The guideline covers importation of firearms and ammunition contrary to two offences under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979: sections 50 (improper importation of goods) and 170 (fraudulent evasion of prohibition / restriction). It will be added to a suite of eight existing guidelines for other firearms offences that came into force on 1 January 2021.
The guideline was developed following requests from the National Crime Agency and the Crown Prosecution Service, and feedback from judges, asking the Council to develop a specific guideline for unlawful importation of firearms offences. The new guideline will enable courts to take a consistent approach to sentencing offences they do not routinely see.
The new guideline is available on the Sentencing Council website here. Alongside the guideline, we have also published a response to the consultation and other related documents.