Should' ... 'You could be prosecuted' ... 'Criminal charges' ...'arrest' ... 'prison' ... 'terrorism act' ... blah, blah, blah.

      ln other words, intimidation and harassment of legitimate shoppers.

      What's missing off Daly's statement is of course where she DEMANDS the recording to be deleted according to the victim. Pity no covert recording but time will come when there will be!

    2. "Pity no covert recording but time will come when there will be!"

      That could be the basis for a 'whistle blowing' complaint to their own internal affairs (or a 'White Wash' as it is technically known).

  2. FFS! Who are these bloody people? Just had a call from a guy named Alex who was stopped at Heathrow with some cigs. Got intimidated into just leaving them. When he got home he realised they still had his passport. 10 days later and he still doesn't have it. UKBA/BF or whatever they bloody call themselves say they don't have any records of him being stopped and therefore it never happened!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. The BF's malevolence is only trumped by their incompetence it seems.

    2. No, l think malevolence trumps it. Alex has just called me. Heathrow Border Force now admit to having it (l told him to ask for paperwork on the seized cigarettes which seemed to all of a sudden bring back their memory) but sent it to ldentity and Passport Service who then destroyed it and Alex has to apply for a new one at a cost of £77.50 l believe. They destroyed it because of security!

  3. Good post SH. I learn something new each time I visit...and further reinforce knowledge gained.

    It's a pity you can't compile a dossier for the BBC and ask them to make a programme out of it - Panorama would do nicely.

  4. well S H i said they are going to be worse,,i too am also geared up for my trip,i am stressed even before my little break,so they have put a downer on my trip,lol and i will kick up a fuss,about my rights,and i will make sure everyone hears me,i will let you know how i get on.and yes it is the ferry at hull

    1. Would appreciate that Sharon as we need to know what's happening at Hull. The first of our scouts go out on the weekend. Be cool Sharon and don't let them intimidate you but l think you'll find it would be the other way round and you'll be fine! :-) xxx

  5. Don't be stressed Sharon, the boys know what they're talking about! Follow their advice specially on the recording and the other stuff and you'll be fine. Have a good trip!

  6. As Anon above says, don't get stressed Sharon; view it as an extra bit of fun and entertainment, as they twist and squirm trying to make you believe their lies, and you quote chapter and verse at them.
    Don't let them rile you, and you will enjoy the experience.

  7. It seems that UKBF do (very nearly) exist now. They have a section dedicated to them at Wikipedia!

    Almost zero info and no contact details, however one thing that struck me, if it is correct (this is wikipedia, after all)is that it is overseen by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. The IPCC does not have the best record in the world for speed, honesty or investigative abilities, but surely every single case mentioned here should be referred to them? If only to cause maximum embarrassment and bureaucratic waffling. And one thing the IPCC is good at is giving away (sometimes ridiculous) amounts of tax-payers' money instead of actually looking at a complaint.
    If I have any complaint against UKBF I will certainly be forwarding copies of it onto IPCC demanding investigation of any officers concerned, and they are 99% certain to be Dover ones.

    1. Anon 10:36, I'm pretty sure SH is keeping an eye on things and has already been considering the possible ramifications of the IPCC having oversight. Thing is though, until we can get proof positive that the BF do infact exist....

    2. IPCC don't know Border Force exists yet according to their website. :)

  8. Planning on going on my first ever trip shortly and can't believe people are being harassed for such small amounts!

    Also I've been looking around on the site but can't find the answer but wondering what the procedure is If I get my goods confiscated or worse still my car. That's hypothetical by the way as I won't be travelling in my own car but I was interested what the procedure was. I assume you could sue their arses for this.

    1. Anon 12:54, no you can't sue their arses off. You can appeal and if you haven't singed their notebook and have recorded everything then you may well win.

      BUT if you follow SH's advice and DONT SIGN, R E C O R D (+covert recording,have an accurate SOT and FOI then it should never get to a seizure of your goods let alone your car.

      Don't forget SH's advice is tried, tested and works AS LONG AS YOU DO.

    2. Thanks for the advice but still love to take them for thousands, can't stand organisations like this who rely on the public's ignorance of the law when they are meant to be upholding it.

    3. Anon

      lt would be difficult to put up advice about what to do if goods are seized as every appeal is different. l know from my own experience that l just contacted N2D and they advised me from there

    4. You gotta make sure they dont get your baccy in the first place. Too many come here too late to find out what they should've done. N2D have more than done their bit and now it's up to us to tell those that don't know what to do. We gotta do our bit.

