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HMRC internal manual

Tobacco Products Duty

Security: physical and financial: Search of Officers

You cannot be compelled to submit to a security or other search by the trader or traders’ security staff. You are, of course, at liberty to agree in advance to a search should you be picked at some future time in a random selection routine spot check. Your willingness or unwillingness to submit to random selection searches upon entering or leaving the traders’ premises should be made clear to the trader and his security staff from the outset.

If you do not agree to a search but are nonetheless asked to submit to one, you should ask the trader or company representatives responsible for security for an explanation. Having obtained the reasons you should tell the trader that the request is refused, that the visit to the premises is being made under the provisions of Revenue & Customs legislation and any obstruction could constitute an offence under that legislation. If the trader or security representative insists, you should direct them to contact your senior management (as previously determined locally).