No formal assessment of beer duty stamp impact

29 June, 2011

The government admits it has made “no formal assessment” of how a duty stamp system for beer might counteract fraud in the category.

The system has been in place for spirits since 2006 and is said to have made a massive impact on duty fraud in that category.

Brewers argue that duty stamps would add extra costs to their businesses at a time when duty fraud in their sector is already falling.

This week in Parliament Labour MP Lilian Greenwood pressed the Treasury to review the operation of the drawback duty regime, and to disclose which brewers had been contacted about a possible duty stamp system.

Economic secretary to the Treasury Justine Greening said: “At Budget 2011 the government announced that they would explore potential legislative measures to tackle alcohol fraud. This will include reviewing the legislation that underpins the operation of the excise duty drawback regime.

“Treasury and HMRC officials hold regular meetings with the industry to discuss measures to tackle alcohol excise fraud.

“No formal assessment has been made of the potential effects of introducing a fiscal mark on beer at this point.”

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