Policy paper

Draft legislation: Raw Tobacco Approval Scheme

Draft legislation on the technical consultation of the Raw Tobacco Approval Scheme Regulations which sets out the framework of the scheme.



At March Budget 2015, following consultation, the Government announced its intention to introduce an approval scheme to tighten controls on the use of raw tobacco in order to reduce the risk of evasion. Primary legislation was introduced in the Finance Act 2016 which requires those carrying on a “controlled activity” in relation to raw tobacco to be approved by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The regulations make provision for:

  • applications for approval to carry on any activity involving raw tobacco
  • conditions and restrictions which may apply to such an approval
  • certain exemptions from the requirement to be approved
  • certain enforcement provisions to apply

HMRC has published draft regulations together with a draft explanatory memorandum for a period of technical consultation, which will close on 14 November 2016.

Full details of the scheme will be available in a published notice prior to January 2017 when we will start to accept applications for approval, before the scheme goes live on 1 April 2017. The information will be available on GOV.UK.

Any comments on this draft should be sent to Wendy Longworth by email: wendy.longworth@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk or on Telephone: 03000 587927.

Published 16 September 2016