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HMRC internal manual

Tobacco Products Duty

National Advice Service Enquiries - Unmarked tobacco products imported by Occasional Importers

You may receive enquiries from an Occasional Importer who has received cigarettes or hand-rolling tobacco, which is not fiscally marked. You should contact your Local Fraud Unit immediately and report the details to them.

You must advise the Occasional Importer to keep the tobacco product and not dispose of it. It is very important that they follow your advice because they could be in a very serious situation. It is a breach of regulations to import unmarked cigarettes or HRT to home-use. It is a criminal offence to possess, transport, display, sell, offer for sale, or otherwise deal in unmarked products. (“Unmarked products” means specified tobacco products that do not carry a fiscal mark despite the fact that they are required to carry one.)

You should also advise the Occasional Importer that they must:

  • notify the appropriate C&E Office of the arrival of the goods, as required in section 5.7 of Notice 204 “Occasional Importers - EU trade in excise goods” (unless, of course, you are the appropriate person and office referred to in Notice 204);
  • issue a certificate of receipt, as required in section 5.8 of Notice 204; and
  • submit the C&E 1165 return, as required in section 5.8 of Notice 204.

The Local Fraud Unit will decide on the further action that is necessary and will advise the Occasional Importer accordingly.