How dare you use free trade in the EU to buy your tobacco?

Here is the strategy announced yesterday. There is little doubt that the cross-border shopper is a main target yet here's a thing ... the Russians don't seem to be mentioned despite Jin Ling cigarettes being made there. The Chinese are mentioned though.

The intention is to stop export of UK brands to the EU and also frighten the UK shopper from going to the EU to legally purchase their cigarettes for personal use. They really do believe that if they achieve this that the UK smoker will purchase his cigarettes/tobacco from UK retailers. Here's just a few examples of the scare tactics

4.31  We will reduce the minimum indicativelevels to 800 cigarettes and 1 kg hand-rolling tobacco in the autumn. These levels are used as a guide for determining whether tobacco products imported from the EU are for personal use. This will deter travellers who seek to abuse cross border shopping rules from purchasing large quantities of non-UK duty paid tobacco for illicit re-sale in the UK.

Will it? will it really? The laws have not changed regarding personal imports of EU duty paid cigarettes/tobacco. You can still bring back as much as you like .... period! You'll notice that there is no mention of the legitimate shopper at all in this strategy. ln fact the wording gives the impression that anyone purchasing over these 'limits' must be a smuggler! IT IS ALL JUST HUFF AND PUFF!

 4.19 These include changes in EU and UK law to allow us to also assess those who hold or supply illicit tobacco for unpaid duty and levy penalties up to 100% of the value of tax evaded. For example, somebody caught smuggling 20,000 premium UK branded cigarettes costing around £4,000to purchase on the near-continent could now face the loss of that product, a tax bill of roughly £4,250 and a further penalty of up to £4,250 –a financial cost to the smuggler of around £12,500. These multiple sanctions can be applied against anyone caught in possession oftobacco on which duty hasn’t been paid.

Oh scary ... except for a couple of points. Smuggling is a criminal offence and as such there has to be evidence and a conviction which involves PACE and not Civil proceedings. The duty HAS been paid, it is paid in the EU country where the goods are bought. You will note the use of the words 'could'  and 'can be' .... not 'will' and 'will be'. MORE HUFF AND PUFF!

Travel restrictions on repeat smugglers

See above

There is more l'd like to highlight from the strategy but l have no time at the moment but l will come back to it. Read it yourself and see what you think and leave comments or questions and l'll address them when l get back.


  1. My first thought is "SWEET JESUS I'M GONNA HAVE TO START SMUGGLING AGAIN!!!111". Seriously, it's a smugglers charter. Anyone living more than a few miles from a port is not going to be able to go across every fortnight/month or so. 90 % of the UK is going to be a captive market, I can charge what I like.Tenner a pouch of guaranteed genuine dutch baccy and people will be tearing them out of my hands....and still be saving themselves a third of the cost.

    Perhaps its all just a cunning plan to increase the sale of white transit vans...get the economy moving again.

  2. the goonies can fuck off SBC, we'll do what weve always done. This shit what theyve brought out wont stop us getting our baccy.

  3. The oafs seem undecided why they want to stop 'smuggling.' On the one hand they claim that cheap cigarettes harm the 'smoking reduction' strategy of the U.K., whilst in the same breath bemoan the fact that it is costing the government two billion pounds in lost revenue.

  4. We've been here before with these guidelines. l've been purchasing my cigarettes from the EU for about 20 years now. Back then l bought for myself and my partner at that time. Amounts varied as to various criteria but ranged from 50 cartons to 100 cartons. Taking the 100 cartons would be 6.25 times the current guideline of 3200, yet with the old guidelines that would be 25 times the guideline of 800.

    l've been stopped and searched, interviewed for having 25 times the guidelines and still brought them home. This has happened on more than one occasion and l've never had them confiscated. ln fact, l've never had a warning letter either. lt's all a matter of knowing your rights,the law and how to apply it.

  5. l did however have my cigarettes stolen once. l think l had about 80 cartons left (16,000 cigarettes) and my house was burgled. When sorting out the insurance l gave the lnsurance company 3 options ... for them to replace the cigarettes, pay me the UK price or pay the Spanish price and travel costs. They opted for the Spanish prices and travel costs.

    lf it had just been the cigarettes that were stolen l suppose l would've been happy. Unfortunately it wasn't ... and the house was a bloody wreck.

  6. SH - 'l've been stopped and searched, interviewed for having 25 times the guidelines and still brought them home'.

    What case did you present. Better still why not produce a document laying out a step by step guide that can be printed off.

    Still waiting for part 2...wait! I think I can see it coming round the corner.

  7. Sorry to hear about the burglary.

  8. SH told Forest they were wrong again on the Forest site. Why cant they get their facts right ffs?

  9. T'would have been nice if Simon had turned his quip about 'more determined friends' into a hyperlink to this site. He could have easily added a caveat about not agreeing with everything said here but that SH offers a useful service for those robbed of their goods...or something along those lines.

    Or even just linked to FOREST's own handy hints for cross border shopping which aren't actually too bad and do give some basic advice.

  10. He should pay SH to do Forest for him!

  11. Well, I've just read through the "Strategy".

    It's not worth pulling it apart piece by piece, It's just the usual steaming pile of lies, spin and corporate bullshit.

  12. I soppose it is too difficult for them to see the obvious answer.

    Lower the tax rate to European mainland levels, and "smugling" will be culled over night. (From Europe any way.)


  14. SH, my thoughts exactly....preferably with 'Stop Me And Buy One' written on it too.

  15. Defo going to re-start my old smuggling tricks after reading through that BS no wonder baccy smuggling is on the up you are encouraged by this totally inept goverment department.

    £4.60 in Belguim re sale via white van gadgey £9.oo/10.00 !!

    This fucking goverment and the last are totally way out, one minute they say they want every1 to stop smoking then they say they are stepping up the fight due to loss in duty....bollocks

    The only people who will suffer is your average joe trying to save a few quid being stopped and treated like a criminal for going to baccy alley etc etc to save money and not pay app £10 tax per pouch of gv in rip off britain...

    Reading through that bollocks it is clear this goverment is resorting to threats to normal cross channel legitamate shoppers who pay tax/duty in the country of purchase within the eu....this cannot be right....



  16. Oh SH i was the anon who posted a while back about the baccy alley shop keepers forcing people to buy diffrent brands to enable them to get GV/AL etc.

    I have taken your advise and put my name to my comments.

    Thanks to you guys for keeping me and a few of my smoking mates updated



  17. @SBC-

    'Stop Me And Buy One' !

    Hahahahaheeheehoot! :-)

    Fnaar, snork.

    Love it!


"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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