Legitimate alcohol trade gaining the upper hand, says FWD

A Government initiative to tackle duty evasion on alcohol products is helping restore the supply chain to legitimate operators, says the Federation of Wholesale Distributors.

The Joint Alcohol Anti-Fraud Task Force (JAAT) this week issued its Annual Report, which highlights the work done by Government and industry stakeholders to tackle the £1.3bn loss of duty revenue each year to fraudulent traders of beer, wines and spirits. Formed in 2014, the JAAT has established the scale and nature of the fraud, and continues to raise awareness of the danger of becoming involved in the illicit supply chain. With input from brand owners, enforcement agencies and trade associations, it is also looking at technological solutions to counter fraud, and encouraging co-operation to track and trace duty-evaded goods.

FWD chief executive James Bielby said: “We are pleased with the progress JAAT is making on behalf of wholesalers who trade within the law. It has been helpful to use the JAAT Communications working group to ensure that the whole alcohol supply chain is aware of the requirements of the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme which goes live in the autumn.

“In future we would like to see the JAAT Communications group using its shared resources to send a message to anyone involved in, or in danger of being caught up in, the illegal trade in alcohol. This should include widespread communication of enforcement activity at borders, wholesale premises, warehouses, distribution and local shops, with clear indications of the penalties for stocking duty-evaded products.

“Along with the increased investment in anti-fraud enforcement and the alcohol wholesaler registration scheme, JAAT represents a concerted effort by Government to drive criminals out of the alcohol supply chain.”

FWD chairs the JAAT communications work group, and contributes to three other JAAT workstreams.

The full report can be read here http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/joint-alcohol-anti-fraud-taskforce-annual-report-2015

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