Smuggling and Dried Tobacco Leaves

It is not surprising that people have little to say about this consultation:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/364742/141020_Control_of_Raw_Tobacco_v1.0.pdf

Better to keep your head below the parapet, I suppose. And yet, I find it difficult to give up my reasonable right to be as self-sufficient as possible without protest. True, the law requires that tobacco duties should be paid, but such duties only apply to ‘tobacco products’. Only when ‘raw tobacco’ has been converted into ‘tobacco products’ does duty arise.

The proposed regulations aim to criminalise the import of ‘raw tobacco’ unless it is specifically earmarked for some purpose, and to require importers to demand to know what that purpose is. In theory, according the the document, the authorities will check that people who but the stuff are doing what they say they do with the ‘raw tobacco’, be it animal bedding, production of e-cig juice, making snuff/snus or whatever. In other words, the authorities are forcing importers to do all the donkey work by retaining records of whom they supply and what the purpose is.

There seems to be ‘a template’ in action, which was rolled out with the Smoking Ban. The ‘template’ is to make citizens who are not policemen responsible for enforcing criminal law, even at personal physical risk. Publicans and restaurateurs were forced into a position where they had to physically remove patrons who dared to smoke in their premises – or at least, call the police. If they called the police, then they were classed as ‘a nuisance’, and their licences were at risk. The Hospitality Industry complied without even a tussle, and thus came the template.

It is clear that the template is going to be used over and over again, now that it has been established as legitimate. But that is Fascist in that it implies absolute power of the State over citizens.

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But the Tobacco Control Industry had it easy at the time. There was a huge target which was easy to attack. In this case, the import of ‘raw tobacco’, the target is tiny. According to the document, some 56 metric tonnes of ‘raw tobacco’ are imported annually. That sounds a lot. But if you look at statistics, you find that it is tiny. For example, the import of oranges:

http://www.cbi.eu/system/files/marketintel/2011_Fresh_oranges_in_the_United_Kingdom.pdf

 “In 2010, the UK consumed 229 thousand tonnes of fresh sweet oranges.”

229,000 tonnes. Compared with that, what is the size the size of UK imports of ‘raw tobacco’? 56 tonnes. It is nothing.

But the Zealots in the Tobacco Control Industry would say that the import of 56 tonnes represents a massive loss to the Treasury. Erm… No it does not. Calculate the figures. 56 metric tonnes equals 56 million grams. Even if we take it that all that stuff is converted into cigarettes at 1 gram per cig, the total comes to 2,800,000 packets of 20 fags. If we accept that each packet attracts £6 in duty, that amounts to £16,800,000. Sounds a lot, doesn’t it? But tobacco duty raises some £12,000,000,000 in duty, so what is £16 million here or there? It is a drop in the ocean.

But it does not end there. That £16 million assumes that all the ‘raw tobacco’ is converted into cigs. Also, it assumes that it is possible to collect the duty. It is not possible to do so, since the import and use of that ‘raw tobacco’ is spread over hundreds of thousands of people, who buy a couple of kilos per an.

Clearly, the objective of the authorities is to squash the trade, but that is against the ethos of the EU. The ethos if the EU is to free-up trade, not to destroy it.

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But another point arises. If you buy a kilo of ‘raw tobacco’, it does not transform itself into tobacco products. There is a lot of work involved. In fact, it is hard to see how the produce can be described as ‘tobacco products’ at all. RYO tobacco is taxed as RYO tobacco, and not as the finished product, which is a cigarette. In any case, the purchase of ‘raw tobacco’ is spread out over the whole population of the UK.

Thus arises a massive complexity. Suppose that an importer asks a purchaser of ‘raw tobacco’ what he intends to do with it. Suppose that the purchasers says ‘make cigs’. What then will happen? Will Customs do a dawn raid on that person to acquire duty, even if he has bought only one kilo? Or will the importer be required to refuse to supply? What is clear is that the purchaser will tell a fib.

The utter stupidity of such a regulation is amply described by the power of individuals to pop over to the continent and acquire stuff there.

