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HMRC internal manual

Tobacco Products Duty

HM Revenue & Customs
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Fiscal Marks: Samples of UK product intended for persons outside the UK

UK manufacturers cannot send samples, which are fiscally marked and duty unpaid, to eitherforeign brand owners or other persons outside the UK.

There may be a trade need to send samples abroad (eg for quality assurance tests) butfiscally marked samples must be duty paid. It may, however, be possible to accommodate thetrade need to send samples abroad without compromising the integrity of the fiscal marksystem. You may discuss the following possibilities with the trader.

  • Duty unpaid cigarette samples may be exported either loose or in packs which do not bear a fiscal mark, subject to normal customs procedures.
  • Empty (preferably unfolded) packets which bear a fiscal mark and which would normally contain the cigarettes may be sent abroad, subject to normal customs procedures;
  • UK duty paid samples may be consigned to other EU Member States provided that: the tax authorities in the Member State of destination have been informed of the pending importation; and either the duty due in the other Member State has been paid or arrangements made for its payment. Any trader wishing to send duty paid samples to another Member State should consult Notice 197 “Excise goods: holding and movement”.
  • Duty paid and fiscally marked samples may be exported to third countries, subject to any normal export procedures.