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HMRC internal manual

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

Drafting an initial notice



  1. The initial notice should state which aspect of the section 7A(1) duty the Commissioners consider that the manufacturer may have breached. This should be as specific as possible. The initial notice should draw attention to the particular customers who are supplying large quantities of goods which are subsequently seized by HMRC.
  2. Before issuing an initial notice, the LB Tobacco Sector Lead and the LB Tobacco Anti Smuggling Compliance Manager should give consideration to all of the factors listed in Section 7B(2). The initial notice should specify that we have taken into account all of the factors listed. It should go on to specify the specific issues which have led to the issue of an initial notice. For example:


* evidence about the level of demand for the manufacturers’ products (i.e. (2)(g));  
* the level of seizures of a product.

It is vital that Tobacco Policy, the Tobacco Sector Lead and the LB Tobacco Anti Smuggling Compliance Manager are in agreement that an initial notice should be issued. Solicitors should also be consulted at an early stage to ensure that they are satisfied that sufficient grounds to issue the notice exist. The initial notice should not be issued before solicitor’s advice has been sought.