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HMRC internal manual

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

Notified Seizures: Informing a tobacco manufacturer that a notified seizure has been made



Where Detection make a notifiable seizure, TST must inform the tobacco manufacturer of this in writing and enclose the required sample of the product. If there is an unavoidable delay in notification, TST must issue an initial electronic notice to the tobacco manufacturer, if this is not already done as a matter of course in respect of all notified seizures.

However, for the purposes of the controls a notification is not deemed to have been made until the written notification and sample has been dispatched to the tobacco manufacturer.

The written notification must include the following information:


  • the date of seizure;
  • the location where the seizure was made;
  • the form of transport for example, car, container;
  • where known, the location from which the seizure originated;
  • the nature of HMRC’s concerns and (if known) how it is believed the product was smuggled;
  • the make up of the seizure, such as, brands and quantities;
  • where the seizure is being held;
  • details of how the tobacco manufacturer can arrange to inspect the seizure; and
  • any other specific information or arrangements that you have made with the tobacco manufacturers.

The date of dispatch of the sample and written notification must be recorded by the TST. This is the start date for the one-month calendar period within which a tobacco manufacturer must provide us with information on that seizure, and within which they may opt to inspect the seizure.

The TST must keep a record of the date the written notification was sent to the tobacco manufacturer, as the seizure must be retained for at least one calendar month from that date, not the date the seizure was made.