  9. "but still love to take them for thousands"

    As far as I know, you can at least get them to pay the *true* value of the seized goods (ie what it would cost to replace them at UK DUTY Prices) and also legal costs but , judging by Zaphod's experiences, it is a long long road filled with the worst sort of legal skullduggery-they will use every trick in the book agin you...and in a recent case even have your computers seized by the police ie make false counter accusations against you and perjure themselves in court.

    Its early days yet on that aspect of the Cause. Beating them in court will change things but it will take time for precedents etc to sicker through- as SH reports in this very thread, look at how they are still ignoring a judgement from 2002.

  10. Although I haven't the foggiest idea how to do it, this matter ought to be taken to 'a higher authority' - eg, directly to the Home Officer Minister. Travellers ought not to be going on holiday worrying about what sort of persecution and harassment they might face on the way home. A simple brochure, NOT written in mumbo-jumbo language designed to deceive, should be given to every traveller in the EU. It should be clear, straight-forward and comprehensive.

    In the EU, provided that duty has been paid in the country in which goods have been bought, tobacco is no different from any other commodity. What has happened is that threats of car confiscations have deterred legitimate travellers from exercising their legitimate rights. For example, I might take a trip to Belgium and buy in sufficient tobacco for two years. Why should I not?

    Actually, there is something rotten about the whole idea of 'for you own use only'. It sounds like a con-trick to me. Is there a specific law in England which says that? What is so special about tobacco? What about 'fragrances'?

    When I go to Majorca in a couple of weeks, I will have my documentation ready:

    SOT (including consumption of self and wife).
    Letter to MP.
    Letter to CEO Border Agency.
    Bank statements.
    Credit card statement (to show I have credit).
    Certain pictures (fags storage cupboard).
    Record of previous purchases.

    Most are the same docs from last time. Only one doc costs anything, and that is letter to CEO. In fact, I am thinking of dispensing with that on this occasion since wife and I are going together. Last time I went, I went on my own and bought 'gifts', being her share. I thought that, for the cost of a first class stamp, it was worth describing to the CEO my intentions as concerns the 'gift' for my wife.

    It sounds troublesome, but it isn't. It is just simple preparation. I have a copy of the docs for myself and another for the interrogators. If I am stopped, I will give them their copy of the docs and refer their questions to the docs.

    If they try to delay me for hours and hours, I will complain and complain about the delay, vociferously - and it will be recorded on my mobile. The thing is that they try to use 'the delay' as a tactic to upset you. Don't let them. Turn it round. Use the tactic to your advantage. Complain vociferously about the delay. (The law says that you should not be delayed).

    We are learning all the time. What a pity that so many people only discover Nothing2declare AFTER they have been robbed!

    1. Agree with you Juni but it's nice to see everyone trying to get the info out to virgin x=border shoppers. All except FOREST that is.

  11. Just come back to hull this am.....Had all my paperwork at the ready..recorder running....all ready to be proper stroppy if necessary.....not stopped inconsiderate of them ;-)

    1. @ Anon 04:01

      LOL yes, know the feeling. Several times they declined to party...and I had made such an effort. One time last year at Dover they weren't there at all and the other times they just ignored me. Prick teasers.

  12. Where do you stand if you package the baccy abroad, post it home and come back through the border with nothing on you at all?

    If it's duty paid, surely that's not illegal?

    1. Leg Iron ….Regarding your question re the condition ‘You must transport the goods yourself’ when bringing in tobacco products for yourself. l note that in all the documentation from HMRC that they cleverly avoid the following scenario as far as l can see.

      lf l am in another EU country and l buy duty paid tobacco for personal use, am l not transporting the goods myself if l personally take them to a carrier/post service and address the goods to myself? l can;t find anything that says l must ‘accompany’ the goods myself only that l should ‘transport’ them myself..

      l’ve written twice to HMRC about this but despite asking them to give me a specific answer, they keep referring me to ‘distance selling’ ‘internet purchasing’. Somehow m’thinks they don’t want to answer …. wonder why?

    2. I have been stopped and asked at Dover if I was carrying any excise goods. I replied "within the guideline limits" (the old limits) and was waved on.What would be the proper response to an officer under these circumstances,since I now carry well above the current guidelines?

    3. Tough one ... if you lie about the amount it is reason enough for seizure. lf you question the legality of passport control asking such questions you draw attention to yourself. Perhaps something like 'Within my personal allowance. thank you' or something like that. Or wear headphones and listen to your i-pod so you can't hear them. Passport control only have to check it's you ... why should you be talking to them? Passport has everything they need.

      We WILL be questioning the legality of such questioning if we are asked ... but that's us so we can bring you the results! :)


"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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