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
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.
EU Cross-Border Shopping Guide
- What Amount of Cigs/Tobacco Can I Buy?
- Do NOT Be Wrongly Branded A Smuggler
- Statement of Truth for Cross-Border Shoppers
- Personal Use Calculator for Cigs/Tobacco
- About Us
- How to Record ALL UKBA lnterviews
- Help Fellow Cross-Border Shoppers NOW!
- Vehicle Seizures
- EU tobacco/cigarette prices
- Video/Audio of Real UKBA Stop, Search, Interviews
- The Day We Beat and Outed the UKBA In Court!
- Shopping for Tobacco in Bulgaria? ..You NEED this!
- Extra Tips for dealing with Customs
- CONTACT US
- **Appeals Against Seizure ... The Process**