Excise Delivery Agreement between HMRC and the UKBA for 2008-09

Key outcomes
UKBA will:
• Undertake a balanced range of border activity in response to agreed fiscal risks designed to ensure
that excise tax gap targets for the CSR ‘04 years are met and at least maintained through the CSR ‘07
years, in particular by:
• Helping restrict the size of the UK illicit cigarette market to no more than a 13% share by seizing
at least 20% of the illicit cigarettes targeted on the UK.
• Helping reduce the size of the illicit Hand Rolling Tobacco market by 1200 tonnes against
2003/04 levels by progressively raising the proportion of HRT seized to 15% and beyond.
Key outputs
In 2008/09 UKBA will:
• Seize in the range of 1.4 to 1.9 billion illicit cigarettes targeted on the UK.
• Seize in the range of 175 to 375 tonnes of illicit hand rolling tobacco targeted on the UK.
• Action all referrals and requests for frontier activity from HMRC Criminal Investigation teams
subject to detailed operating protocols on timeliness and precision of requests.
• Notify all qualifying seizures of tobacco to manufacturers and HMRC under the terms of the 2006
supply chain legislation within agreed timescales.
Other key activities
UKBA will:
• Contribute to the development and implementation of collaborative, multi-functional strategies aimed
at preventing and detecting alcohol, tobacco and oils duty evasion and fraud.
• Provide appropriate support for all agreed national alcohol, tobacco and oils strategy projects.
• Play a full and active part in delivery of excise strategies, including by participating in appropriate
Director-level steering groups and working level delivery groups.
• Follow up excise border activity efficiently and effectively, in accordance with HMRC policy (e.g.
routine appeals against excise seizures, excise restoration reviews and complaints, storage/disposal
of seized good).
• Further increase its visibility at smaller locations including regional airports in order to reassure the
public and deter excise smuggling activity.
• Introduce effective, alternative techniques to ensure a wider coverage of ports and airports.
• Work with HMRC to curb the use of the postal system for tobacco smuggling.
• In line with the announcement made at Budget 2008, develop by PBR 2008 a plan for refreshing
border aspects of the Tackling Tobacco Smuggling strategy by leveraging the benefits of the
integrated UK Border Agency to enhance excise anti-smuggling performance and publish
quantified improvements upon the targets set out in this document.
Inputs
UKBA will:
• Deploy not less than 1500 staff years to excise border activity in 2008/09.
Procedures
UKBA will:
• Undertake border fiscal activity in accordance with agreed operating procedures, including, e.g.
National Operating Protocol between UKBA and HMRC Referred Investigation Teams (RITs)
• Manage reputational risks associated with the enforcement of excise regimes by maintaining adequate
levels of training and assurance on the application of Criminal Justice Enforcement Standards and
subject to assurance by HMRC and external regulators.
Monitoring and reporting
UKBA will:
• Maintain a detailed set of performance records as agreed with HMRC’s Excise, Stamps & Money
Businesses Directorate covering staff year usage, activity levels and output results utilising existing
information systems.
• Submit agreed monthly, quarterly and annual performance reports to Excise Stamps & Money
Businesses within an agreed timetable.
• Provide such other performance reports or analysis as may, from time to time, be requested by Excise
Stamps & Money Businesses within agreed timescales and utilising existing information systems.

