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22-11-2012 11:11 am  #1


Breaking It Down

Breaking It Down



or a Baccy Run from start to finish.

So you’ve googled ‘how to buy tobacco abroad?’and landed here at N2D because you’re sick of being ripped off, because paying £15 for a pouch that costs £5 in Belgium is no longer fun or perhaps you just don’t want to continue paying through the nose to be treated as an Untermensch by a government that thinks that Smokers are by definition Child Abusers? Maybe you’ve already bought tobacco off White Van Man and found yourself smoking something counterfeit that left you coughing up blood or dizzy?

But you have also heard horror stories from friends and family that ‘Customs’ will not only take your baccy off you, your dignity but your car too? Maybe you’ve even been told that there are ‘limits’ or ‘allowances’ as to what you can bring back and that those are so small as to make it all uneconomical?

This post is for you. This post is going to be one man’s account of a ‘baccy run’ from start to finish..and should it all go wrong, ie Customs steal my tobacco, then also a blow by blow account of the resulting appeal.


I’m not saying that this is the way you must do it. Where you decide to travel to, how you travel and what you buy will be different. This is just a ‘diary’ of my own upcoming trip so you can see each step of the process.

EDIT, removed reference to Social Club as is no longer in existence.

I will be dashing down to Dover on the 5th of next month, grabbing my tobacco at the first shop over the border in Belgium and high tailing it back to Norfolk to be back in time to catch the PM program on Radio 4 at 17:00 and order a pizza for dinner.

-----------

14.11.12 Decided I needed to do a baccy run before xmas. Choose to go to REAL in Adinkerke via DFDS ferries Dover-Dunkerque taking my own car (which is something we advise NOT to do). Checked in with this forum to find the bestes deal and booked the tickets.

15.11.12 started working on the SOT(see Glossary)for myself and my Kid who will be coming with me.

22.11.12 Faxed off Advanced Notification(see Glossary) to Customs. Here is what I sent and I’ll post up any reply.

22.11.12
To CITEX, Crownhill Court, Tailyour Rd, Plymouth PL6 5BZ
Advance Notification & Declaration Of The Import Of
EU DUTY PAID Tobacco Goods For Personal Use In
Excess Of The MIL
Dear Sirs
I, The Blocked Dwarf dob 1*/3/** UK Passport 123456, will
be returning to the UK on the 05/11/12 after a short shopping
trip to Adinkerke to purchase EU Duty paid tobacco goods for
my own personal use (including gifts). I will be carrying
tobacco goods in an amount that exceeds the MIL.
At this moment in time I envisage the total amount will be
between 3-4 kgs of mainly ‘Tubing’ or ‘Volume’ tobacco and
most likely in 400g tubs. I plan to return to UK Dover from
Dunkerque FR on the 11:00 DFDS ferry-this however may be
subject to change at short notice (I will inform you of any
change in advance if at all possible or make myself known to
the officer at the port).
Whilst I am not legally required to formally notify you in
advance of such ‘imports’ , I have found
that doing so helps remove any suspicion that I may be
smuggling. I invite the officer at the port
to satisfy himself/herself that the goods are NOT being
brought in for any commercial purpose.
I shall be accompanied by my adult son Mr.Youngest Useless Object, who will have purchased tobacco goods for himself
with his own money and who envisages purchasing approximately
MIL amounts of RYO tobacco and cigarettes , again, for his own
personal use. Please note that both he and I are full time
carers for severely disabled persons and need to return
promptly to continue that care inorder to prevent harm to our
patients and others around them. Therefore we may well need to
postpone, until a later date, any eventual ‘A-J’ interview.
We will be recording all interactions I/we may have with the
UK Border Force at the port.
You may contact me on jacquesketchATgmail.com
Yours Sincerely
The Blocked Dwarf

Last edited by Shaky (08-3-2016 7:23 pm)


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

http://i45.tinypic.com/24uxqug.png
 

23-11-2012 10:36 am  #2


Re: Breaking It Down

23.11.12 working on sourcing, for free or dirt cheap, headlamp deflectors and a warning triangle for the car. Remember that Dunkerque is in France, just, and not Belgium. You'll only be on the French motorway for 20 minutes or so but Sod's Law states that 'Les Flics' will pull you when you least expect it. That means you need to have all the things to make your car road legal in Francelike an ALCOHOL TESTER KIT! (with 2 tubes in it). Luckily I still have mine from the last trip and the Hi-Vis vests too but I borrowed a warning triangle from another poster here and have since returned it so I need to get one.

