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30-9-2012 5:16 pm  #1


N00b's Guide To The SOT

This is for all the new readers who are perhaps asking themselves what an SOT is, how to compile one and does it involve sticky-back plastic.

Carrying an SOT works. Combined with sticking a recorder under their noses, an SOT is what stops Customs deciding to interview you and perhaps take your baccy. At N2D the guys prefer to kick shut the stable door and then nail it closed BEFORE the horse bolts. And should it still come to an interview then sticking to your answers already in the SOT will stop you saying anything too stoopid.....we hope.

So here's a full SOT to show you exactly what it is and what yours might look like. I AM NOT saying you must use this exact same one. Every person's SOT is different and the regulars here each has their own way of doing it. Not a question of right or wrong, its whatever works for you.

This one works for me. Thrice now it has stopped an interview from taking place...and that is according to the Officers who stopped me.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b116/horta/N2D/SOT1.gif


First things first. The SOT or "Statement Of Truth" document itself. The one in the picture is of a 'new style' one but that is at the time I write this, still in 'draft' so play safe and use the one HERE. If you however compare the one in the picture with the one in the 'New Style SOT' thread you'll notice some changes. Like I said in the intro, everyone's circumstances are different and you will need to adapt whichever SOT muster you use to fit yours.

Directly after the SOT document itself I like to put all the receipts and boarding cards from the trip in question. Saves hunting around for them
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b116/horta/N2D/SOT2.gif


After that there is the BOBI FOI...or 'Appendix One' as it is referred to in the New Style SOT. This is what you show the officer when he tries to tell you that you may not record.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b116/horta/N2D/SOT3.gif

Last edited by The Blocked Dwarf (01-10-2012 9:17 am)


"I, uh, let her out the trunk...heard what, err, She snarled at THEM...."

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png
 

30-9-2012 5:30 pm  #2


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

After the Bobi FOI I list all trips taken out of the UK in the last 12 months. These are listed in the SOT document itself but this section contains the 'proofs'.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b116/horta/N2D/SOT4.gif


I like to put the 'used' SOT (if there was one for that trip ie if it was a baccy run) at the front of wallet and the receipts and boarding cards at the back.
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b116/horta/N2D/SOT5.gif

Last edited by The Blocked Dwarf (01-10-2012 9:18 am)


"I, uh, let her out the trunk...heard what, err, She snarled at THEM...."

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png
     Thread Starter
 

30-9-2012 5:37 pm  #3


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

This next section isn't part of everyone's SOT. Some  do, some don't. Personally I like to tell the UKBA that I will be importing an amount of tobacco goods above the MIL. I write, email or fax them and that letter then goes in here with any reply, usaully the standard reply, from them. As one Customs Officer said 'it pretty much proves you aren't trying to smuggle'.
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b116/horta/N2D/SOT6.gif


Then we have the the section which 1. Proves I am a Smoker and 2. shows that I smoked previous imports and when (which also shows the officer how long a kilo will last me). Tax slips and a letter from my GP confirming that I am a heavy smoker.
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b116/horta/N2D/SOT7.gif

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b116/horta/N2D/SOT8.gif

Last edited by The Blocked Dwarf (01-10-2012 9:20 am)


"I, uh, let her out the trunk...heard what, err, She snarled at THEM...."

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png
     Thread Starter
 

30-9-2012 5:45 pm  #4


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

To round things off at the end is the proof that despite being poor I can afford to shop abroad and give away kilos of tobacco as presents to my nearest and dearest. For me this involves not only a current bank statement but also a letter confirming a private interest free loan from a friend.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b116/horta/N2D/SOT9.gif


So there you have it-the SOT, freshly baked and worth every hour spent compiling it and photocopying it (for the officer). Never leave home without it...oh and have it to hand and not at the bottom of your bag! I tend to 'holster' it rolled up in the open side pocket of my laptop rucksack so I can whip it out straight away.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b116/horta/N2D/SOT10.gif


...and Yea though I walk through the Valley of The Shadow Of The Sked...