Senate committee approves stricter smoking ban

The state Senate Health Committee voted Wednesday for a strict smoking ban in North Carolina, eliminating plans to exempt bars and nightclubs from the restrictions.
State Sen. Bill Purcell of Scotland County, a physician and leading advocate of the ban, hopes to bring the bill for a floor vote in the Senate as soon as today.
Much of the rhetoric during the debate on the legislation echoed previous arguments. Proponents said a broad ban on smoking is necessary to protect the health of workers and the public. Opponents said individual business owners should decide whether to have smoking on their premises.
But for the first time since the legislature began debating the issue in February, a representative of a tobacco company spoke up.
The ban will hurt North Carolina workers, argued Michael Shannon, speaking on behalf of the Lorillard Tobacco Co. in Greensboro. The company has 1,800 workers there, he said, and people frequently ask him if there are openings.
North Carolina is the nation’s largest producer of flue-cured tobacco, and tobacco remains the state’s largest cash crop, he said.
“Two-thirds of all tobacco manufacturing occurs in North Carolina,” Shannon said. “We have some of the largest companies in the country, still, that relate to tobacco manufacturing right here in North Carolina.” They include tobacco seed production, farming and farm supplies, tobacco processing, manufacturing and retailing, he said.
Tobacco manufacturing is a $23.9 billion industry in the state, Shannon said.
“North Carolina has a great history, and I think tobacco has played an important role in that history,” he said. “And with the economy the way it is, it is about jobs.”
In a voice vote, the committee approved the smoking ban.
The revised bill addresses what restaurant owners describe as an inequity with a House version of the ban. That version would let smokers light up in businesses that exclude anyone under age 18. In practice, this would permit smoking in many bars but ban it in restaurants that operate bars.
Restaurant owners argued that this would put them at a competitive disadvantage against bars and nightclubs.
If the proposed ban becomes law, smoking would become illegal in most places open to the public, plus most workplaces. It would have exemptions for cigar bars and tobacco shops.
Also exempt: Actors portraying smokers on the set of a movie, television show or live stage show.
If the Senate approves the ban, the bill would return to the House for a concurrence vote. It’s not clear whether the House will concur, as the ban cleared the House only after the exemption for bars was added.

Strong evidence supporting plain packaging for all tobacco products on the eve of Lords vote

A new study presented today in Dublin  has found a significant link between cigarette branding and ‘false beliefs’ among smokers and children. The authors argue that this link provides strong evidence for the introduction of plain packaging  for all tobacco products in the UK.
The study surveyed 516 adult smokers and 806 children aged 11 to 17. They were asked to compare brands on five measures: taste, tar delivery, health risks, attractiveness and either ease of quitting (adult smokers) or the brand they would chose if trying smoking (children).
The study hypothesized that certain brands which were, for example, labelled as “smooth” would be seen less harmful, easier to quit, and more appealing to children. More than half of adults and children reported that brands with the word “smooth”. Adult and child participants routinely made this assumption: for example, more than half of adults and children reported that brands with the word “smooth” on packs would be less harmful to smoke. Children and adults also believed that packs in lighter colours—grey vs. dark red, for example—would be less harmful and easier to quit.
Although it has been illegal to make misleading health claims on tobacco branding since 2003 [4] with descriptors such as ‘light’ and ‘mild’ being banned, 75% of adult smokers incorrectly believed there was a difference in health benefits between brands. This was replicated in the sample of children who have grown up during an era when most forms of tobacco advertising have been banned.
The participants were also asked to compare “normal” branded packs with plain packs—packs with the colours and symbols removed. Both adult smokers and children were much less likely to perceive any difference in terms of health risk when the packs were plain. They were also much less likely to view the plain packs as attractive and something they would like to smoke.
Lead author David Hammond said:
“Research in the US, Canada, Australia and now the UK all support the case for tighter regulations on pack branding. Tobacco packages are portable advertisements that have long been used to reassure consumers about the risks of smoking. In this study, children as young as 12 reported significant levels of false beliefs about the risks of cigarette brands based upon the colours and words on UK packs. Plain packaging has great potential as a public health measure and I urge the UK Government to support this measure.”
On 6th May members of the House of Lords will vote on an amendment, tabled by Lord Patel, to The Health Bill to mandate plain packaging for all tobacco products.
Source: Ash

