The National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) has welcomed the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group’s publication of its report on its Beer Tax Fraud Inquiry.
In a statement the NFRN said: “We were particularly pleased to see that all of our recommendations as part of the evidence we gave to the inquiry were formally endorsed today, with specific regard to:
- A rejection of the “superficially simple” beer duty stamp proposal which would have seen 86% of the beer brands available on the market exempt and a huge bureaucratic burden on independent retailers who would have to maintain a list of 8,000 brands by brewer production levels.
- Support for a wholesaler register which would allow “HMRC’s proposed sanctions against retailers found stocking illicit product…amended to ensure that a retailer can prove they have exercised due diligence by purchasing from a licensed wholesaler” thus making them “free from liability under the law”.
- The effective utilisation of existing powers by HMRC and Trading Standards to identify and prosecute organised criminal gangs behind duty fraud.
- That resources given to HMRC should be increasingly apportioned to tackling the issue, and that “a proportion of the proceeds seized…be earmarked for reinforcing HMRC’s enforcement operations”.
- The adoption of measures to ensure all trucks approved to carry non-duty paid goods across borders (or an increased proportion) are checked – currently 92% of trucks go unchecked.