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Government cuts tobacco guidelines

A few weeks ago there was a lively discussion on this blog concerning cross-Channel shopping.

Today the Government will publish Tackling Tobacco Smuggling – building on our success (a renewed strategy for HM Revenue & Customs and the UK Border Agency) and what I feared might happen has been confirmed – the Government is set to reduce the guidelines on the amount of tobacco you can bring into the country for your own personal use.

The Guardian has the story (Treasury to cut duty-free tobacco guidelines in £2bn tax clawback effort). According to the paper:

The proposed change, which sets a guideline limit of 800 cigarettes and 1kg of rolling tobacco, will reignite a battle with campaigners such as smokers' rights group Forest. Simon Clark, director of Forest, described the move as "shocking", noting that current limits of up to 3,200 cigarettes and 3kg of rolling tobacco were set in 2002 after an attempt to clamp down further met with outrage and legal challenges.

Treasury minister Justine Greening is to set out plans to slash existing guideline limits, bringing them in line with Ireland and many other parts of Europe. "It doesn't actually change the rules," she said. "People who are holidaymakers or travellers from the UK, who maybe want to bring back some cigarettes when they come home for personal use, they are not affected at all. But we do believe this will do is start to deter those people who are actually just using minimum indicative levels as a way of bringing in wholesale amounts of cigarettes."

"The levels people [will still be able to] bring in are more than enough for their own personal use — that is not something we would, or should, challenge."

This claim was immediately challenged by Clark said: "The Labour government was forced to increase the limit from 800 to 3,200 because there was chaos at airports and ports around the country, with goods and vehicles being seized all over the place. We have absolutely been there with the 800 guideline. It didn't work."

I understand the Government's position. They want to reduce the £2.2bn lost to tobacco smugglers each year. But this isn't the way to do it. The people they should be targetting are the criminals who smuggle millions of cigarettes into Britain each year.

Reducing the guidelines won't stop some of our more determined friends who know the law, can prove that the tobacco is for their own use, and aren't afraid to argue with Customs officials. But many more people will have their luggage and their cars searched and I won't be surprised if a lot more law-abiding shoppers have their goods seized in the months and years ahead.

To put the 'new' strategy in perspective, it threatens to take us back to the days when thousands of cross-Channel shoppers were victims, we felt, of over-zealous officials whose heavy-handed attempts to crack down on genuine smugglers caused a great deal of anger among ordinary, law-abiding consumers.

The Government can't have it both ways. Having only recently increased tobacco taxation above the rate of inflation, it is only natural that more people will take the opportunity to buy their tobacco, quite legally, abroad.

I understand that cigarettes will keep for at least 12 months. A 20-a-day smoker will consume 3,200 cigarettes in 160 days; the same person will consume 800 cigarettes in just 40 days. The current guideline (3,200) is a reasonable compromise that most people can live with. The new guideline is unreasonable and, if history is a guide, will cause more problems than it solves.

Politicians never learn, do they?

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Reader Comments (39)

"The Guardian has the story (Treasury to cut duty-free tobacco guidelines in £2bn tax clawback effort)."

Errr, duty free? lt's nothing to do with duty free, the guidelines are for duty paid goods in the EU.
I do wish they'd get their facts right ... and allow comments!

lmperial Tobacco have stated shelf life of cigarettes is a minimum of 2 years. Tobacco can be kept fresh for years with a little care.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 10:34 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

Not to mention that people may legitimately bring in personal gifts for friends and relatives of a similar quantity to their own consumption.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 10:42 | Unregistered CommenterCurmudgeon

That goes without saying Curmudgeon. Reduced guidelines have no bearing whatsoever in EU law and people should not be intimidated by it. We certainly won't be!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 10:59 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