Displaying their ignorance on smoking

In December 2008, the health secretary for England, Alan Johnson, announced that the government would proceed with legislation banning the display of tobacco products in shops. According to Johnson, the logic was impeccable, as young people ‘see the point of display and as a result of seeing it, it encourages them to take up smoking’. Since then, the legislation, which is incorporated in the bill providing a constitution for the National Health Service, has gradually made its way through the House of Lords.
To the jaded, this latest piece of anti-tobacco legislation might appear to be just another instance of a quarter-century of bad tobacco policy, in which successive governments have attempted to address a particularly serious and complex public health problem through a series of gimmicky soundbite measures that do nothing to address the underlying reasons why young people smoke.
But this legislation is, in fact, something much worse. It is the first time that a government has legislated on tobacco not only without any compelling evidence that what it is proposing will work, but actually in opposition to what its own experts have demonstrated to be the case.
According to the advocates of a tobacco display ban, seeing cigarettes displayed in shops is one of the major reasons why children in the UK smoke. The trouble is that, as the legislation has progressed through the Lords, it has become increasingly apparent that this is not the case.
A major piece of evidence used by the government to support the claims behind the legislation is a study by a team of Australian researchers led by Melanie Wakefield. Wakefield exposed several hundred school children to one of three digitally manipulated photos of convenience shop points of sale. One photo showed cigarette advertising and tobacco packs, one photo showed only tobacco packs, and one photo showed no tobacco packs.
The results are striking, as they refute each of the key claims about the supposed effect of tobacco displays on children’s intentions to smoke.
First, there were no statistically significant differences in the estimates of how many of their peers smoke between the children who saw the convenience shop with no cigarettes and those who saw the shop with cigarettes.
Second, there were no statistically significant differences in approval of smoking between those who saw the shop with no cigarettes and those who saw the shop with cigarettes.
Third, there were no significant differences in assigning favourable attributes to children who smoke between those who saw the convenience shops with no cigarettes and those who saw the shop with cigarettes.
Fourth, there were no statistically significant differences in their perceptions of the dangers of smoking between children viewing the shop with no cigarettes and those seeing the shop with cigarettes.
Finally, and most importantly, there were no statistically significant differences in the children’s intention to smoke between those who saw the shop with no cigarettes and those who saw the shop with cigarettes.
This research is not produced by the tobacco industry. Wakefield works at Cancer Council Victoria. This is the government’s best evidence supporting its claim that seeing tobacco displays in shops leads children to smoke.
But matters get even worse when one looks at the other evidence presented by the government to the Lords. For example, according to the government, the Department of Health, in its consultation on the future of tobacco control conducted last year, found that one of the reasons that tobacco displays lead to children smoking was that they were effectively tobacco advertising.
Here, again, the government’s own evidence suggests that this is not the case.
First, in the government’s own expert study, Wakefield, as well as others, distinguishes between tobacco advertising and marketing and tobacco product displays. If tobacco displays are not tobacco advertising, using claims about tobacco advertising to support banning tobacco displays fails to support the case for tobacco displays. Second, even if tobacco displays were tobacco advertising, the government’s own expert evidence suggests that such advertising is not the cause of young people smoking.
For instance, the Department of Health in its consultation on the future of tobacco control lists four predictors of ‘regular smoking among young people’: age and gender; home environment; drug use and drinking alcohol; and truancy and exclusion from school. Tobacco advertising is not included.
Again, two major studies commissioned by the Department of Health itself contradict the claim that tobacco advertising, let alone tobacco displays, lead young people to start smoking.
The Goddard Report, a longitudinal study of the causes of youth smoking and one of the largest studies of adolescent smoking conducted in the UK, found that becoming a smoker was associated with seven risk factors: being a girl, having brothers or sisters who smoke, having parents who smoke, living with a single parent, having relatively less negative views about smoking, not intending to stay on in full-time education after 16, and thinking that one might be a smoker in the future.
Becoming a smoker was not statistically associated with being aware of tobacco advertising or being able to name more brands of cigarettes. Indeed, Goddard found that children overwhelmingly did not like tobacco advertisements.
The second study, by Clive Smee, carried out an extensive examination of advertising and adolescent smoking in the UK from 1960-1987. It found that advertising in any form did not have a statistically significant effect.
Both of these studies were done when tobacco advertising was virtually unrestricted in the UK. If full-flown tobacco advertising did not lead to adolescent smoking, it is unlikely that seeing cigarette packages in the shops will do so.
In a further effort to bolster the quickly unravelling case for display bans, the government has circulated a study by Gerard Hastings and colleagues from the Centre for Tobacco Control Research at the University of Stirling. Hastings claims, most recently in a letter to The Times (London) this week, that an increased awareness of tobacco brands, supposedly from tobacco displays, increases young people’s susceptibility to becoming a smoker.
Yet Hastings claims are refuted, first by the fact that, according to a US Department of Health and Human Services study, interest in smoking and intention to smoke drives brand awareness rather than the other way around. Young people interested in smoking are interested in tobacco brands. Interest in tobacco brands does not lead to an interest in smoking. Clearly, Professor Hastings has confused the sequence.
Second, Hastings’ claims are further refuted by the British experience in which there has been a significant decline in awareness of tobacco brands. Yet, according to the most recent statistics for England, there has been no decline in youth smoking. Indeed, there has been an increase in smoking among adolescent girls. If Hastings’ claim about awareness of tobacco brands driving youth smoking were true, then one should expect a sharp decline in awareness to bring about a corresponding decline in smoking.
In a final attempt to make its case that display bans work, the government has argued in the Lords that banning tobacco displays in other countries has resulted in fewer young people smoking. But, once again, the government’s own evidence shows that this is not the case. Studies from both Canada and Iceland fail to show that banning tobacco displays has had a statistically significant effect on youth smoking.
In Canada, for instance, there is no obvious difference in youth prevalence between provinces with and without tobacco display bans. Moreover, according to the UK government’s own data, the highest prevalence is found in Saskatchewan, the first province to ban tobacco displays.
In Iceland, in 2001 when the display ban came into effect, smoking prevalence among adolescents rose by 3.1 per cent. During 2002, the first year after the display ban, adolescent smoking prevalence was the highest it had been for five years.
The evidence presented by the government in favour of banning shop displays of tobacco, far from showing why such a measure is justified, actually shows why this legislation will not work. The bottom line is that a tobacco display ban will not prevent a single British adolescent from beginning to smoke.
Source: Spiked-online

