Lords Committee Fails to Address Duty Fraud in EU Alcohol Strategy Report

The House of Lords European Union Committee have failed to acknowledge action against duty fraud in their recommendations on the future of the EU Alcohol Strategy.

In the report, the Committee acknowledges that alcohol duty fraud costs the Exchequer £1.3bn annually, but falls short of making any specific recommendations to tackle the problem.

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Home Office Will Not Introduce Locally Set Licensing Fee

The Home Office have confirmed today that they will not allow councils to set licensing fees locally.

ACS chief executive, James Lowman, said: “We are pleased that the Government has listened to our concerns about locally set licensing fees and recognised the certainty and consistency that centrally set fees provides retailers. The power for retailers to nominate their own payment date for licensing fees is also welcome and will ease administrative burdens.”

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ACS Welcomes Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme

New measures announced in the Finance Bill today will introduce an Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS) in an attempt to tackle the illicit and non-duty paid alcohol market.

The AWRS will provide retailers and enforcement agencies with certainty about the legitimacy of alcohol wholesalers and make it more difficult for rogue wholesalers to sell illicit alcohol.

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ACS Welcomes Simplified Personal Licence Renewal Procedure

ACS has welcomed the Home Office’s simplified personal licence renewal application process for retailers prior to the implementation of the Deregulation Bill in early 2015. On Friday (28th November), the Home Office confirmed that they would be simplifying the renewal procedure for licensees who need to renew their personal licences between now and early 2015.

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ACS Welcomes HMRC Pledge to Work With Licensing Authorities

ACS has welcomed a new crackdown on the illicit trade in tobacco and alcohol announced by HM Revenue and Customs.

ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: “We believe that any retailer who sells non-duty paid alcohol or tobacco should be subject to the full force of the law. This new wave of activity from HMRC is a welcome sign, and their commitment to working with licensing authorities gives hope that more retailers selling illicit alcohol and tobacco will lose their licence.”

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ACS Responds to Alcohol Health Lobby Manifesto

ACS has responded to the 2015 Manifesto published by the All Party Group on Alcohol Misuse.

The Group, which is a forum for MPs and Peers sympathetic to the policy objectives of alcohol health campaigners, has set out a ten point wish list of measures they would like to see imposed by the next Government. It includes minimum unit pricing, health warnings on alcohol labels and new powers for Councils to prevent the opening of new off licences.

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Justice Minister Pledges Meeting on Protection of Workers Selling Alcohol

Minister of State for Justice, Rt Hon Lord Faulks, has agreed to a meeting to discuss the protection of workers who sell alcohol as part of a debate in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

The debate, which took place last night (21st July), concerned an amendment that would have given extra legal protection to staff who are assaulted whilst selling alcohol by creating a separate summary offence on a worker enforcing the provision of the Licensing Act for the sale of alcohol.

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