Customs step up checks on cigarettes

SPOT checks are to be carried out from Easter by Customs and Immigration officers to intercept people bringing in more cigarettes than the duty-free allowance.

Steve Le Marquand of Customs with some of the confiscated cigarettes: ‘People are so attracted by these special offers that they don’t think of the consequences’
Steve Le Marquand of Customs with some of the confiscated cigarettes: ‘People are so attracted by these special offers that they don’t think of the consequences’

SPOT checks are to be carried out from Easter by Customs and Immigration officers to intercept people bringing in more cigarettes than the duty-free allowance.

The department is taking action after more than 210,000 cigarettes were seized last year which were not declared by 578 passengers, leading to a total of £36,000 in duty evasion.

The number of passengers caught trying to bring too many duty-free cigarettes into the Island without declaring them is increasing. A total of 54 per cent more cigarettes were seized in 2011 compared with the previous year.

In view of the increase, Customs officers will be carrying out a number of random checks with passengers at the Airport and Harbour.

Full story in Monday's JEP

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Comments for: "Customs step up checks on cigarettes"


In one year they seized tobacco products representing a duty evasion of £36,000??

Wonder how much a custom officers annual salary is? Mmmm God Jersey doesn't half know how to spend wisely!

Flame Boy L

I must be missing something here.

I thought that was what they were supposed to be doing anyway. Or is it someone else's job?

No wonder people have been bringing any amount in

And why just cigaretts? And why "from Easrer"?

Pip Clement

I suspect that this is just part of the problem.

How many cigarettes are posted in from Eastern Europe, etc by relatives?

I know several smokers who never buy a packet in the shops. They rely on friends and relatives to bring back 'snout' consignments from their regular trips to France.

The fact is that Health and Treasury have raised cigarette prices to a level where more than a small part of the supply is not bought on island.


This has been the case in the Uk for many years. When you make things expensive, even for the best of reasons, people find a way to get things cheaper.

You have only to look at comments on here about buying things cheaper on-line despite being able to buy them in St Helier.

Jersey Boy

This has been going on for years, ok so they want to clamp down on it ... but the odd few hunderd fags for personal use.... maybe they should limit what the shops and airlines can sell to people and then spend there time catching all the scumb bags that are in Jersey!

Fag Ash Lil

i got stopped just after Christmas with 400 Fags and 2 bottles of spirits. When he asked why I had that amount I said it was "buy one get one free" at the duty free shop. Anyway I was allowed on my way but my name is on "zee list". In fairness there was a guy in a wheelchair behind me who also had 400 fags, and they stopped him too.

I know that if i go through unshaven with a football top on they will often stop me, I have never been stopped in a suit. Not exactly rocket science on what to do if you wanted to smuggle something through.

Lord Haw Haw

Why not bring the price of cigarettes down locally so that more people buy them in the shops rather than in the duty free ?

Here are some thoughts .....

- Smoking dramatically reduces your life expectancy – by all accounts it’s ten years.

- Smokers dropping dead ten years earlier reduces the social welfare burden.

- Paying tax on cigarettes is an important source of government wealth ( don’t tell everyone but they don’t want you to really quit – plus your income tax would rocket to compensate )

- It is said that generally poorer people smoke more than those more affluent.

- Poorer people are less likely to have a private pension or health care and are a burden on the housing welfare system.

- Therefore poorer people dying earlier are of obvious benefit to us all!

Harsh, but I think true !

Malboro Man

Well - woopy do. Trying to sneak in an extra 200 is part of the game. If you get caught then you lose the extra’s – in any case you are still quids in!

Easy money for our overpaid pampered Customs officials.

I suppose that looking in peoples bags for cigarettes beats looking up someone’s bum for drugs!


I think they should concentrate more on how many people are coming in and not wasting time on a few fags !


''random checks'' as i thought that was what customs officers did in the first place !

old jersey girl

A few years ago one came to Jersey to buy cheap cigs and booze, how times have changed.


Well said OJG #10.

Not that many years ago we had North of 27,000 bed nights available. Now we have just North of 10,000. In town the shops open until 9 in the evenings, a finance industry that few moaned about, tourists, coaches and tours, un-paid States members, very little benefits, almost zero unemployment.

I wonder where it all went wrong???

Flame Boy L

It may have gone wrong by...

voting people who only wish to line thier own pockets, have no pride in the island and build cra..houses not sympathetic with the surroundings.

Inviting big business to take advantage of a little loophole put in place to help growers and tourists wishing to send a "thank you" home.

Demolishing hotels for a quick buck on appartments. Distroying the tourisum industry, but expecting millons to flood here.

Pinning all hour hopes on on a finance industry, that is now under very close scrutiny but just about every one.

I'm sure there are a few other things too.


You couldnt make it up...Its like a Monty Python Sketch..

Picture the scene at Customs...

Mini buses full of prospective workers with their duffle bags and little else, waved on and through with the message, "enjoy your stay...Job Centre is that way" (you know what I mean)...

An old lady with God forbid, an extra pack of fags, being pounced on by Customs, CID, Drug Squad, TA, Honouries, Centeniers and the SOJ finest ...under the threat of death..

Would be funny if not so true..!


"There is however at this time no evidence or intelligence to suggest that there

has been a marked increase in passengers evading impôts duty by exceeding

their statutory allowances"

The above quote is from our Treasury Ministers budget statement September 2011!!

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