Alcohol duty fraud remains a significant issue in the UK

Alcohol duty fraud remains a significant issue in the UK

The UK Government has confirmed that will it introduce new measures to tackle alcohol duty fraud from next year.  

In today's (5 December) full Autumn Statement, the coalition said that the new measures will include a requirement from early 2014 for alcohol retailers to ensure their suppliers and customers are “legitimate”. The new clampdown will also include a registration scheme for alcohol wholesalers, to take effect in 2016. 

A government consultation on tackling UK alcohol duty fraud was launched last year and is due to report back

Trade body the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) welcomed the government's confirmation today.

“The BBPA and our members are fully committed to working with HMRC and all stakeholders to tackle alcohol fraud,” said chief executive Brigid Simmonds.  “We have always welcomed HMRC’s proposals for wholesaler registration, which requires robust enforcement to be effective, alongside due diligence on first customer relationships.”

HM Revenue & Custom figures published in October showed that the size of the UK's illicit alcohol market shrunk last year, but remains significant.

Alcohol duty fraud is estimated to cost UK taxpayers around GBP1.2bn a year, according to government figures.