Reynolds reports decline in first-quarter net income

A substantial charge taken to reflect lower trademark values for some nongrowth cigarette and smokeless brands contributed to Reynolds American Inc. posting just $8 million in net income for the first quarter today.
The trademark impairment charge of $453 million, which the company said was noncash, contributed to a $285 million decline in net income.
Diluted earnings were 3 cents a share compared with $1.71 a share a year ago. The earnings from the first quarter of 2008 included a gain of 71 cents from the dissolution of Reynolds’ Gallaher joint venture.
Excluding the trademark charge, Reynolds reported $293 million in net income and diluted earnings of $1 a share – the same earnings as a year ago.
Analysts typically exclude charges from their earnings forecast. The average forecast was 98 cents by analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.
Reynolds’ share price was up 68 cents to $41.30 at 1:15 p.m. today.
Susan Ivey, the chairwoman, CEO and president of Reynolds, said that the manufacturer also was affected by a decline in cigarette sales from recent increases in state excise taxes, as well as higher pension expenses.
Those costs was offset, the company said, by higher pricing instituted a few weeks before the 62-cent increase in the federal excise tax on cigarettes on April 1.
Reynolds also said it expects diluted earnings in a range of $4.15 to $4.45 a share for the full year, excluding trademark impairment charges.
“The fact that both of Reynolds’ reportable operating segments continued to post increases in adjusted operating income highlights the strength of the total-tobacco business model we’ve established over the past several years,” Ivey said.
“The unprecedented increase in federal excise taxes on tobacco products that took effect April 1 disrupted first-quarter cigarette and moist-snuff shipments.
“As a result, there were significant reductions in wholesale and retail inventories, and that caused higher-than-usual industry volume declines,” Ivey said. “The tax increases, as well as pricing changes, also triggered trademark valuations that resulted in impairment charges on some of our companies’ non-growth brands.

