A new initiative to stamp out fraud in the drinks industry has been launched by HM Revenue Customs (HMRC).
The scheme, which has been developed in consultation with the FWD, will require the alcohol industry to apply duty stamps to bottles of spirits of 30% abv or more. This initiative will be supported by a new drive by HMRC officers to crack down on alcohol fraud.
Wholesalers will start to see duty stamps appearing on bottles over the next few months and from October 1 bottles released onto the UK market, for instance from an excise warehouse, will have to bear a stamp. From October 1, wholesalers should not be accepting unstamped product unless it was released before this date and they keep their normal records to show when they purchased the goods.
John Healey, financial secretary at the Treasury, commented: “The UK duty stamps scheme is central to the Government’s strategy to tackle alcohol fraud and its introduction is a significant move to combat those criminal organisations that undermine legitimate business.
“I am pleased that industry representatives including representatives from the wholesale trade are working closely with Government to ensure its smooth introduction.”
A website has been developed to give guidance on the scheme (www.ukdutystamps.info) and further information is also available on: 0845 010 9000.