The joint HMRC/Border Force strategy to tackle tobacco smuggling has been successful in driving a consistent and sustained reduction in the illicit market in the UK, reducing the market share for illicit cigarettes by more than half and hand-rolling tobacco by one-third since 2000.
The latest tobacco anti-fraud strategy ‘Tackling Tobacco Smuggling – building on our successes’ was launched in April 2011. Its objective is to achieve further sustainable downward pressure on the illicit market in cigarettes through to 2015. A copy was placed in the House of Commons library at that time.
In 2013/14, HMRC referred 328 cases for prosecution and seized 1,437 million cigarettes and 330 tonnes of hand-rolling tobacco.