About Us

l'll refer to UKBA here as UK Customs as they are changing their name ... again. l'll put up appropriate links needed in the post asap.


During my professional career l've travelled extensively and frequently all over the world. l've come into contact with various countries Customs on a regular basis due to carrying equipment etc. These Customs have included USSR, East Germany and Cambodia amongst many others. l can honestly say that the worse treatment l've received and continue to receive is from my own country, the UK.

I've been importing cigarettes for my own personal use into the UK for 20+ years. During this time l've been stopped, searched (baggage) and interviewed on numerous occasions and have NEVER had any cigarettes seized. Despite this, the harassment by UK Customs (aka UKBA, Border Force, HMCE, HMC blah blah) continues to this day.

Zaphod has been importing cigarettes/tobacco for his own personal use for approx 11 years. He also has not lost any goods although he has had 3 seizures but won his goods back on the initial appeal (did not go to court).Strangely, he got his goods seized when he was being nice. Since he became more confrontational he has not had any seized for the past 5 years.Despite this UK Customs continue their harassment.

ln early 2010, l became semi-retired and sold all my assets. l'd seen over the previous years many people suffering at the hands of UK Customs and so l decided to try and do something about it. lnitially l set up a website to travel with shoppers to purchase their goods. l soon came to realise that this wasn't enough so l started the blog to try and find out what was happening to other shoppers across the country. The blog came into being on 1st June 2010.

Both myself and Zaphod documented our experiences along with factual documentation to show that you could bring in as much cigarettes/tobacco for personal use. lt also became apparent that there was no-one else doing this except for daytripper.net. Even at that stage it was obvious that FOREST paid little attention to the plight of shoppers. They did have some info on cross-border shopping but recent events have now reduced that to zero.

We became more and more involved in the issues to the point we were actively fighting UK Customs. This more we found out about the tactics used by UK Customs, the more appalled we became. That hasn't changed and remains so to this day. UK Customs are NOT fit for purpose in a democratic country. UK Customs belong in a Banana Republic.

We were very naive in those early days. We actually believed that if we brought these injustices out into the open that the MSM, MP's, Liberty groups etc would take it up. l can't believe how naive we were! We'd contacted them all but the response was always the same .... NOTHING!

So we decided to fight on regardless. This meant losing our anonymous profile and putting ourselves in the firing line. l know we post under our blogger identities but believe you me, UK Customs KNOW who we are. We've been subject to harassment and downright conspiracy from UK Customs and also we've been ostracised by supposed 'pro-smoking' groups ... some have even gone as far as to try to conspire to discredit us! l kid you not!

So, where are we now? Well the blog is 21 months old with 250,000+ pageviews, 3380 comments but more importantly 2000+ e-mails and god knows how many phonecalls. We answer all e-mails, phone calls and comments. We've won appeals for people and now even a court case. We have contacts and friends from everywhere and from these we receive valuable information. We truly do appreciate this help as we are not funded in anyway whatsover and there are only 2 of us .... well, 3 if you count Justine but she's a force of her own and uncontrollable. Although we wouldn't try to anyway, we're not stupid y'know.

What this 'small, single issue' (Simon Clark of FOREST called us that) site has achieved, we are very proud of. You don't hear of many (any?) victories from 'pro-smoking' groups but we have victories and continue to get more. Here's some of them:-

Altered the Bulgarian Customs policy at all Bulgarian Airports. Previously Bulgarian Customs were enforcing UK Customs guidelines of 1kg tobacco and 800 cigarettes and seizing all amounts over these amounts. We stopped that although you have to have the letter from Bulgarian Customs that was sent to us to do it. Without this letter they will still rob you if they can. Our letter stops them in their tracks.

We got false information removed from all British Embassys and the Foreign Office Travel Advice. Previously this information stated that you could not bring in ANY cigarettes/tobacco from certain EU countries. This advice was updated to the correct advice. They say it was a mistake and over-looked ... yeah right. We also got this false information removed from the ferry companies.

We've won appeals for people who've had their goods seized. We've won these without having to go to court.

We've won at court.

We've devised a policy to stop UK Customs abusing your rights in order to seize your goods. This is your right to record the UK Customs interview and under no circumstances sign UK Customs notebooks. We thank SBC for this info on recording the UK Customs. How he got it through his FOI we shall never understand but he did ... and for that we are indebted to him (we love his posts he contributes too). Thanks SBC.

