name='smudge']The opening charge and the duty charges are entirely separate things. The opening charge goes straight to the Post Office ; this went up earlier this year by a measly 100% to the £8 mentioned.
So much gets through 'duty free' because the clearance depots are swamped. Technically, however, you are required to make a declaration of duty if you receive a parcel without being charged.
Once they realise that the tax revenues from smoking are diminishing post-ban, they'll be coming round to the forum members with search warrants....
There is talk of the £18 baseline being REDUCED.