Tobacco: Smuggling

Treasury written question – answered on 28th November 2022.

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Photo of Virendra Sharma Virendra Sharma Labour, Ealing, Southall

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to include Trading Standards officers in the HMRC with the power to fine retailers for selling illicit tobacco products.

Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge The Exchequer Secretary

Trading Standards officers are not part of HMRC. They are a separate local government service.

However, HMRC works very closely with TS to tackle illicit tobacco. HMRC introduced legislation for tougher sanctions to tackle illicit tobacco sales in Finance Act 2022 including a new civil penalty of up to £10,000 for serious breaches. The new sanctions will take the innovative approach of HMRC and Trading Standards (TS) both working together to enforce them. Secondary legislation will be introduced next year setting out the detail on how the sanctions will operate.

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