Protect your business
from the illicit trade

Suspect it Report itImperial Tobacco is totally opposed to illicit trade and is committed to working with governments and customs and excise authorities around the world to tackle tobacco smuggling and counterfeiting.
It is illegal for anyone to sell Non-UK Duty Paid tobacco products in the United Kingdom. Non-UK Duty Paid tobacco products sold in UK fall into two categories:

  • Smuggled stock – Product which is manufactured legally for the world market, but then illegally smuggled into the UK and sold.
  • Counterfeit stock – Product which is illegally manufactured (fake) and then sold in the UK (this stock may also be illegally imported).

The sale of either is a criminal offence and has a negative effect on legitimate UK retailers.

If you have any information relating to the illegal sale of tobacco products please contact the HM Revenues & Customs Hotline:

Freephone Hotline:
0800 59 5000
Address: Freepost Customs Confidential,
Freepost SEA 939,
PO Box 100,
Gravesend, Kent
DA12 2BR
Website:   HM Revenue & Customs Hotline


Smuggling and counterfeiting benefits no one except the criminals involved, creating a market that is uncontrolled and unaccountable.  As a result, children can more easily obtain tobacco products, governments are deprived of tax revenues and the livelihoods of UK independent tobacco retailers are threatened.

Latest estimates* from HM Revenue & Customs indicate that the illicit trade in tobacco products costs the UK Treasury over £3 billion a year. They estimate that up to 16% of cigarettes consumed in the UK and around 44% RYO tobacco is sold illegally, cheating legitimate wholesalers and retailers out of millions of pounds of revenue.

Our international experience reinforces our concern that excessive tax increases by governments fuel the growth of illicit trade.