Search Legislation

Policing and Crime Act 2009

Border controls
Section 98 General information powers in relation to persons entering or leaving the UK

549.This section amends the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 (CEMA) by inserting new section 157A to enable an officer of Revenue and Customs to require a person entering or leaving the UK to produce their passport or travel documents and answer questions about their journey. Referring to the subsections of the new section 157A:

  • Subsection (1) empowers officers to require the production of a person’s passport and travel documents and to ask questions about a person’s journey.

  • Subsection (2) defines “passport”.

  • Subsection (3) applies these powers at the final airport of destination in the UK for air transit passengers who first entered the UK at another airport.

  • Subsection (4) defines a “transit air passenger”.

550.Subsection (2) of section 98 of the Act adds the new power to the list of powers contained in section 4(3) of the Finance (No. 2) Act 1992. This restricts the application of certain CEMA powers in relation to the movement of people or things between EU Member States.

Section 99 Powers in relation to cash.

551.Section 99 deals with powers available to detect cash at the border. The aim of this section is the prevention of money laundering by means of movement of cash into and out of the UK.

552.Subsection (1) inserts new section 164A into CEMA. The new section clarifies those CEMA powers available to officers at the border to ask questions about, and to search for, cash that is recoverable property or is intended by any person for use in unlawful conduct (as defined in subsections 289(6) and (7) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002). The new section also ensures compliance with the Cash Control Regulation on controls of cash entering or leaving the Community (Regulation (EC) No. 1889/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council).

553.Subsections (2) and (3) amends section 4(2) of the Finance (No. 2) Act 1992 to make clear that the powers listed in section 4(3) of that Act apply to cash which is recoverable property or intended for use in unlawful conduct as well as to goods.

Section 100 Lawful interception of postal items by Revenue and Customs

554.Section 100 clarifies the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). The section puts beyond doubt that the protection from interception afforded to postal communications in RIPA does not restrict Revenue and Customs powers to check international postal traffic for customs or excise purposes.

555.The section inserts a new subsection (3A) into section 3 of RIPA. This makes it clear that checks on international postal traffic carried out under section 159 CEMA (as applied to postal traffic by the Postal Services Act 2000) are lawful interceptions for the purpose of RIPA.

556.It also adds persons engaged by the Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to the list of persons in s17(3) of RIPA who may lawfully intercept communications and disclose the contents for the purpose of legal proceedings.

Section 101 Prohibition on importation or exportation of false identity documents etc

557.Section 101 prohibits the importation and exportation of false identity documents.

558.Subsection (1) creates a prohibition on the importation and exportation of false identity documents. A prohibition on importation or exportation engages the existing powers in CEMA. This means that where the prohibited items are discovered they are liable to forfeiture under section 49 CEMA and can be seized under section 139 of that Act. Improper importation of a prohibited item is an offence under section 50 of CEMA and evading the prohibition is an offence under section 170 of that Act.

559.Subsection (2) sets out which documents are caught by the prohibition.

560.Subsection (3) defines “document”, “false” and “identity document”. It relies on definitions in the Identity Cards Act 2006 and the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.

Section 102 Prohibition on importation of offensive weapons

561.Section 141(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (CJA) contains a power for the Secretary of State to specify offensive weapons. Where a weapon is specified, it is an offence to sell, hire or manufacture that weapon under section 141(1) CJA. The importation of a specified weapon was previously also prohibited under section 141(4) CJA. Section 141(4) CJA is repealed by paragraph 119(2) in Part 11 of Schedule 7 to this Act (minor and consequential amendments).

562.Section 102 inserts new sections 141ZB, 141ZC and 141ZD into the CJA. New section 141ZB CJA creates a new prohibition on the importation of a weapon, replacing that in section 141(4) CJA. Section 141ZB CJA also creates a separate power for the Secretary of State to specify weapons for the purposes of the prohibition on importation only. New section 141ZC CJA sets out the exceptions to the prohibition on importation, which mirror the defences to an offence under section 141(1) CJA. New section 141ZD CJA makes provision about the burden of proof applying in respect of the exceptions.

563.The purpose of section 102 is to clarify the position of Scottish Ministers in relation to the power to make orders specifying weapons for prohibition, by drawing a distinction between the prohibition on manufacture, sale or hire, and the prohibition on importation (restrictions on importation being a reserved matter). The effect of section 102 is that importation restrictions are created by the Secretary of State on a UK wide basis. Scottish Ministers are still be able to make an order under section 141 CJA specifying weapons for the purposes of the prohibition on their manufacture, sale or hire in Scotland, but no importation consequences flow from the order.

564.Subsections (2) to (4) contain transitional provisions. These provisions apply where a weapon has been imported in breach of a prohibition but it cannot be proven whether the prohibition is that imposed by section 141(4) CJA (before it was repealed) or by section 141ZB CJA. In such a case, then for the purposes of any criminal proceedings under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, it shall be conclusively presumed that the conduct took place after the commencement of section 102 and therefore that the relevant prohibition is that in section 141ZB CJA. The purpose of this transitional provision is to ensure that a defendant is not able to escape liability solely on the basis that it cannot be proven which importation prohibition has been breached.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources

Impact Assessments

Impact Assessments generally accompany all UK Government interventions of a regulatory nature that affect the private sector, civil society organisations and public services. They apply regardless of whether the regulation originates from a domestic or international source and can accompany primary (Acts etc) and secondary legislation (SIs). An Impact Assessment allows those with an interest in the policy area to understand:

  • Why the government is proposing to intervene;
  • The main options the government is considering, and which one is preferred;
  • How and to what extent new policies may impact on them; and,
  • The estimated costs and benefits of proposed measures.