Europe's spirits maker have welcomed a new global report on illegal alcohol but said more must be done to uncover its true cost to the industry.

Trade association SpiritsEurope said that the OECD report, due to be published today, offers base line estimates of the value of the illicit alcohol trade and was a "great contribution" to the debate. But the association also called on governments and authorities to join in and help measure the scale and value of illicit alcohol in Europe.

"Until now, the percentage of illegal alcohol is estimated by WHO at round 30% across the world and the cost can be counted in billions", said SpiritsEurope director general Skehan. "However, the level of knowledge remains quite poor."

Skehan said that besides the financial cost, illicit alcohol production and counterfeit spirit drinks pose a serious health threat by providing consumers with inferior or even toxic products.

In 2012, more than 45 people died in the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Poland after drinking illicit vodka or rum tainted with methanol.