Smoker? Better get smuggling...
It’s not enough that those rubbernecks up at City Hall got rid of the good old duty-free on fags, or that they have whacked so much tax on UK cigarettes that you are only paying the tobacco company for a little more than the filter’s length, now the Government wants to cut down your duty-paid allowance too.
Strictly speaking, if you happen to be holidaying on the continent and happen to purchase some tobacco products for your own consumption, there is no problem. However, it just so happens that Customs do not consider a transit full of cigarettes to be purely for personal use. They have obviously never met my Grandmother.
Anyway, back in 2002, the Government suggested a guideline limit of 800 cigarettes per person- anything over this limit would be fair game for a Customs exploratory procedure. However, owing to great outrage, gnashing of teeth and naked busty women, not to mention a lawsuit from Hoverspeed, the guideline limit was raised to 3,200 cigarettes and 3kg rolling tobacco.
Now, and this has absolutely nothing to do with the gaping maw of the country’s deficit, the Government have decided people don’t actually need to smoke that much, and are seeking to reintroduce the lower 800 cigarettes and 1kg tobacco limits. Unfortunately this is a number favoured by some of our European neighbours, including Ireland, so, barring another naked Sun protest, this may soon become the accepted practice.
Of course, if you genuinely do smoke 3,200 cigarettes a week/month/year then Customs should allow you to keep your booty after asking you a few question- remember personal consumption purchases are unlimited- but the powers that be have a small, sneaking suspicion that some people may be bringing fags into the UK purely to sell them on the black market. Surely not.