Also remember to set your Satanic Nav or Cellphone Sat Nav NOT to show fixed speed cameras in France!

You can buy headlamp deflectors etc on the ferry but you will pay twice or even thrice the price than on Fleabay!

Don't forget GB stickers if you have an old style number plate either.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-wvQdGFuQ_jo/UDXi61xvGQI/AAAAAAAAAuI/jAWEkY55FEg/s1600/IMG777-778538.jpg

Last edited by The Blocked Dwarf (23-11-2012 10:41 am)


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

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

24-11-2012 11:32 pm  #3


Re: Breaking It Down

25.11.12 This is something I sorted out during the week but only remembered to post today.
Contact your bank and card issuer BEFORE you go on a baccy run. A lot of banks will now block any sudden unannouced foreign transactions. If you're buying tobacco you would do well to use cash sterling, most retailers give you a further discount via the exchange rate (they can't legally discount the tobacco). But some people prefer to use their english debit cards so they have further proof of the transaction and you may well want to use your card other places while you're abroad-like in a restuarant or hotel or sight seeing etc.

Some banks let you notify them of trips abroad online, others you have to go into a branch. Mine lets me inform them via their secure email system which I did this week.

http://i50.tinypic.com/2zjkopy.png


Yeah its only a small detail but if you've just wined and dined the Missus on Cordon Bleu Moule et Frites you'll feel un vrai  plonker if the Garçon suddenly whispers "Pardon M'sieu, mais votre card she says 'NON'..." dans your ear...

Last edited by The Blocked Dwarf (24-11-2012 11:34 pm)


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

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

27-11-2012 11:32 am  #4


Re: Breaking It Down

27.11.12
http://i49.tinypic.com/14akirp.png

The external mic for my audio recorder just came.

If you are new to this site and N2D then you're probably asking yourself "WHY THE FUCK IS A £15 MIC PART OF HIS PREPARATION ?!?!"

The stone cold truth is that if you don't record Customs from the moment they say 'Good Morning Sir,' then you will lose your tobacco and probably your car as well. Not only do you need to record them BUT you need to tell them that they are being recorded because it puts the Fear Of God into their evil hearts. N2D recommends having two audio recording devices, one 'covert' ie a proper dictaphone usb recorder with a tie clip style mic and one 'overt' which can be your cellphone which you pull out and press 'audio record' on at the same time you tell the officers you are recording them.

The £30-£50 you spend on a decent recorder and clip on mic will be one of the best investments you ever make.

Start reading up on this here and don't worry -you ARE allowed to record the Border Force and they cannot stop you...although they'll try it on and 'request' you turn it off.



If you go Xborder shopping without a recorder then you are a fool and you will loose your tobacco. Fact.


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

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

27-11-2012 11:50 am  #5


Re: Breaking It Down

http://serve.mysmiley.net/happy/happy0064.gif


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.
 

27-11-2012 2:01 pm  #6


Re: Breaking It Down


START HERE, By answering these questions. http://n2d.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=1526
Useful documents for download : http://n2d.boardhost.com/viewforum.php?id=34
Goods been seized, Start here.  http://n2d.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=78
SOT Thanks to TBD. http://n2d.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=373
 

01-12-2012 8:24 am  #7


Re: Breaking It Down

01.12.12 Spent yesterday afternoon working on various bits for the SOTs. An important part of keeping your tobacco is knowing, as exactly as possible, how much you smoke and how long the tobacco you bought will last you or how long the tobacco you bought on that previous trip lasted you.

Customs love using this as an excuse to steal your stuff and according to the accounts of other travellers on this forum it seems that they, customs, are constantly thinking up new ways to trip up the unwary Shopper.

Read this post on 'how many rollups to a pouch' by SH and then download your own calculator for how long your tobacco will last you (it also shows how much you've saved). The print out then goes in your SOT folder.

Here my print out for my Kid's SOT that I have been working on.
http://i48.tinypic.com/n6xnyw.jpg

Last edited by Shaky (08-3-2016 7:25 pm)


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

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

01-12-2012 11:16 am  #8


Re: Breaking It Down

01.12.12

As said I care fulltime for my disabled wife. That means some of my monthly income is benefits. So a few minutes ago another member of N2D paid in a sum, cash, into my bank account and will be emailing something like this to me for my SOT :
http://i45.tinypic.com/2vdql9t.png


Downloadable (To Edit Yourself) Version

YOU MUST PROVE YOU CAN AFFORD TO SHOP ABROAD. Customs have a nasty habit of seizing the tobacco and car of anyone on benefits or retired, because 'they can't afford to go shopping abroad'.

