Developing new relationships with agencies that play a role in tackling tobacco smuggling

UKBA and HMRC will strengthen their existing partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, as well as developing new relationships with agencies that play a role in tackling tobacco smuggling. These include:
• UK Police Forces – The close links already in place with UK Police Forces and Special Branch in particular, will be fully exploited and developed to further improve information flow at the border and identify new ways of working together to tackle tobacco smuggling.
The recently signed Memorandum of Understanding between UKBA and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) clearly sets out how the two groups will work together. UKBA representatives on ACPO will play a key role in championing the tobacco agenda with our
Police partners.
• Maritime and Coastguard Agency – UKBA will engage with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to identify areas of mutual interest and develop action plans. Smuggling tobacco goods by sea using commercial vessels, fishing boats and pleasure craft has been identified as a clear threat. MCA officers, especially Coastguard officers, are frequent and regular attendees at coastal locations and are well placed to gather information in this challenging environment. The UK Border Force Maritime Branch, with its fleet of five Cutters, frequently works with MCA officers and this relationship will be strengthened through a series of liaison visits, awareness sessions and joint exercises.
• Local authorities – Recognising the expertise that trading standards officers have developed in dealing with counterfeit goods at local level, we will enhance our working arrangements with local authorities to tackle the availability of counterfeit tobacco within communities.

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