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HMRC internal manual

Tobacco Products Duty

Security: physical and financial: Security awareness: revenue warnings

All persons in registered premises should be aware that duty may not have been paid on the tobacco products in those premises. They should know that illicit removal would involve a revenue offence for which they may be prosecuted. The persons concerned include not only the occupier’s employees but also all visitors, maintenance contractors, refuse collectors, and any other persons having authorised access to the premises. All persons handling products for transfer to other registered premises, for warehousing, for exportation, for destruction, for research etc should also be so informed. This is important because the success of a revenue prosecution in, for example, a case of theft may depend to a large extent upon the Crown being able to demonstrate to the court that the defendant had full knowledge that duty had not been paid on the stolen products.

The necessary information can be broadcast by use of Notice 70, which should be displayed in strategic locations throughout the registered premises. The manufacturer may use their own notice, provided it includes a similar warning. If the display of notices causes problems (eg because of likely labour difficulties) alternative arrangements for ensuring that all persons are properly made aware of the duty position, should be made. Persons involved in the handling of duty-free products, which are lawfully removed from the registered premises, should also be informed of the duty position.