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HMRC internal manual

Strategic Goods and Services - BIS Export Licensing and Sanctions - General

Particular Goods: Stun guns, electric shock dart guns, electric shock batons, pepper sprays, CS gas sprays and so on

Unlicensed commercial exportations of stun guns, electric shock dart guns, electric shock batons, pepper sprays, CS gas sprays, and so on (and similar goods prohibited under EU Regulation 1236/2005) detected at export from the EU should be seized under Section 68 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979. (Note: ‘Commercial’ in this context may include individual devices (for example, a commercial sample). Seized items should be recorded on CENTAUR as seizures under the ‘Other P & R’ category.

However individual devices are not liable to forfeiture under CEMA 1979 either (i) ‘when accompanying their user for the user’s own personal protection’ (that is a ‘non-commercial’ export) or (ii) when being exported to another EU Member State.

Under these circumstances, possession of the item is prohibited under Section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968. In these cases the goods can be seized by Border Force Officers under Section 19 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and handed over to a police officer, or a police officer should be called to deal with the offence. The decision whether Border Force or the police should deal with such cases is a local operational decision, based on the local availability of police and Border Force officers and local agreements.

However, in all cases of ‘commercial exportation’ (including of an individual commercial sample), Border Force should always make the seizure using their powers under CEMA S.68, as per instruction (1) above.