If you are claiming Job Seekers, Income Support, DLA or State Pension then arrange a private personal interest free loan (even if it is only on paper) and carry proof of that in your SOT.

Read more on this here. This is VITAL.

Last edited by The Blocked Dwarf (01-12-2012 11:18 am)


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

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

01-12-2012 11:37 am  #9


Re: Breaking It Down

Seconded! http://serve.mysmiley.net/happy/happy0064.gif


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.
 

03-12-2012 9:08 am  #10


Re: Breaking It Down

http://i48.tinypic.com/2ui7pqc.png


Yes that's right, a cheap disposable e-cig is part of my preparation! Just put one of these on my Tesco Home Delivery order for tomorrow morning.

Why?

My youngest kid is coming with me, he's 20-something I think, and he smokes...which is why he is coming with me. The disposable e-cig is for him.

One of Custom's sneakier tatics is to leave you waiting for an interview or during the pre-interview chat. They leave you waiting somewhere where you aren't allowed to smoke and then when the Officer returns he tells you that because you haven't smoked, or at least asked to smoke, you are obviously not a heavy smoker and therefore he will be seizing your tobacco!

Nasty.


I already have a 'proper' ie rechargeable E-Cig but my kid doesn't. If Customs leave us waiting then we'll both start 'vaping'. Neither of us like the tastes of E-Cigs particularly but it sure winds up any passing Officer and means they cannot claim we're not really smokers.

N2D's founders, Smoking Hot & Zaphod, used to make a point of demanding to be allowed outside for a smoke for the same reason but using an E-Cig is a less confrontational option for the average Shopper.

Last edited by The Blocked Dwarf (03-12-2012 9:09 am)


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

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

03-12-2012 2:16 pm  #11


Re: Breaking It Down

Recently a member of this forum, "Nadger" I think, remarked that what he resented most about Xborder shopping was the amount of planning involved. Like a 'military manoeuvre' , and in truth preparing for a Baccy Run does feel more like I'm invading the Low Countries rather than just wanting to shop there! Especially as I'm also doing all the paperwork for my Kid.


http://i50.tinypic.com/346t1di.jpg



Just sorted a bit more evidence for both our SOTs. As we will be buying using £ in cash, we need to withdraw that cash from an ATM and get a print out for this bit of the SOT:

(f) any document or other information relating to those goods;

Statement Summaries from personal bank account
ATM print out for cash withdrawal.
Proof Of A Personal Interest Free Loan

Receipts showing purchase of tobacco and ferry fare

Personal consumption rates of tobacco and savings compared with UK prices.
Proof Of Consumption Of Previous Purchases.
Doctor’s Attest That I Am A Heavy Smoker



YOU NEED TO PROVE TO CUSTOMS THAT NOT ONLY CAN YOU AFFORD TO SHOP ABROAD BUT THAT YOU HAVE BOUGHT THE BACCY WITH YOUR OWN MONEY. IF YOU CAN'T THEN THEY WILL SEIZE YOUR GOODS.

Last edited by The Blocked Dwarf (03-12-2012 2:20 pm)


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

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

03-12-2012 2:22 pm  #12


Re: Breaking It Down

In truth though we ARE at war so one should prepare to defend oneself. To do otherwise is sheer folly. Once you've done the first preparation, the following ones are quite easy.


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.
 

06-12-2012 8:55 am  #13


Re: Breaking It Down

05.12.12 The Baccy Run Itself

The 04:00 DFDS ferry from Dover to Dunkerque got us, me and Youngest Son (22), into Dunkerque at just past 07:00 CET. That meant that at 07:30 ish we were already sitting in car park of REAL L'Auberge watching the sun rise, waiting for the shop to open at 08:00... and flicking our cigarette butts out the car window hoping to hit the French Belgian Border sign...yes the shop is that close to the border!
http://i50.tinypic.com/2hhi3kp.jpg


-sun rise over the tobacco shop-

Then after buying the baccy we turned round and drove the 20 minutes back to the ferry at Loon-Plage/Dunkerque to catch the 10:00 CET to Dover.

Once on board the return ferry the most important thing was, besides getting a coffee, filling out the SOTs for us both.
http://i50.tinypic.com/adni0y.jpg


And so at 11:30 we drove into "The Sked Sheds" [ see glossary ] at Dover and were stopped by Customs who asked us to pull into the secure bay (ie you can't simply drive out again).