If the government want to increase their tax receipts from our spending habits, there would be no easier way than to allow smokers back into pubs.
Every closed pub generates NIL income.
As for reducing the limit of cigs brought into the country many people will just travel abroad more often thus resulting in even less money spent in the UK.
If they really want us all to buy from the UK they should lower the tax to reasonable levels so that there would be no need to purchase from other countries. Simple.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 11:10 | Unregistered Commentersheila


There is no legal limit ... period!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 11:37 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

At least with a new, well publicised, lower guideline, those bringing back 1kg of tobacco shouldn't be worried about having it confiscated. I do think it is unreasonable. The previous, six months supply, seemed about right.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 12:12 | Unregistered CommenterJon


l don't care how well publicised it is ... it means nothing. The LAW hasn't changed, just guidelines. As for your belief that your goods are safe because you kept within these meaningless guidelines ... best of luck with that. People have goods taken off them below the guidelines!

Jeez, this so annoys me how easily my fellow citizens kowtow to 'authority'.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 12:42 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

Sorry this won't be a popular comment but can't any of you see that as long as you keep supporting the Tories they are not getting the message that this issue matters and has gone way too far and the persecution WILL continue and get worse!

Some smokers talk about caring more about policies such as health, education and crime - but can't you see that our kids are being brainwashed in schools which are teaching them to hate smokers, health funds are being thrown down the drain because of the obsession with smoking, smokers will be denied health care if this rot does not stop now, and we are not far from being criminalised!

Get these basic services back to proper order before you can even think of improving them and stop using concerns that a vote against the LiblabCon will damage these services which are actively working against you. Wake up!

Only by the threat of losing support, votes and power will the Tories wake up from whatever stupid drug they've been fed by the unelected Big P quangos and self interest charities. MAKE THEM LISTEN and stop apologising and making excuses for them or I'll go back to my roots and vote Labour because it doesn't matter as their policies here are identical!

SH - the Resistance Campaign needs to be amended - Join the Resistance - Grow Your Own and stop funding state hate against smokers!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 12:47 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

So Simon, what's your advice to EU shoppers now?

Keep within these new guidelines or ignore them?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 13:03 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

@Smoking Hot

Guidelines do have a significant bearing in both EU and UK Law, the same being “a point of evidence”, that any Customs or Court will take into account when arriving at a decision.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 13:13 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

SH, I understand what you are saying. I've looked at your website and it's clear that people have goods confiscated even below the current guidelines. I'm amazed what the UKBA get away with their gangster-like behaviour. However, if new guidelines are set, the accompanying publicity should ensure that people can bring in that amount without harassment. If someone can show they smoke, it will be a lot more difficult for the UKBA to justify confiscating two months' supply, rather than six. I know that guidelines are just that; and that it should be possible to bring in a year's supply if it is for your own use and I admire people who insist on making a point of doing so. But for those who just want to defray some of the cost of smoking, without putting up with a lot of stress, the new guidelines might not be such a disaster. I know this sounds defeatist, but I'm being pragmatic. I can't see it making much difference to the "corner shop" price in the North of England.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 14:14 | Unregistered CommenterJon


Private individuals returning to the UK with excisable goods acquired within the EU, the excise duty treatment of those goods is dependent upon the purpose of the import, whether commercial or private. In Article 9(2) of Directive 92/12/EEC, instructions are given on how to proceed when establishing this purpose, setting out certain criteria that the individual must satisfy in order that customs are convinced that the import is not commercial.

Each EU member state may lay down their own guideline levels, and the same must solely be used as a form of evidence, and determination of seizure must not be based upon a single criterion, quantity alone.

So Jon, whether a private individual is stopped entering the UK with excisable goods below, above or of guideline quantise, if customs are not convinced that the import is not commercial, then the goods may be seized.

By reverting back to the 1993 guidelines introduced in the EU Directive 92/12/EC., the UK Treasury has corrected the mistake previously made by the last labour government.

Lastly Jon, you are also correct in saying “I can't see it making much difference to the "corner shop" price in the North of England.”, since with cuts made in UKBA’s resources, the reduction in guidelines allow shoppers to travel more frequently .

