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HMRC internal manual

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

Notified Seizures: Seizures that can be disregarded



Where, following written notification of a seizure to a tobacco manufacturer, the manufacturer can show to HMRC’s satisfaction that either the notified seizure:

  • is counterfeit


  •  the products were stolen (from a legitimate supply chain, meeting legitimate needs within a legitimate market);
  • the products had been released back into the market after seizure by the fiscal authorities within another country  


It is necessary to keep a record of which seizures have been disregarded on this basis, as the overall number, size and nature of seizures is a factor that must be considered in the issuing of an initial notice (section TOBCSC7000) and the calculation of any penalty (section TOBCSC8000). This needs to be considered in the overall context of a tobacco manufacturer’s controls and actions not to facilitate smuggling.

It must be stressed that tobacco manufacturers cannot appeal against notified seizures. If a manufacturer wishes to challenge any notified seizure, they may bring the matter to the attention of a Review Officer or a tribunal following the issue of any penalty.