ACS Welcomes APPG Recommendations on New Illicit Trade Group

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed a new report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Illicit Trade, which recommends the creation of a dedicated UK Anti-Illicit Trade Group.

The UK Anti-Illicit Trade Group would include representatives from law enforcement, government, trade associations and other industry groups with the aim of preventing the illicit trade, raising awareness of the dangers of illicit products, and ensuring that enforcement against the illicit trade is effective.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The trade in non-duty paid alcohol and illicit tobacco is a significant problem for responsible retailers across the UK that are being undercut by criminals selling illegitimate and sometimes dangerous products. We welcome the recommendations in the APPG report on the creation of a targeted group to deal with issues surrounding the illicit trade.”

ACS provided written and oral evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group’s Inquiry earlier this year. In its written submission to the Inquiry, ACS made the following recommendations to tackle the illicit trade:

  • Trading standards and licensing authorities should work closer together to remove alcohol licences from retailers selling non-duty paid alcohol
  • The government should evaluate the effectiveness of the Alcohol Wholesale Registration Scheme
  • Extending Restricted Premise Orders and Restricted Sales Orders to include illicit tobacco as an offence
  • Granting additional powers to trading standards officers to sanction retailers by using the Customs & Excise Management Act 1979 (CEMA) and better intelligence sharing
  • More effective sanctions should be made available to trading standards officers, including the revocation of alcohol licences for selling illicit tobacco

The illicit trade remains a significant problem across the UK, with non-duty paid alcohol costing the Exchequer £1.3bn in 2015-16. Since alcohol tax gap figures were recorded, there has been a steady increase in the tax gap rate for alcohol, with it increasing by 57% from £830m in 2008-09 to £1.3bn in 2015-16. Illicit tobacco cost the Exchequer £2.5bn in 2016-17.

This entry was posted by Chloe on Wed, 18/07/2018 - 16:55