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12-7-2016 4:38 pm  #1

Newbie to being searched. Need advice please

My husband and I were stopped at Gatwick and had roughly 4000 cigarettes, all one brand for personal use. After a lot of humiliation it was admitted they believed it was for personal use and we were allowed to keep them. We were then warned that if we are caught again within a year they would seize any amount of cigarettes we are carrying, even if it was below the 800 limit. Are they allowed to do this? They also warned we WILL be stopped and searched every time we travel as they will know we are in the airport. Is this the case? Any advice appreciated.


12-7-2016 5:33 pm  #2

Re: Newbie to being searched. Need advice please

A similar thing happened here:-


If you read down the thread you will see that the shoppers were stopped only once in the following 16 trips.

The main thing is you have to satisfy that the purchases are for your own use. The best way to do that is to create a bulletproof SOT with a usage calculator and log of your previous trips and purchases. The usage calculator should show the amount you smoke and how long your goods will last. This obviously adds credibility to the amount and frequency of purchases. If you bought 4000 cigs last week it would be foolish to buy another 4000 next week as you would have difficulty in justifying it.

Have a look through our section on FOI's, pick out some that are relevant to you such as interviewing couples together, recording interviews etc and carry them with you. This will show that you know your rights and will not be intimidated. Also make sure you have good recorder.

SOT, usage calculator, trip log, FOI's and SAR app form are all available on the forum to download.

I would recommend you pay a tenner for a SAR incl a copy of the officers notebook you will then know what the officer wrote down.

In the meantime carry on as normal and don't be intimidated. If they had grounds to seize your goods they would have done so.

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.


12-7-2016 6:59 pm  #3

Re: Newbie to being searched. Need advice please

Thank you eezyrider. I will read up on the forum. We only travel two or three times a year so stock up when we do so. 

     Thread Starter

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