UK Border Force (HMRC) ... Tobacco Leaves .... UK Tobacco Duty ... Yes/No?

Tobacco Leaves on their own are NOT liable to UK Duty ... period! The onus is on the end user as to whether UK Duty is liable or not. If the leaves are shredded and turned into rolling tobacco then, yes, UK Duty is liable. The end user should then contact HMRC and tell them how much (weight) they have turned into rolling tobacco. However, if the end user takes the shredded leaf and turns it into snuff then there is NO UK Duty liable.

Reputable tobacco leaf suppliers have terms and conditions for supplying leaf. These terms and conditions have to be agreed by the end user before a sale and subsequent supply can go ahead. ln essence, the terms and conditions states that it is the end user's responsibility as to what happens to the leaves when they receive them. lt is NOT the responsibility of the leaf supplier. Obviously UKBF(HMRC) don't like this and would want the liabilty to be with the supplier.When you think of their stance, it's a little like the Police wanting car manufacturers to be liable for any traffic/speeding offences on any vehicles sold to customers. :)

Why are HMRC wanting this? Well, it's because they currently have the tobacco manufacturers of rolling tobacco and cigarettes as their unpaid revenue collectors. The tobacco companies HAVE to pay the UK Duty and they then pass it on to us, the customers. Simple, for HMRC ... yes?

However, the situation is reversed when it comes to leaf. HMRC have to go to the end user for the UK Duty. Now that's not so easy ... it's like HMRC having to go to each and everyone who purchases tobacco products from outlets such as ASDA. Best of luck with that is all l can say. :)

Last month there was a case where UKBF (& HMRC) tried to say tobacco leaf was liable for duty. UKBF had seized tobacco leaf at the border (whether the import hadn't adhered to all the paperwork was not addressed). Howver, HMRC tried to impose the Duty fine that they do on goods seized from cross-border shoppers. The judgement was they CANNOT do this as tobacco leaf is NOT liable for duty!

Read it here  

To be honest, UKBF (HMRC) tried it on even though they know there is NO duty liable on tobacco leaf. They still harass the tobacco leaf suppliers and these suppliers should, if they are reputable, be registered for VAT and also be registered as a tobacco broker/supplier.

Of course the tobacco manufacturers like Imperial Tobacco are not happy either but l have no sympathy for them at all. What did they ever do for the smoker (smoking ban) or the cross-border shopper ? ... sweet FA, that's what!

They say ever dog has it's day ... well, the smoker is now having his!We know of one smoker who ranf HMRC because he was smoking leaf. He smokes 2 or 3 cigarettes a day. He rang HMRC to ask them how much he owed them ... HMRC basically told him to go away and not bother them! :)

One last thing, if you want to purchase tobacco leaf ... go here. We thoroughly recommend them.


  1. Guess who benefits the most when Customs sieze and destroy
    £Billions worth of tobacco,the Tobacco Companies who We assume have to replace the lost stocks.
    The cost of the ANTI SMOKING CRAZE since the silly "Health Act"
    of 2006 has been circa £34-£42 billion***no wonder the austerity is
    being prolonged.

    *** Any challengers?

  2. Duty is liable when leaf is manufactured and not at any other point previous. This gut would've come through unscathed if he had the right paperwork. l am astounded that an excuse from Customs was that the paperwork was in Polish. Why couldn't they translate it or check the vat number as it only rakes seconds to do? Customs way out of order on this and the judges told them so. Customs taking the pi$$ as usual.

  3. Hmm... looks like misconduct in public office from here - both HMRC and CPS (or do HMRC do their own prosecutions?)

    Talk about making it up and then trying to bully the victim ...

    Nicking and mangling a quote it would seem that sadly sociopaths are as attracted to jobs in HMRC as paedophiles are to jobs in childcare.

  4. Damn! I wrote a comment and pressed the wrong button!
    But it does not matter because the essence is on the:

    Very simply, Customs relied upon the fact that the gent, a Polish person, failed to appoint a solicitor, which UK regulations required. The idea was that a person who was "outside the UK" could not 'act'. The Court dismissed that argument because it denied equality of citizenship in the EU.
    Thus, the decision revolved around whether or not tobacco leaf was a 'tobacco product'. The Court found that it was not.

    But there is more to this than meets the eye. In the legislation, there are 'tax points'. Fag makers have to pay duty when they release fags onto the market. There is no such regarding importing leaves. Customs tried to claim that leaves are 'tobacco products' under the provision in the law about duty called 'other smoking tobacco'. The Court held that such stuff did not fall within the duty law unless it had been 'processed' in one way or another. Thus, dried leaf was not a 'tobacco product'.

    1. Get the wording and meaning right... Leaf is a processed product i.e. cured whether sun dried or flue cured. Tax is only payable on manufactured product that is smokable, i.e. as hand rolling pipe cigars or cigarettes. Manufactured product that is not smokable such as snuff (nasal tobacco) is not subject to duty.

  5. Seems like Pureleaf have had to close down ... they are not sure whether it will be temp or permanent. UKBF seized their shipment despite leaf not being liable for duty. Of course UKBF know it's not liable but as us cross-border shoppers know they do this all the time. Part of their policy of Maximum Disruption ... and to Hell with integrity and honesty.

    1. If their shipment was seized before 17th Oct (the release date of the court judgement), would they not have an indisputable right to claim restitution? If it was seized after the release date, then it would seem to be simple theft to me.
      That is assuming that there was no other factor.

    2. I hope that doesn't affect TL4U? I placed an order there on Tuesday morning. Can't get enough of that wonderful snuff ;)

  6. Does this rule apply to Europe only or can tobacco leaves be imported from outside of Europe?

    1. Can be imported from outside of EU but will face lmport Duty

    2. Thanks for that mate, does anyone know what the duty is per kilo when imported from outside the EU?

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this informative post.. Stay blessed!!
    blow one

  8. Check out Some new kids on the block and have some really good leaves.

    1. Fuck me! £10 for 100g!!!! do quality leaf for £15 for 500g!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. I recently ordered a small quantity of whole leaf from a UK supplier that has been reliable in the past. On this occasion the parcel was posted 50 miles away on 5/1/2015 and still hasn't arrived today, 10/1/2015 and my postie has delivered my other mail this afternoon!
    I have to wonder if it's been intercepted by HMRC or UKBF as I'm a marked man in their eyes.

  10. Can anybody suggest where to buy the cheapest tobacco leaf for wholesale. I'm interested in large quantities and good price.

  11. Le-Vap stocks some of the world's best e-liquids from Five Pawns, Twelve Vapors, Mad Mikes, Bumble Bee Vapor, Iceliqs, Suicide Bunny etc.


"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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