Last edited by The Blocked Dwarf (01-10-2012 9:22 am)


"I, uh, let her out the trunk...heard what, err, She snarled at THEM...."

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png
     Thread Starter
 

30-9-2012 5:54 pm  #5


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

Guys, this thread is locked while i work on it then it will be moved to the correct section....assuming SH likes it when he gets back from that "Feminism In Post Modernist Flower Arranging" taster course he's on....well that's what I think he said.

Last edited by The Blocked Dwarf (30-9-2012 6:15 pm)


"I, uh, let her out the trunk...heard what, err, She snarled at THEM...."

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png
     Thread Starter
 

01-10-2012 10:25 am  #6


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

The course got very intense when l fell in with a load of bikers l knew, turned up from down South. Weekend is just a hazy memory l'm afraid. Think my head hurts from the very loud rock bands that were playing and has nothing to do with the copious amounts of JD consumed. Our minibus became 'home' for everyone.

Really like this BD ... excellent work. Put it where you will and pin-it. Need more coffee now!


http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png We don't do nice ... we do right!

It's not that l have something to hide ... it's l have nothing l want to show you.
 

13-12-2014 7:48 pm  #7


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

First time caller ... be gentle with me!

How did you get your advance notification to HMRC, BlockedDwarf? Is there a fax number or an email address to use?

(Planning my first 'run' in early January, and very impressed with all the advice in this little haven!)

 

13-12-2014 8:37 pm  #8


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

congratulations on finding this site BEFORE travelling,

dont get too paranoid,majority of reports on here are from people who have been caught out by the simple mistakes made.

I have sent a few advance notifications in,but when mentioned at a stop,ukbf have denied all knowledge,so i gave up sending them now ha ha.


Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.
Better to live one day as a lion than a thousand days as a sheep'

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png
 

13-12-2014 8:49 pm  #9


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

Heh. Oh dear, I really don't deal with bureaucracy very well... I may save some money but my blood pressure is going up several notches just thinking about all this!

Do you know the postal address of the place where you sent your advance notice? I am thinking that if I send it recorded delivery then it will be that much harder for them to deny receipt (I mean, why else would I be writing to them?) Is that sensible? I can't think of a good argument against it, but you lot are no rookies.

Thanks for the advice against paranoia. I should make a conscious effort to read about the success stories rather than the Kafka-esque problems. Forewarned is forearmed and all that.

 

13-12-2014 9:06 pm  #10


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

I know someone who actually went into the offices at Hull on the port and actually told them in person ha ha.

i sent mine hereBorder Force Complaints and Correspondence TeamLunar House 
11th floor Long Corridor 
40 Wellesley Road
Croydon
CR9 2BY


i didn't add details of times/port ect, as i hadn't actually booked,it was going to be a last minute trip on most occasions,just a simple advance discloser ,and keep a copy to show if you are ever stopped.

[size=100][size=75]just need to remember,anything you do is not a magic wand,but if your a genuine shopper shopping for personel use this goes a long way in convincing them goods are 'not for commercial use'.

I always find january is a dodgy month for buying goods,ukbf dont expect you to have  spare cash about just after christmas,my partner gets paid on the 26th of each month,so by the time christmas arrives she has bought everything she needs anyway,and then has a months salary to spare ha ha,plus we dont celebrate christmas really as we were brought up as jehovas wintnesses,'ah but you bought beer n wine',even jesus drank wine ha ha. and we are not practicing witnesses,just dont celebrate pagan festivals,we celebrate waking up everyday with breath in our lungs.http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png
[/size][/size]
 


Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.
Better to live one day as a lion than a thousand days as a sheep'

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png
 

13-12-2014 9:46 pm  #11


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

Thank you for the postal address. As soon as I've booked my trip, I shall send them an advance notice. Got pretty much everything else sorted already.

