Currently, the sale of raw tobacco is not eligible for tobacco duty under EU rules, as the consultation document explains.
Under current legislation HMRC and Border Force (BF) have limited powers to control the movement of raw tobacco. The relevant European Union Directive does not allow raw tobacco being moved within the EU to be charged with excise duty.Oh-dear-what-a-pity-never-mind.
But, of course, this is really frustrating for politicians who are never truly happy unless they're rifling our pockets. It seems that we are condemned to comply with every regulation the EU fires at us, but when these directives are not harsh enough, our own government steps in to attack us even more. It deserves resisting so please consider doing so.
It appears the thought of people buying raw tobacco - which it is intended will include plants that are still growing - without being punished by extortionate duty rates drives our government mad so it does. Especially since it is on the rise.
Since 2011/12 import data indicates a 100% increase in the volume of raw tobacco being imported from 'third countries' to non-registered tobacco producers, with a total of 64 tonnes being imported in 2013/14. This data does not include tobacco imported from within the EU, this means that the actual total volume entering the UK will be substantially higher.Hence this consultation which is a first step towards putting barriers in front of these sales by way of demanding registration and an explanation of what you are going to do with it, including production of e-liquid which might explain a fair amount of the increased market. Back door regulation like this can only increase costs for vaping businesses and raise retail prices, which I'm sure will make the miserable dinosaurs in 'public health' - who will doubtless swarm this like every other consultation they are paid with our taxes to respond to - very happy.
N2D have offered some guidance on suggested answers in the document embedded below. You can view the consultation documents here, the closing date is 30th January at 11:45pm. Tell them to go away and leave us alone by email or post:
Raw Tobacco Consultation
Tobacco Policy Team
3 Stanley Street
As N2D say, quite rightly.
We need as many answers as possible. Ok some of you may say it's pointless BUT we have to try!Of course we do. If only to highlight how these things are designed to screw us and to let them know that we are noticing. As usual, please do copy me in on your replies, they are always very heartening to read.