FWD chairman warns of return of duty fraud

Despite successful initiatives earlier this year, criminals are again threatening to damage wholesalers’ beer and wine sales, the chairman of the FWD warned at its Annual Dinner.

Francis Ball said: “There are the unmistakable signs of beer fraud being on the increase again. FWD has moved quickly on this and has already held high-level talks with HM Revenue Customs. It is also battling the fraudsters very actively in the wine category.”

Ball paid tribute to the work by FWD earlier this year which had lobbied the government over problems caused by the duty drawback system, and worked closely with the brewers to prevent fraudsters getting supplies of beer.

He added: “Success was achieved when, in the last Budget, measures were implemented to tighten up the drawback system. Concurrently, the major brewers also took action to control their supply lines more effectively. All this had an amazing and immediate effect of returning huge volumes of beer back to the legitimate trade – and thus profitability back to this hugely important category.

“The Federation earned a lot of well-deserved kudos for its work and cash and carry members in particular believed that it represented one the biggest ‘wins’ in FWD’s entire history.”

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