Best of all the UKBA have no right to stop you and if they do you are not oblighed to cooperate with them. The only time they are allowed to stop anyone is if thye suspect that cigs are being sold, and must tell u if this is the case and thye have to prove it before they detain you. This guy has proven this:
That guy has proven nothing.
UKBA are a force onto themselves - and when you look at the powers that they do have on behalf of HMRC, it's really not hard to see how they can make someone crack. People might talk the good fight, but the second that they're in a room with an UKBA officer, who is pointing out exactly what the law says in regards to potential punishments - they're going to break sooner rather than later.
Take a look here -
However the Courts have ruled that that those who bring in large quantities of tobacco must be ready to provide a satisfactory explanation, the absence of which may cause Customs Officials to conclude that the items are not for personal use, but for some commercial purpose.
As far as English law goes, the principle is well established that anyone going over the guidelines set must be able to prove to the Customs officers that it's for personal use only. The definition of "satisfactory explanation" is about as vague as it gets - really, who do you think the courts are going to side with when it comes to a seizure?
You can quote rights and laws until the cows come home - but the reality of the situation is that anyone stopped with more than 3200 cigarettes is going to have a hell of a job explaning just why they need so many. HMRC point blank refuse to endorse any importation in advance - which just adds to the complexity of the situation.
He's also making one huge mistake on that website. He claims that there are NO LIMITS - then goes on to talk about what you can bring back from Belgium. In regards to Belgium->UK, you can take 3200 - we know this. But. France has been seizing cigarettes for years from people doing the Adinkerke run - and anyone who knows anything about French justice knows that there's not a hope in hell of a Brit obtaining a favourable judgment from a French court.
Take a look at his second post here - nothing-2-declare.blogspot.com
- he makes it clear that the UKBA officer has discretion. No amount of screaming or shouting about EU rights is going to help when you're reminded that you risk a criminal record over a few cigarettes - and the vast majority of people simply aren't going to risk it.
The only sensible advice to give is to avoid the hassle and take 3200 and no more. Even if the law is technically on your side (though untested - and I doubt the average cigarette runner has the money to force a judical review) - what are you going to achieve but aggarvation when trying to deal with HMRC and UKBA? I certainly wouldn't want to be at the mercy of the courts when dealing with a case when "honest uniformed officers just trying to do the best they can" come up against someone who was spending money abroad to avoid UK taxes.