Subject to any delegated discretion you should follow the standard scales for opening packages as detailed in C2-3.
Cigars are either machine or hand-made. The weight of hand-made cigars will vary more than machine made cigars because of the manner of their production. The weight of machine made cigars will differ mainly because of variations in the single piece of natural tobacco leaf that forms the outer spiral wrapper of the cigar. More information can be found in section TPD8000.
Guidance on the weighing of UK manufactured cigars is contained in section 8 of this book. The weighing of foreign manufactured (imported) cigars is, however, more difficult because the goods are usually already packaged. For ease and convenience boxes of imported cigars may be gross weighed and an average duty tare deducted. (Note: a ‘duty tare’ is the calculated average weight of the packing material in the packages in a particular mark or consignment which, when placed on the weight side of a beam scale or offset on a weighing machine, balances the weight of the packing material in the package. The effect of applying a duty tare is to enable the net weight of the package to be read directly.) You should agree average tares for packs and cases with the trader and these should be reviewed every 6 or 12 months.
You should bear the following advice in mind, when agreeing tares and/or weighing procedures with your trader.
Please note that manufacturers may, over time, change the intended or target net weight (ie weight less all packaging, bands and detachable filters) of cigars of any particular brand. Cigars will obviously weigh less if the manufacturer reduces the length or circumference. Not so obvious is the fact that cigar manufacturers are using more expanded tobacco in the filler. Expanded tobacco (think of ‘puffed wheat’ or ‘pop corn’) allows manufacturers to produce a lighter cigar of the same dimensions as before but attracting a lesser specific duty burden. This is perfectly acceptable but may be worth bearing in mind as a possible source of discrepancy between audits.