We've now got Real Tobacco chain of shops to promote our advice to shoppers. This is a massive breakthrough as we now can inform of their rights shoppers BEFORE they get stopped by UK Customs. Too often shoppers come to us AFTER they have been accosted by UK Customs and in many cases that is too late to help them. Now we are informing them of how to protect themselves at the very point they buy their goods so we are reaching the people we need to reach. The only UK 'pro-smoking' group to also promote our advice to shopper is F2C ... the others continue to ignore the plight of cross-border shoppers and stay silent. Daytriipper site also promotes our advice. So, thanks Real Tobacco, F2C and Daytripper!

There's also one other group l should mention and that's 'you' the readers. You too are giving out our info cards. We thank all of you for doing this but l suspect the people you give them to will thank you more ... especially if they get stopped by UK Customs. Together we'll continue to try and get others onboard such as coach companies, ferry companies, tour operators, airlines etc etc. Everyone that does we shall publish it.

We are a growing number of true friends and voices of the smoker. Together we are making a difference and we are winning. We shall continue to strive for more victories.

Stay safe! ... and keep fighting!

lf you need more advice, please get in touch with us  by joining our FORUM


  1. hi everyone i read all notes on this website and decided after ukba took our 6 x 10 amberleaf at lba airport last we did all the appropraiate actions all the appeals then got to the point where we was waiting for the court hearing date then yesturday got a letter from them offering to settle out of court great success it just proves if you belive they are wrong in taking our beloved cigs or bacca take it all the way we did also find a solictor that was going to do this on a no win no fee agreement so better for us,how can some plonk in a yellow jacket say "they dont belive my income could pay for the cigs"who the hell does he think he is he doesnt know me or my income and outcome,so i would say challenge the ukba they have no right in telling me my cigs arent for me they dont live with us so shut your face ukba and get a life you sados

  2. Don't be wrongly Branded a Smuggler cards also available from Martine British Discount Tobacco 33 Vintictivlaan OSTEND bobi

  3. It would be very useful if there was a list of solicitors that have previously expressed a willingness to take on HMRC/UKBA/UKBF (or whatever they're calling themselves this month) in court. Preferably on a no-win-no-fee basis. I, for one, would be straight on the phone to the nearest to me!

  4. i hope you guys realise there's a 200 cig limit if bringing outside the EU

  5. Grateful thanks for all your efforts in fighting the corrupt UK Customs , lying , perjuring , thieving , robbing filth .
    I have a bullet for them all .

  6. Hi guys....I'm new here and just came across your site. i'm very upset and hope you can help me. I had a horrible end to my holiday yesterday - I was stopped at uk customs after arriving from turkey and had 1800 cigarrettes (600 of which belonged to my friend who was travelling with me) seized. As it was all in my suitcase, the seizure was put under my name. I never normally buy cigarrettes in duty free (these were for me and some for gifts) so was perhaps a bit stupid and thought it was ok to buy this amount. I was advised in Dalaman airport that it was ok and, most frustratingly, on my flight back where I bought a 600 pack, I took the advice of the steward that this amount was fine and clearly wasn't attempting to smuggle as i was carrying this purchase in a carrier bag in my hand, clear for all to see! I know it was stupid of me to not to check the rules but I was naive enough to take the advice of airport and airline staff that it was ok! The (horrible) customs guy said the airline should not even have sold me a 600 pack on the plane. I am truly baffled and very upset as I am now over £200 out of pocket over this. Please can you advise if there is any way I can get my goods or money back? Thank you.

    1. Hi, please join the forum ... it's free and we have many experienced members there that will advise you.


  7. I have purchased some cigarettes online from a company named cheap tobacco online. I Paid for the cigarettes and have just received a letter from the post seizure unit of the boarder force agency saying they have seized the goods because they say the goods were not declared or were not as per the declaration and that the goods did not have the fiscal mark on them. Can you tell me where I stand as I would have thought the internet company should have dealt with this, thanks

    1. Distance purchases via the internet are not allowed whether they had the fiscal marks on them or not. Customs will seize and keep these goods.

  8. Hi, pls can u giv me a contact no. Really need to speak to sum1 about seizure of my cigarettes n clothes. Thanks

  9. Hi, I do think this is a great site. I stumbledupon it ;) I may come back once again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be

    rich and continue to guide other people.

    No Win No Fee Solicitors

  10. hi.. im a newbe on here .. but im so mad at customs .. my husband and I have just arrived back from Belgium with 10 sleeves of tobacco each and theyv taken it all.. I no we are only allowed 6 but we did say we need it to last till the end of the year if possible .. as we wont be going back .. they didn't believed we smoked even tho I pulled tab ends out of my pocket and went for a ciggy while he was prattling off some where else.. how do I get our baccy back ??

  11. how and where do I get a sar.. im a computer thicky.. so if any1 replies plz make it very simple ty.. need all the help I can get