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The Tobacco Control Industry is getting sillier and sillier. I mean ‘silly’ in the sense of taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

—–

This consultation is just another fraud perpetrated by this intellectually corrupt Government. It is obvious that no one will object, and even if they do so, their objections will be ignored.

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I hate our Government. It is corrupt. Our MPs are cyborgs. I do not know what to do other than vote for UKIP.

 

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6 Responses to “Smuggling and Dried Tobacco Leaves”

  1. Woods42 Says:

    Not that it affects your argument in any real capacity but wasn’t the ‘template’ already in use when car drivers were made responsible for their passenger’s wearing of a seat belt?

    • The Blocked Dwarf Says:

      That may yet turn out to have been Jimmy Saliva’s only real crime against humanity- that he fronted the first ‘public health’ intrusion into our lives and took away our freedom of choice in our own ‘4 walls’ (which we always understood to include our cars). Mind you his fronting for an outdated, dirty, inefficient and ruinously expensive mode of transport (ie This is the Age Of Train) grates with me personally even more than his clunk clicking.

      As to the new and improved-for-all-our healths tobacco tax, I’m wondering if, as I hope, snuff and e-liquid will remain untaxed then it will simply be a question of not having more self shredded tobacco to hand than one needs for the day – I already have a 5 litre bucket of snuff handy should Her Majesty’s Mafia come a knocking..”Yes Officer, I *was* born in the wrong century and consume 50g of hash a day most days, wouldst thou care to partake of a peck whilst I peruse your warrant?-Oh lackaday, thou art without such a script from our Justice Of His majesty’s Peace? Then I bid thee Good day Sir! *slammeth door in officer’s countenance*”

    • junican Says:

      Motorists are not obliged to force adult passengers to put seat belts on. They are only obliged to belt themselves and children. The requirement for publicans etc to force clients to obey the smoking law was a completely new thing.
      That is not to say that there are or have been no circumstance where citizens are not obliged to act, but those circumstances are almost always in ‘accessory’ situations. Such ‘actions’ rarely involve citizens using force or threats of force to enforce laws.
      I still do not understand how ‘not to permit’ smoking translated into ‘force people not to smoke’. It has still never been properly contested in court.

  2. The Blocked Dwarf Says:

    “of hash a day “- should have read ‘snuff’ of course! I can’t smoke the ‘hash’ you crazy kids do, makes me want to kill things.

    • junican Says:

      I have been thinking about how people use e-cig type machines to enjoy ‘hash’. I doubt that they go to all the trouble to extract the various chemicals in hash. I read that e-cig machines are not suitable for hash, but who knows? I could certainly envisage hash being ground to 2.5 mu meters and mixed with propylene glycol (or whatever it is called) and heated in an e-cig machine, Why not? You may have to clean the heater element lots of times or replace the element often, but so what? In fact, why not do likewise with baccy? Grind it to dust (like snuff) and mix it and heat it. What’s the problem? It could be called ‘e-juice’.

  3. nisakiman Says:

    As I understand it, Junican, there are specific machines which are designed for use with cannabis e-liquid (oh yes, they do make it!). I’m not sure what the difference is, but I’ve read that the machines (e-cigs) are not interchangeable. Perhaps dope liquid requires a higher (or lower) temperature.

    I posted this on Leg Iron’s blog today, and it’s pertinent to your post, so I’ll copy and paste it here, too.
    ——————————-
    Here’s a little item from NZ that might interest you, LI.

    “By law (Section 68A of the Customs and Excise Act) people over 18 are allowed to manufacture up to 15 kilograms of tobacco annually for their own use, providing they grow the tobacco at their place of residence.”

    Fifteen kilos. That’s not bad. It’s the equivalent of 300 x 50g packs. More than enough for even the heaviest of smokers. And the picture of the plants looks really good – tobacco obviously grows well in NZ.

    Of course the smoker-haters don’t like it at all. Oh no.

    “But health authorities are strongly discouraging people from growing and smoking their own tobacco, and say smoking is still the largest cause of preventable death and disease in New Zealand, whether it’s home grown or commercially made.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=11354158

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