Tobacco tax rejected by House panel

A proposal for a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase was snuffed out by the House Ways & Means Committee in an 11-7 vote Tuesday, signaling probable doom for any proposals to generate major new sources of tax revenue during the current lawmaking session.
House Bill 75 by Rep. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, was projected to raise nearly $200 million annually in state revenue while reducing consumption of the cancer-causing products. It encountered opposition in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s stance against new taxes and from panel members for various reasons.
“Raising the cigarette tax a dollar could place an economic hardship on people at this time,” said Rep. Ricky Templet, R-Gretna, who noted lean recessionary times in Louisiana households as a reason for voting against the bill.
Rep. Mike Danahay, D-Sulphur, said he voted against the bill because it could potentially reduce retail sales in his southwest Louisiana district, which hosts many visitors from Texas driving in for the casinos and general travel.
The state cigarette tax in Texas is $1.41 per pack, compared with Louisiana’s current rate of 36 cents.
Another argument made against the tobacco bill was the recent increase in the federal cigarette tax from 39 cents to just under $1.01 per pack, which took effect April 1.
Six Democrats on the panel voted for the bill and three voted against. Only one Republican voted for the proposal.
Peterson amended her bill during the hearing to designate some of the spending targets for the tax revenue. Those included money for health care provider payments that would have been matched by federal health-care dollars. The money also would have been steered to school-based health clinics, the Office of Mental Health, the Office of Addictive Disorders and tobacco cessation programs.
The proposal had the support of many doctors and health-care advocacy groups, including the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Louisiana.
“In the end, House Bill 75 makes sense both from the public health and fiscal perspectives,” Peterson said after the meeting.
No one from the Jindal administration spoke against the bill, but committee Chairman Hunter Greene, R-Baton Rouge, said he called the governor’s office for comment about the tobacco tax.
“No real reasons, no offer of solutions, but they’re opposed to the tax,” Greene reported to the committee.
Greene was critical of the governor’s team for avoiding testimony on the two tax-increase bills on the committee’s agenda Tuesday. He said he wanted the administration to engage in the debate and offer explanations for its opposition to the tax increases.
Jindal is backing extensions for a variety of business-related tax breaks but has said he opposes new taxes and tax increases during this session. Peterson’s bill and another for a fuel-tax increase, which was withdrawn at least temporarily from consideration Tuesday, were considered doubtful to pass although they represented perhaps the best chances for new taxes in this session.
Source: Nola

300 jobs could be cut at ad firm Burnett

A rumored sharp drop in global ad spending by Philip Morris could spell big trouble for Leo Burnett/Chicago, where the cigarette giant has long been one of the agency’s flagship accounts.
The pullback in ad spending, sources say, could prompt sizable layoffs at the legendary agency, where between 400 and 500 people in Chicago and other Burnett shops overseas are believed to be involved in the Philip Morris business. One high-level Burnett exec familiar with developments said as many as 300 people at Burnett could be cut as early as June 1.
It’s unclear exactly how many of the affected staff are based in Chicago, but a large group of local Burnetters have a hand in the Philip Morris business. Burnett executives did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Sources say Philip Morris has signaled it is scaling way back its global spending on almost all of its key cigarette brands, including Basic, Parliament and Virginia Slims. Only Marlboro, reportedly, will continue to get anywhere close to the ad spend the iconic cigarette brand typically enjoys. Burnett famously helped transform the image of the popular Marlboros with the rugged cowboy imagery widely used in the brand’s advertising for decades.
Because Philip Morris is not a major advertising presence in the United States, many people forget the giant cigarette maker is still a going ‹ and very profitable ‹ concern overseas, where Burnett has over many years been instrumental in helping fuel cigarette sales through its advertising.
Burnett has long enjoyed a hugely lucrative relationship with PM, but the agency, Chicago’s second-largest ad shop, rarely talks about its cigarette accounts because of the many negatives Americans now associate with smoking.
A sizable scaling back in advertising by Philip Morris and the accompanying cutbacks at Burnett would be the latest of several major setbacks at the agency in recent months. Earlier this year Burnett was rocked by a scandal involving the U.S. Army account, which left the agency several years ago.
The U.S. government filed suit alleging overbilling on the Army account, but Burnett settled out of court for $15 million without admitting wrongdoing.
The agency laid off 75 people in January, as it grappled with a huge downturn in ad spending by another major client, General Motors. The agency also dumped its Chief Creative Officer John Condon several weeks ago and has just begun a search for his successor.
Source: Suntimes