Here's what happened next (The quality of the video and its sound could be better but is mainly due to the avi-flv conversion.):
VIDEO OF THE SOT IN ACTION.

Thats why I did all that preparation and the reason for this thread. Don't be fooled by how friendly it all sounds. If I hadn't have had a bullet proof SOT and hadn't been recording then the chances are we would have been walking home without our baccy.

*EDIT* THE ABOVE COMMENTARY TO THE VIDEO AND ANY SUBSEQUENT COMMENTS SHOULD IN NO WAY BE TAKEN AS IMPLYING THAT I CONSIDER THE OFFICER IN QUESTION TO HAVE ACTED IN ANYTHING OTHER THAN A HIGHLY PROFESSIONAL MANNER. He was both polite and professional at all times.-The Blocked Dwarf 27.12.12

Last edited by The Blocked Dwarf (26-12-2012 11:46 pm)


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

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

06-12-2012 8:56 am  #14


Re: Breaking It Down

ps this thread is now open for comments !


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

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

06-12-2012 9:23 am  #15


Re: Breaking It Down

Great video TBD  (happy)

As you say it all sounded friendly but.........

I picked up the chaps reference to free cigars - I remember when Eastenders used to give you a free box of cheap own brand at Adinkerke store.

Overall a classic example of being well prepared  (grin)

ps So far I've not prepared SOT as I don't smoke and all baccy money comes from SWMBO's bank accounts. I do, however, have documentation to prove everything as you did.

Last edited by nadger (06-12-2012 9:33 am)


Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force may use your posts here as evidence against you in court.
 

06-12-2012 11:42 am  #16


Re: Breaking It Down

First, kudos to BD for putting this up. lt takes balls to do it and there are only a handfull of others who publicise the audio/video of stops by Customs (Border Force). The fear of Customs and retaliation are well ingrained into the British public's psyche. The value of these audio/videos are immeasurable as they show beyond doubt to others that what we are doing works. Words are all well and good but when it comes down to it, the public 'need' to hear or see it for themselves. We want as many of these as is possible. You don't have to use video, audio is more than welcome and useful. Our advice is to leave the videos to the 'battle-hardened' shoppers.

As to this video, it demonstrates admirably the value of preparation and the SOT. I wouldn't say that the BF Officer is 'friendly' ... he is only 'non-aggressive'. Listen carefully and you will hear the officer trying to find anything that would be a reason for seizure ... even something as small as to why BD is using a car that is not his own. The reference to the SOT is interesting. He states that the SOT is not a legal document when in fact it is. lt carries as much weight, if not more, than the contents of his notebook. Note again, that the BF Officer will not accept or indeed sign the SOT ... even though such actions are to say he ONLY took receipt of the SOT and NOT to agree or disagree with it's contents. Yet they want YOU to sign their notebook and validate it's contents!

lt's blatantly obvious that their legal team have issued instructions for BF Officers NOT to sign anything from shoppers. lf it's good enough for the goose, it's good enough for the gander! Do NOT sign their notebook!

Again, kudos to BD ... excellent video!


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.
 

06-12-2012 11:56 am  #17


Re: Breaking It Down

Smoking Hot wrote:

I wouldn't say that the BF Officer is 'friendly' ... he is only 'non-aggressive'. Listen carefully and you will hear the officer trying to find anything that would be a reason for seizure

Yeah I should have stressed that point for the new guys here. HE IS NOT YOUR MATE.  If you are lucky then you'll encounter a polite and fairly friendly or non agressive officer..if you are very lucky. But no matter how 'nice' he is, he is not paid to be your friend. His job is to find ANY reason, no matter how idiotic, to seize your tobacco and your car.

HOWEVER the officer in the video acted at all times in a polite and professional manner, IMO.

Last edited by The Blocked Dwarf (26-12-2012 11:49 pm)


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

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

06-12-2012 1:47 pm  #18


Re: Breaking It Down

Glad it went well BD. We were tooled up for our trip, same day, but not confronted.


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.

 
 

06-12-2012 2:10 pm  #19


Re: Breaking It Down

perfect work, well done.

 

06-12-2012 2:16 pm  #20


Re: Breaking It Down

hello group, new member to this group and pleased i found the group. Off to gdansk 17th to purchase. Seems the prices are keen. I live in Benalmadena costa del sol and the prices are creeping up now. 78 euros 10 x 50g golden v. Any advice for the poland trip appart from the obvious sot ect ect.

 

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