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House of Commons Home Affairs Committee

Tobacco smuggling First Report of Session 2014–15

HC 200

House of Commons Home Affairs Committee

Tobacco smuggling First Report of Session 2014–15 Report, together with formal minutes and oral evidence Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 11 June 2014

HC 200 [Incorporating HC 614, 2013---14] Published on 14 June 2014 by authority of the House of Commons London: The Stationery Office Limited £9.00

Home Affairs Committee The Home Affairs Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration, and policy of the Home Office and its associated public bodies. Current membership Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP (Labour, Leicester East) (Chair) Ian Austin MP (Labour, Dudley North) Nicola Blackwood MP (Conservative, Oxford West and Abingdon) James Clappison MP (Conservative, Hertsmere) Michael Ellis MP (Conservative, Northampton North) Paul Flynn MP (Labour, Newport West) Lorraine Fullbrook MP (Conservative, South Ribble) Dr Julian Huppert MP (Liberal Democrat, Cambridge) Yasmin Qureshi MP (Labour, Bolton South East) Mark Reckless MP (Conservative, Rochester and Strood) Mr David Winnick MP (Labour, Walsall North) The following Members were also members of the Committee during the Parliament. Rt Hon Alun Michael (Labour & Co-operative, Cardiff South and Penarth) Karl Turner MP (Labour, Kingston upon Hull East) Steve McCabe MP (Labour, Birmingham Selly Oak) Bridget Phillipson MP (Labour, Houghton and Sunderland South) Chris Ruane MP (Labour, Vale of Clwyd) Powers The Committee is one of the departmental select committees, the powers of which are set out in House of Commons Standing Orders, principally in SO No 152. These are available on the Internet via Publication The Reports and evidence of the Committee are published by The Stationery Office by Order of the House. All publications of the Committee (including press notices) are on the Internet at Committee staff The current staff of the Committee are Tom Healey (Clerk), John-Paul Flaherty (Second Clerk), Dr Ruth Martin (Committee Specialist), Duma Langton (Committee Specialist), Andy Boyd (Senior Committee Assistant), Iwona Hankin (Committee Assistant) and Alex Paterson (Select Committee Media Officer). Contacts All correspondence should be addressed to the Clerk of the Home Affairs Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. The telephone number for general enquiries is 020 7219 2049; the Committee’s email address is [email protected]

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Contents Report


Key Facts




The strategy to tackle tobacco smuggling Arrests, prosecutions and convictions Sanctions Mandatory plain packaging Track and trace technology

5 7 9 11 13






18 18

Excerpt from the Chantler Review

Formal Minutes




List of printed written evidence


List of Reports from the Committee during the current Parliament


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Key Facts •

Tackling Tobacco Smuggling–building on our successes: A renewed strategy for HM Revenue and Customs and the UK Border Agency was published in April 2011. Within the joint strategy, HMRC has overall responsibility for delivery, while Border Force is responsible for the seizure of illicit tobacco at the border.

HMRC estimates that in 2012–13, duty was not paid on around 9% of cigarettes and around 36% of all hand-rolling tobacco smoked in the UK, with associated revenue losses of approximately £2 billion.

The National Audit Office’s June 2013 review, Progre