Trade Bodies Meet with Exchequer Secretary to Discuss Illicit Alcohol Trade

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) and the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) have pressed for more action to tackle duty fraud and the illicit trade in alcohol and tobacco at a meeting with Priti Patel MP, the Exchequer Secretary.

Non-UK duty paid tobacco and alcohol is estimated to cost the Treasury more than £2.6bn in lost revenue, and harm tens of thousands of legitimate businesses.  ACS and FWD have a close working relationship with HM Revenue and Customs in developing its enforcement strategy including the development of the vitally important registration scheme for alcohol wholesalers due to commence in 2017, and both organisations chair working groups of the Joint Alcohol Anti-Fraud Taskforce.

FWD Chief Executive James Bielby said: “The battle against alcohol duty fraud is being fought on three fronts – the registration of wholesalers, new due diligence requirements for excise traders, and increased enforcement activity by HMRC. In recent weeks HMRC has made encouraging progress in its crackdown on fraudsters, and we will work with the Minister and her team to ensure that the other preventative measures are equally effective.”

ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: “We know that HM Revenue and Customs are committed to tackling the problem of duty fraud, and we are pleased that the Minister shares the concerns of legitimate tax-paying businesses on these issues.

“We reiterated our support for the new wholesale registration scheme that has a vital role to play in closing down the pervasive trade in non-UK duty paid beers wines and spirits. We are working closely with the Minister and her officials to make a wholesaler registration scheme work, and we are determined that this leads to more of those engaged in this trade being prosecuted and, in the case of irresponsible retailers, losing their licences.”

The meeting took place on the 8th October. ACS will be making a submission on duty rates as part of its submission to the Autumn Financial statement later this month. FWD is working with HMRC on the plans for implementing the wholesale registration scheme, which are expected to be announced by HMRC shortly.

This entry was posted by Chris on Wed, 08/10/2014 - 13:36