The Gin and Vodka Association is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) designed to cement co-operation in tackling alcohol fraud and smuggling into and out of the UK.

"I welcome the signing today (19 October) of the MoUs between the Gin and Vodka Association and HMRC," said Edwin Atkinson, director general of the Gin and Vodka Association. "Because gin and vodka is the largest sector in the UK spirits market, the industry is well placed to provide information that could have a significant impact on spirits fraud and these agreements reflect this.

"The Association has worked in close co-operation with HMRC for some time now and our continuing support through these MoUs will prove to be a valuable tool in combating fraud and the criminals who profit from it."

The Gin and Vodka association said UK spirits producers will be actively working with HMRC to tackle the spirits fraud problem, particularly large scale freight diversion frauds.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is also poised to sign a similar agreement with HMRC.