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Excise Duties

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 27 February 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what guidance has been issued to HM Revenue and Customs officers in assessing whether goods subject to excise duty are for personal use; (189883)

(2) what circumstances goods subject to excise duties may be seized by HM Revenue and Customs officers where the total amount imported is within the personal allowance.

For travellers within the EU there are no personal allowances for excise goods. However, minimum indicative quantities are used as one of the criteria in assessing whether goods are for own use, and therefore not liable to UK tax or excise duty. All of the criteria are set down in legislation, and HMRC officers take account of these in assessing whether or not excise goods are for own use.

Travellers entering the UK from a non-EU country are permitted to bring with them limited amounts of excise goods without paying UK tax or duty, provided they are transported by them and are for their own use. Anyone with goods within these limits is assessed using similar criteria to that applied to EU travellers to determine whether the goods are for own use or for a commercial purpose.

HMRC publishes information for travellers in Public Notice 1 (“Travelling to the UK”), copies of which are available at UK ports and airports.