The Cross-Border Shopper is a target for the UKBA/HMRC. If you are a Cross-Border Shopper buying tobacco/cigarettes you become a PRIME target for UKBA/HMRC.

The problem is you are an EASY target for HMRC/UKBA because you are not prepared for the tactics used to seize your goods. The majority of cross-border shoppers think it won't happen to them because they are doing nothing wrong and they trust the integrity and honesty of the HMRC/UKBA. Well, let me tell you for a fact that that trust is grossly misplaced.

HM Customs did have honesty and integrity but over the years since we became part of the EU those standards have all but disappeared in our view as no longer do we have HM Customs.  They became HMRC and then the part of HMRC that dealt with Border Controls and Customs was merged with the BIA (Border Immigration Agency) to become the UKBA (HMRC still retain their name within UKBA but to what degree and in what areas is hard to know). So we'll refer to them simply as the UKBA.

Our advice is simple DO NOT TRUST THE UKBA, do so at your peril.

So, what do you do? The answer is you have to look after yourself because politicians, the MSM, Libertarian and Freedom groups, Tobacco Companies, Ferry Companies etc etc are simply not interested in your plight and UKBA take full advantage of this. You have to PROTECT yourself..

Firstly become aware of what you are up against by reading and taking note of the info we provide in the leaflet Do NOT Be Wrongly Branded A Smuggler

Then prepare for your trip by using the spreadsheet Personal Use Calculator for Cigs/Baccy

Then do a Statement of Truth as described here Statement of Truth for Cross-Border Shoppers

Most important is that if you are stopped, searched and then interviewed interrogated by UKBA, you MUST RECORD the interview interrogation with your recorder, phone, video camera or whatever. Do NOT be intimidated into not recording, it is your RIGHT to do so. UKBA know this and it is in their own procedures that they MUST follow so they CANNOT refuse you.

Do NOT sign their notebook under any circumstances ... period. If you sign the UKBA Officers notebook as they request 'as a true and factual account of the interview' it WILL be used against you in your appeal. We don't know of any solicitor who would advise their clients to sign this notebook in those circumstances ... period! Do NOT sign the notebook!

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

Stay safe!


  1. great site but how about advice and calculators etc for alcohol purchases too? please!

  2. @bingo Customs ain't interested in alcohol, it's just the baccy.

  3. just a question, How many times a year can I travel to get my baccy? as at the minute we go 2 times a year and i'm finding it's not enough as a pouch only last's me 2-3 day's.
    Ady, Leicester.

  4. Either buy more on the 2 occasions you go or go a 3rd time. You can travel as often as you like for personal use and gifts.

  5. i was stopped about 5 weeks ago & i had 14 packs of 550 grammes golden virginia tobbaco which was 7 kilogrammes in toatl.i was interviwed for 2 hours in which they asked me who the tobbaco was for & i told them it was for my brother&nephew & it was a gift for them&i was receiving no monies for it for them ,they asked me lots of questions like,what i did for aliving,what was my salary,did i have any savings,how much did i spend every month,how many times i go abroad,when was the last time i went abroad,did i bring any goods back the last time i went abroad,was i travelling alone,i was asked to sign the notebook as it was all written down&not recorded on tape or cd.i have since been abroad twice as i have a propery abroad&i have been stopped both times&been questioned&had my bag searchedi but i was not carrying any goods at all have complained to the highest ranking officer the last time i got stopped&asked him for a complaints form&he gave me his rank&collar number

  6. Would it not be a better idea to actually sign their note book and at the same time alter it to read that you do not accept it as a true and accurate record of the proceedings as according to their own procedure's they are allowed to alter/amend it after you've signed it & not in your presence?.

  7. Hi. here is something as bit different for you. Its about baccy, but whole leaf tobacco. A friend of mine imports whole leaf tobacco from various European countries, and then sells it to people around the country. The guy is Polish, and a very honest and decent guy, has a nice family and home. When he imports the tobacco, he pays the duty, VAT and on top of that, he pays his tax on what he makes from selling the tobacco. He is also registered as a business selling WHOLE LEAF, unprocessed tobacco.

    a week ago he had a visit from the UKBA Nazis and seized his stock. Baring in mind that what he was selling is an agricultural product.

    I will try and get him to write a proper account as to what happened and how they went about it.
    Is there anyone here who can advise this guy as he has contacted various solicitors but they just came out with the usual crap that they are busy and cant do anything till god knows when.

    Cheers guys

  8. iv just had 800 cigs seized by a bf officer. I was subjected to what I can only say was a aggressive interrogation on the spot, and then taken to an interview room and intimidated and aggressivly interviewed further.....
    my goods were seized unfortunately I signed the note never been I this situation before haven't brought this many in a few years. normally 200 as and when I fly.....
    I am a social smoker and I give some to a family member ...I made the mistake of saying he washes my car!! officer said don't believe they are for you.
    His note book says he believed for commercial purpose.He never ever said this to me..
    I have been suspended from work as its gross misconduct, and it looks like I will be losing my job!!
    so because of his opinion I am now going to be unemployed....
    Any advice I am doing the notice of claim and restoration and a complaint about the way in which he intimidated me ...... why would I risk losing my job of 17 years? I brought in my gga I have receipts for previous purchases and a genuine reason for purchasing 800 ......please any help I am in bits ....

    1. Join N2D's forum mate. You'll get all the help you need there. None better , believe me.