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 14:49 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

@ Doug

l wonder if you have actual experience of the policies and tactics that UKBA operate with regards to EU duty paid excise goods? My own experiences and many others like me reveal that the UKBA believe they are a law unto themselves and are answerable to no-one.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 15:28 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

@ Jon

l understand why people take the less troublesome route but that is how bad laws/regs come into force.

However, also consider this, the average smoker smokes 20 a day. That equates to 7300 per year. Going with your approach that would mean 10 trips abroad per year? ls that really feasable? lf your home budget was being run by a financial adviser they would tell you to buy as many as you could afford in one trip.That's simple economics

This lowering of the guidelines is aimed at the cross-border shopper. The Gov/UKBA know that the majority of these are legitimate shoppers. By reducing these shioppers trips and amounts they buy the Gov/UKBA hope that these shoppers then buy their cigarettes/tobacco from the UK retailers.The reality is that they will probably end up as a 'white van man' customer. Smugglers will not be at all concerned about the reduction in guidelines ... but will reap the benefits

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 15:51 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

@Smoking Hot

Yes, I have a considerable amount of experience in dealing with UKBA (formerly HMCE).

Smoking Hot, unfortunately you have not thought through the advantages to the frequent shopper in the reductions in quantities to the UK guidelines. Therefore perhaps you need reminding why the last labour government increased the cigarette guidelines from 800 to 3200, and tobacco, HRT from 1 kg to 3 kgs. Firstly, UK customs simply did not have the resources to stop every single shopper, traveller on every single trip, so if that shopper/traveller was not intercepted/stopped on the first trip, there had to be a reason to seize on any subsequent and frequent trip.

So with the above in mind, customs took an average smoker, smoking 20 cigarettes a day, equalled a smoking consumption for approximately 3 months (160 days), so in practice saying any traveller stopped who had travelled more than once, twice, three times etc. in the past 6 months, was a frequent traveller, hence a criteria for seizure.

UKBA might now have better data intelligence, they simply do not have the man power resources to stop, seize every frequent shoppers excise goods, with the reduction in guidelines giving the smoker more reason, excuses to travel.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 16:11 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

@ Doug

Yeah right, good luck with that.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 16:21 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot


The UK government should never have increased the UK guidelines, thereby keeping to the same guidelines set out in the EU Directive 92/12/EC.

Under the guidelines of 3200 cigarettes and 3 kgs of HRT, frequency of travel was a frequent reason given by UKBA for seizing goods, particularly when customs compared the shopper’s (reported) smoking consumption, and then made the assumption that on each previous trip, the shopper had also imported the same guideline quantities.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 17:23 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

@ Smoking Hot

Do I recall that you mentioned a recent judgement where a judge has ruled that it is not in order for Customs to stop people who are journeying within the EU on suspicion? That they have to have specific reason to believe that a person is acting criminally? The mere fact that a person travels frequently around and between EU countries is meaningless in itself. Take Simon himself, for example. He frequently flies to Ireland, Spain, etc in pursuit of his duties. And what about the EU officials and MEPs?

The guidelines are meaningless if they are based upon an average. I am not an average smoker (in the sense of 20 a day (nor is my wife). We smoke at least 40 a day. That is our choice. (Oh, and I am 71 and in very good working order, thank you). We go on holiday 3 or 4 times a year and we buy as many fags as we can fit into our cases. Duty is paid and they are for our own use.

The only real function of guidelines is in respect of the rare occurrence of a person trying to bring in a lorry load of millions. Even then, Customs's objections would not be based upon guidelines.

It is another meaningless scare tactic - propaganda and publicity.

