Thursday, 24 March 2011

Cigarettes - do the maths

  • UK cost of 3,200 Benson & Hedges @ £7.00 / 20: £1,120
  • Spain cost of 3,200 Benson & Hedges @£3.30/20: £528
  • Saving: £592
  • Cheapest budget airline day return: £46
In economic terms, we're into 'white goods' territory here; US researchers found that if Sales Tax in neighbouring states varied by more than about 5% then consumers would cross state lines to buy white goods. I forecast another bonus for the budget airlines.


Anonymous said...

Problem is, our glorious leaders cannot see the wood for the trees.

We are already in a situation where 40% of tobacco and fags are "illegal" imports, and they are again putting the duty up.

This will of course put more money into the hands of white van man.

Good old Ronald Reagan was quite right when he said lower taxes means you get more tax revenue in.

I am also curious what the weasel words about "aligning" the cost of much cheaper tobacco with cigarettes was about...the whole reason people buy tailor made fags is they are far to lazy to make roll-ups.

Dick Puddlecote said...

By increasing rolling tobacco so sharply, he's increased the saving between Belgium and the UK to nearly £10 per 50g pouch. With over 60% of this type of baccy already bought abroad, Osborne isn't helping the finances much, is he?

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Try bringing 3200 fags into the UK and convincing the HMRC that it's for your own personal use.

Good luck with that.

Blue Eyes said...

WY - what's wrong with bringing in six month's supply at a time?

R - I have no particular sympathy for smokers but I agree that the government should be thinking Laffer.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

BE - nothing's wrong. Free movement of goods within the EU and all that.

I didn't say you shouldn't do it, I just said good luck with getting it past the No-men, that's all.

I think you'd find they would charge you duty/confiscate your vehicle, etc etc. It's true you might get vindicated and let off by some EU court, after a year or two's legal hassle at vast expense, but for most people that is not an option.

Raedwald said...

WY - I regularly come back with 3,200 ciggies. The number isn't accidental. EU law says each country must set a limit below which they won't question personal shoppers about dutiable goods, with a minimum of 800 for ciggies. The UK chose 3,200.

However, a couple of tips; DO make sure they're all the same brand or they'll have grounds to question the 'personal consumption' bit and DO keep the receipt, preferably showing you've paid for them yourself with your own debit card.

I'm a genuine smoker who's been importing his own ciggies for the last 15 years, and I've never had a single pack confiscated or paid UK duty. Over that time I guess I must have saved £20,000 in UK duty.

HMRC don't like it, but stay within the rules and there's nowt they can do about it.