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HMRC internal manual

Tobacco: Anti-smuggling or the duty to avoid facilitating smuggling

Specified brands, countries and persons: Information requirements



TPDA 1979 permits HMRC to ask for any information HMRC believe is required about the supplies of specified brands, countries and or persons. Examples of the kind of information HMRC may consider asking for are:



  • information on sales of specified brands and/or sales to specified countries;
  • information on the codes and pack marks used on supplies of specified brands and/or to specified countries;
  • the tobacco manufacturer’s understanding of domestic and legitimate cross-border consumption for specified brands, or in specified countries;
  • information relating to the introduction of specified brands into new markets;
  • information relating to new customers requesting supplies of specified brands or new customers operating in specified countries;
  • information relating to existing customers and distributors of specified brands or in specified countries;
  • information relating to discontinued distributors and suppliers of specified brands or those that operated in specified countries;
  • such other information relating to specified brands and countries that HMRC may reasonably require.

This list is not exhaustive. The information powers in the legislation are fairly broad and enable the information required in relation to specific brands and specified countries to be tailored to particular risks.

Any failure by a tobacco manufacturer to provide the information required about specified brands, countries and or persons, will inform any decision to issue an initial notice or a penalty notice. It is also one of the factors in the calculation of any penalty.

Tobacco Manufacturers cannot appeal against brands, country or person being specified. This is because brands, countries and persons will be specified on the basis of HMRC’s assessment of the smuggling risk attached to them at the time.