Having said that, I suppose that I ought to read the damn thing properly first!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 18:41 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

EC/2008/118 replaced 92/12


Yes l do, however if the seizure of goods is deemed legal, the seizure still stands whether the initial stop and search is illegal or not. Hence, UKBA ignore it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 19:41 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

I must say my sympathies are with Smoking Hot here. I appreciate it takes some courage to stand up to the the UKBA but I am afraid that is what is needed. In my dreams me and SH set up a stall next to the UKBA in Dover Customs and offer to act as witnesses and advise people how to deal with them and the chap who taped his conversations have copies of the apologies when they have incorrectly stopped people.

The only winners here will be the Jin Ling and counterfeit importers, i.e. the real criminals. I for one are even more determined to get my tobacco abroad.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 20:27 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

You have me scratching my head now, Smoking Hot.

If a stop is illegal, how can a search be legal, and how can an interrogation (interview) be legal?

Do you know of any case history?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 22:10 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

I see that the Guardian has now removed the reference to 'duty free'.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 22:18 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

@ Junican

"The only issue before the court is that concerning commercial or personal use. The action is against the goods, in rem, and not against the individual. As a result, the reason why an individual was stopped falls away as being irrelevant to the matter the court has to decide.

Similarly, the seizure of the goods cannot be regarded as axiomatically invalid, merely because it occurred as a result of a check that was invalid or unlawful. [See, Customs and Excise Commissioners v. Atkinson, Dore and Binns [2003] EWHC Admin 421; Customs and Excise Commissioners v. Newbury [2002] 2 All ER 964 (DC) (at para.5) and Hoverspeed v. Customs and Excise Commissioners [2002] EWCA Civ 1804 at paras.44-49.]

The Court of Appeal ruled in the case of Hoverspeed that no link between the legality of the stop and the legality of any subsequent seizure “can or should in our view be read into the provisions of CEMA” (para.48).

In so finding, the court held that it did not, “see any unfairness in the seizure of the goods liable to forfeiture, even though their presence happens only to be discovered in the course of an unlawful check. That may be bad luck, but it is not unfair.”

See here

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 23:54 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

@ Simon

l have been relaibly informed that :-

"Clark is very much restricted on what he can say or do. He is a PR man funded by a tobacco industry which, in turn, is completely stuffed by gagging from HMG and the EU. He is forced to tread on eggshells every day. All he can do is raise awareness of issues concerning tobacco and get them out in the open where the MSM doesn't alow them to be. In that, I think he does a great job."

So, as the founder of Nothing2Declare which has no gagging or restraints, l shall leave you in peace. By peace, l mean l shall no longer put you on the spot but l will continue to pull you up on anything not factual or correct ... such as your original headline this morning and the other that l pm'd you about.


Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 0:23 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

Must proof

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 0:24 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

If we are to be denied the minor benefits of EU membership then it adds to the argument to leave it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 0:51 | Unregistered Commenterwoodsy42

Right SH

The thing is that I thought that the 'judgement' regarding stopping people was much more recent than that.

I quickly read the last of your URLs. The legal guff is dated Apr 2010, and therefore is 'recent'. However, the guff refers back to a case in 1999, which seems to have outlined a procedure that Customs should use - ONCE THEY HAVE STOPPED SOMEONE. One of the provisions is that the 'traveller' will be assumed to be in the wrong if he does not answer the questions. The article (in a later section) does indeed mention the legality of the stop and says that the legality of the stop and the forfeiture of goods are two different things. But I am not sure. The case was A CIVIL case between Hovercraft and Customs. Being a CIVIL case, the particular facts of the case would have been paramount. Whatever 'law' came out of that case would have referred to the specific circumstances.

I do not know what the particular circumstances were, but I can quite imagine the possibility of a 'traveller' bringing in a ten ton lorry load of fags and saying that they are for his own use. I would imagine that we can see a difference between that case and an individual carrying a suitcase (or two, or three). In those circumstances, if they apply to the channel tunnel, I can well understand there being a 'grey area' between one situation and the other. I can also see the possibility of the 'illegality' being 'technical'.