Interesting what you say about January being a time of poverty in their eyes. I hadn't thought of it like that, but I suppose that's a fairly reasonable attitude to have, especially if your career relies upon being more-then-averagely suspicious! I've been saving up and intended to go before Christmas, but left it too late to book cheaply. Oh well, nothing else for it except make a 'run' and hope for the best.

I didn't know JWs were allowed to smoke. Or is that something you've taken up since lapsing? (I freely admit to vast ignorance on the subject, except for the business about blood transfusions which everybody knows about anyway).

 

13-12-2014 9:59 pm  #12


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

you'd be suprised what jw's do that they preach others not to,same in most religions i think,.most of my family were/are jw's,but we were left to make our own choice and didn't follow and wasn't brainwashed into beleiving .

we are planning to go in january,and hope to visit the new memoriol near ypres/belguim,will make a change to ostende as we have a few hours to spare after shopping. we always book last minite through winter as never know what the weather is going to be like.


Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.
Better to live one day as a lion than a thousand days as a sheep'

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png
 

14-12-2014 2:01 pm  #13


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

I hadn't even thought about the WWI centenary. Not sure I'll get the time and don't speak the language (so might find it hard to get to) but the town I'm visiting has a Commonwealth cemetary from the war. It would be good to go and take a gander, but then again I don't feel much personal connection to the conflict, except in the sense that my G-GF was a 'conchie' and imprisoned for it (a fact of which I am irrationally proud).

One thought: Has anyone inquired about getting a court-admissible notarised statement like an Oath, setting out their intentions with regard to 'consuming' their own goods? It would be a hell of a thing to whip out and wave under an officer's nose. Nb, I have no idea if this is feasible, but such a pre-prepared court document could have a very valuable deterrent effect!

 

14-12-2014 9:09 pm  #14


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

A SOT or Statement of Declaration or Statement of Intent or whatever else you may call it is a legal document once it is signed. If it is false it can land you in serious trouble in court.

A SOT should contain the info in your proposed oath and I guess you'd have to get a new one every time you travel.

Furthermore it is not unknown for BF to seize your paperwork or just brush it aside, such is their arrogance.


http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png
Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.

 
 

15-12-2014 12:30 pm  #15


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

Well, what you say is certainly true in as much as *anything* you write is a legal document (hence the legal validity of something as simple as an IOU note, which can be enforced by civil proceedings). There's no distinction between 'document' and 'legal document' except for purpose (e.g., a straightforward holiday postcard sent to your mum is a document, but would only become a legal document if it made specific statements, such as a libel, a change to a Will, etc, or if the fact that you posted a postcard from location "X" on the date given by the postmark could be used to give you an alibi for the date in question).

But there must be some even greater validity to a sworn Oath or affidavit, or the profession of Public Notary would simply have no reason to exist, and it quite obviously does! That's my reasoning, at least. I'll look into this and report back.

Last edited by aphorismus (15-12-2014 12:32 pm)

 

18-12-2014 5:23 pm  #16


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

I don't get chance to check this site very often these shredder-selling filled days so I missed the original question. As far as I know the CITEX fax number for Advanced Notification has been disconnected. Last time I sent them a registered letter I think. They like you to use that contact form thingy on their website which leaves you without any proof you sent it at all (not even the otherwise standard-everywhere else- email 'Received and dealing with' notification.

Aside from that, this thread is now way out of date and badly needs redoing by someone who still actively Xborder shops. 


"I, uh, let her out the trunk...heard what, err, She snarled at THEM...."

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png
     Thread Starter
 

07-1-2015 2:02 pm  #17


Re: N00b's Guide To The SOT

Just as a passing observation, out of curiosity I looked up the definition of 'revenue trader' to make absolutely sure that I wasn't one, and found this gem of kafka-esque bureaucracy by HMRC:

"You should also read Notice 197, Notice 201, (This text has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) and relevant law."

...!

From: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/hmowtrmanual/HMOWTR1010.htm
 

 

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