Tobacco International Action

The illicit trade in tobacco products is a serious global problem. As such, enforcement agencies must work together to tackle international organised crime groups operating outside of the jurisdiction where the tax loss occurs.
The UK has long been a primary target for the smugglers because of our well established policy of using high tobacco duty rates to increase prices and reduce smoking prevalence. Most of the tobacco criminal investigations carried out by HMRC involve some degree of cooperation with law enforcement agencies overseas, and as such, HMRC already has well-established links with enforcement agencies both in the European Union and beyond. Through these channels we are able to enhance international cross-border cooperation through the sharing of information and contributions to joint operations. We will supplement this through political lobbying to persuade our international partners to take fully effective action against tobacco smugglers and illicit tobacco manufacturers.
To a greater or lesser extent, tobacco smuggling now affects the vast majority of EU countries. For that reason, the EU and the UK are playing a prominent role in the development of an Illicit Trade Protocol to the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The Illicit Trade Protocol will provide a binding legal framework for international regulation of tobacco production and distribution and for international co-operation between tobacco enforcement authorities. The proposed protocol is wide-ranging and ambitious but
among the potential measures under discussion are: the licensing and regulation of tobacco producers and machinery manufacturers; global standards on tracking and tracing of tobacco products; regulation of internet sales; administrative and enforcement co-operation and mutual
legal assistance. Parties to the FCTC are committed to seeking an agreement on the protocol by 2010.
To date, the UK has not been a party to the agreements on tackling tobacco smuggling that the European Commission and Member States have signed with Philip Morris International and Japan Tobacco International. The agreements cover many of the same issues that are addressed in
the UK’s 2006 Supply Chain Control Legislation and the Government is keen to ensure that, if the UK were to sign up to the agreements, neither the agreements themselves nor the UK legislation would be undermined. We have made good progress towards resolving these issues in discussions with European Commission lawyers and hope to make further progress in the near future, to enable the UK to be in a position to sign the agreements.

Smuggling and health

While the primary focus of HMRC and UKBA activity is reducing revenue losses from smuggling, it is important to remember that revenue-raising is not the only driver for the UK’s tobacco taxation policy. The price mechanism is generally accepted to be the most effective
population-level policy lever available to Government to combat smoking.
High levels of taxation of tobacco products, resulting in high prices, have been a feature of tobacco policy in the UK. The UK has some of the most expensive cigarettes in the world. Evidence from the World Bank shows that price has a greater impact on consumption of tobacco than any other factor, suggesting that a 10% rise in price can lead to a 4% fall in prevalence. Price responsiveness is considered to be even greater among young people and more deprived groups.
The Government recently announced a commitment to develop a new national tobacco control
strategy to further reduce smoking prevalence. Over the last few months the Department of
Health (DH) has been consulting on a package of measures which includes a number of options
to reduce the availability of tobacco products. HMRC has been working closely with the DH to
consider any consequences these options may have for the illicit market, and will continue to do
so as these options are developed.
Despite the significant success of HMRC and the UKBA in reducing smuggling, the availability of cheap, illicit tobacco in communities undermines the effectiveness of this policy and the Department of Health’s efforts to reduce smoking prevalence, especially among young people and those in routine and manual workers groups. Illicit tobacco products are available in our communities at less than half the price of their duty paid equivalent.
Illicit tobacco products are available at a number of locations in communities across the UK, including in the workplace, in pubs, in street markets, at car boot sales and on the street. Smuggled tobacco is also made available in some communities from people’s own homes.
This creates a completely unregulated distribution network, and makes tobacco far more accessible to children and young people.
One of the priorities for HMRC’s new nationwide network of inland enforcement teams, in collaboration with other enforcement agencies, including local authorities and the Police, will be to tackle this low level supply of illicit tobacco products. This will provide visible assurance to
local communities that, as well as focusing on cutting off the supply of illicit tobacco products through effective upstream intervention, the Government’s strategy is also to take strong, effective action against those who peddle illicit tobacco in our communities.

Developing new relationships with agencies that play a role in tackling tobacco smuggling

UKBA and HMRC will strengthen their existing partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, as well as developing new relationships with agencies that play a role in tackling tobacco smuggling. These include:
• UK Police Forces – The close links already in place with UK Police Forces and Special Branch in particular, will be fully exploited and developed to further improve information flow at the border and identify new ways of working together to tackle tobacco smuggling.
The recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between UKBA and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) clearly sets out how the two groups will work together. UKBA representatives on ACPO will play a key role in championing the tobacco agenda with our
Police partners.
• Maritime and Coastguard Agency – UKBA will engage with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to identify areas of mutual interest and develop action plans. Smuggling tobacco goods by sea using commercial vessels, fishing boats and pleasure craft has been identified as a clear threat. MCA officers, especially Coastguard officers, are frequent and regular attendees at coastal locations and are well placed to gather information in this challenging environment. The UK Border Force Maritime Branch, with its fleet of five Cutters, frequently works with MCA officers and this relationship will be strengthened through a series of liaison visits, awareness sessions and joint exercises.
• Local authorities – Recognising the expertise that trading standards officers have developed in dealing with counterfeit goods at local level, we will enhance our working arrangements with local authorities to tackle the availability of counterfeit tobacco within communities.