Can you tell me, SH, when the judgement of which you spoke occurred? And if possible give me a reference? If you cannot, it does not matter. Sometimes, finding out these things is like getting blood out of a stone.

By the way. I used 'freedom of info' to ask the Health Dept WHO signed the 'Framework on Tobacco Control' stuff on behalf of the UK. They would not say, but they said that it was 'an official' of the Foreign Office - ask them. I asked also when the matter was discussed in Parliament. They have given me some references to Hansard.

But that is by the way. Worth pursuing I think. Who was the arsehole who was the cause of the suffering of millions of Englishmen!

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 1:53 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Junican: "Do you know of any case history?"

Ex Turpe Causa? Nobody is allowed to benefit in any way from an illegal act. Unless there is other case Law to exclude UKBA, wouldn't this stand?

It comes from the 17th Century when one highwayman tried to sue another for his share of the loot.

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 7:21 | Unregistered CommenterFrank

@ Junican

No, l'm sorry l don't have the reference. What l do have is the strategy announced yesterday. Cross Border shoppers are a specific target and also they intend to stop as much as possible UK brands being available in the EU. So much for free trade eh?

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 10:33 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

Thanks SH.

I have saved that document.

The whole document has ASH written all over it, doesn't it? Is there any government department which has not been infiltrated?

Did you notice this?:

""4.31 We will reduce the minimum indicative levels 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.""

And then this footnote:

""There are no limits to volumes of tobacco travellers can bring back from the EU provided the goods are transported by them and are for their own use. However, Member States can set guide levels for determining whether the goods are for personal use. The UK levels are currently set at 3200 cigarettes and 3Kg of hand-rolling tobacco.""

Taking those two items together, there are some very curious and rather illogical statements there.

1. There is no limit for personal use.
2. But the UK can set a 'guide level' for personal use.
.......Question: Is the 'guide level' a mandatory quantity?
......................Does the 'guide level' apply per trip?
3. A new 'guide level' of 800 fags from autumn. The purpose is to deter criminal intents.
.......Question: Does this new level apply to people without criminal intents?
......................Is it mandatory?
......................What is the reason for applying this level to non-criminals who are carrying their
......................own luggage and going about their lawful business?

What I can see happening is this:

In the autumn, Customs will make a point of stopping a lot of individuals. There will be much to-do in the press and some people will be prosecuted - all totally cynically. The vast majority of holiday makers will be terrified and will thereafter comply. Classic nazi methods once again.

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 21:22 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

There are many decent brands of tobacco in Belgium that are similar if not better than Golden Virginia or Amber leaf. The plus is that they are cheaper and in plentiful supply unlike G.V. and A.L.
Imperial tobacco bowed down to UK Customs and reduced the supply of 'British' tobacco to Belgium.
So we all need to stuff Imperial Tobacco where it hurts them (pocket)

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 21:29 | Unregistered CommenterSandra

I always notice how things are based on the '20 a day' notion. ie guiedlines for personal use and also info on nicotine gum strength. This '20 a day' theory existed when I was a youngster in the early 1960s. SInce then, the amount of nicotine in a cigarette has dropped enormously. 90% of cigarettes, possibly more, are now filter tipped. The amount of tobacco in a cigarette has been replaced by other toxic combustables, like tree bark for example. This is to reduce the amount of tar by 30%, 50% , 100%, even more! Reducing the tar also reduces the nicotine. This is why the average smoker is now on at least 30 or 40 a day.

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 22:42 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

Quite right, Sandra.

Some years ago, I noticed that UK brands are usually at least 25% pricier that 'local' brands. But the local brands are not crap. In Spain, I found Palace - a Japan Int cig - perfectly ok. In Greek Islands, Karelia - similar. Back in Spain, Palace disappeared but Coronas appeared. In Prague, I found Red & White - also Japan Int. Earlier this month, Coronas were 35 euros, Lambert were at least 48. (The Red & White were about 25).

