Export cheats cost Exchequer £25 million in lost duty

14 February, 2011

Drawback fraud is costing the UK £25 million a year in lost revenue, the government has admitted.

Suppliers of alcohol and tobacco are entitled to claim back duty if they are intending to export the goods overseas, but the system is regularly exploited by fraudsters who resell the products illegally in the UK market.

According to Treasury minister Justine Greening, £117.4 million was claimed in drawback in 2010 – a figure which also includes energy products. That compares with £116.8 million in 2009 and £130.8 million in 2008.

Although she admitted that £25 million was the government’s “best estimate” on drawback fraud, she said claimants had to meet a number of criteria before receiving repayment. These include making goods available for inspection, and evidence either of duty payment in another EU country or proof of export outside the union.




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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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