Why is it that Brits are so DUMB!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 23:30 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

@ Timbone

At 20 per day, the new guidelines of 800 cigs will last for 40 days. How can such a figure be representative of reasonable personal consumption? Doesn't such a figure actually make a mockery of the idea of 'for personal consumption'?

It strikes me that the only reason for reducing the guideline figure is to legitimise Customs's interrogations. But I still cannot find Smoking Hot's 'judgement' that travellers from the EU can only be stopped for reasons already known (ie. not 'on suspicion').

Interestingly, there is no mention of this in either the DT or the Mail.

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 23:57 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Yes Junican. In Spain the prices are according to the popularity with British consumers. Although I smoke roll ups at home, when I am in Spain I tend to byt some 'tailor mades'. I usualy go for Ronson. 25 in a pack, lower end price wise, and a damn good smoke.

Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 23:59 | Unregistered Commentertimbone

Junican ... 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 citeria 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 and the law.

The judgement you are looking for is Hoverspeed v HMRC and the subsequent appeal l think.

Friday, April 29, 2011 at 0:19 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

Cheers, SH. I will try to look that one up. I have seen that one mentioned - but not tonight!

Here is something to amuse you which I found by accident while looking for the above. It comes from the Rev and Customs web site:

""2.9 Must private individuals pay duty on tobacco products made from tobacco which they grow themselves?
Yes. A private individual must pay the duty on any tobacco products that they make from tobacco which they have grown. This applies whether the tobacco products are intended for sale or solely for the grower’s own consumption. Anyone intending to manufacture tobacco products must comply with the conditions set out in this notice. You must register the premises which you use to make tobacco and complete form TP7A to account for all tobacco products that you have manufactured for your own consumption and on which duty is due.""

The slimy slugs of Tobacco Control are getting everywhere and eating every freedom we posses. Note how our own homes are re-defined as 'premises to be registered'. Anyone fancy a pint of home brew? Home brew equals 'alcoholic beverages manufactured on private premises, which must be registered'.

The Slimy Slugs are getting every where. (The nazi SS).

I like that phrase for ASH and Tobacco Control. SLIMY SLUGS just about sums them up.

Friday, April 29, 2011 at 2:31 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

Yes SH. I listened to your interviews and read your site.

When I went to Majorca earlier this month and before that to Prague, I prepared myself thus:

1. I wrote a letter to my MP (by recorded delivery) mentioning that I had heard that people were being harassed. I asked her to take note that I had made a declaration to her that any dutiable goods I buy in the EU are for the sole use of myself and wife.
2. I took a picture of the cupboard at home in which we keep our stock.
3. I took a photocopy of my bank statement showing that I could afford the cost and showing the currency withdrawal.

(By the way, I received a not unsympathetic reply from the MP in question - although non-committal, of course!)
I think that you recommended a couple of the above on your site.

Anything to defeat the SS (Slimy Slugs) Tobacco Control.

Friday, April 29, 2011 at 17:10 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

@ Junican

"(v) That prima facie individuals and their excise goods must be free to travel across internal frontiers of the European Community without being impeded and delayed by checks for excise duty purposes, although such checks may be made where grounds of reasonable suspicion exist on an individualised basis (para 183);"

"(vii) that because Customs and Excise did not explain to the court the reasons why they stopped Mr and Mrs Andrews and Mr Wilkinson in their car, and because they suggested in their evidence that they might stop passengers for legally inadmissible reasons (paras 192-3), they did not prove to the court that there were reasonable grounds for stopping the car and questioning the occupants. The goods in it should therefore not have been seized. Nor should the car. In any event Customs’ refusal to return the car to Miss Andrews without even considering whether it might be restored to her on payment of an appropriately proportionate sum represented a disproportionate response (para 194)."

l've e-mailed you but if it's wrong e-mail address e-mail me and l'll send you the docs.

Monday, May 2, 2011 at 19:47 | Unregistered CommenterSmoking Hot

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