Wholesaler registration scheme is "victory for the good guys"

06 December, 2013

Bielby: "Victory for the good guys"

Wholesalers’ pleas were answered in George Osbourne’s autumn statement when he announced that the government will launch a registration scheme for alcohol wholesalers.

The chancellor said it would be the largest package of measures to tackle tax avoidance, tax evasion, fraud and error so far this Parliament”.

The Federation of Wholesale Distributors has spent years lobbying hard for a registration scheme to help stamp out the fraud that hits legitimate businesses in the pocket.

Its chief executive called it “a victory for the good guys”.

He added: “While the new regime will place an administrative responsibility on FWD members and others who trade legally, it will expose and exclude those who are breaking the law.   

“We will be working with the government to ensure that the scheme is effective and comprehensive while placing the smallest possible burden on registered businesses and their customers.”

HMRC’s new database of registered alcohol wholesalers will allow retailers and suppliers to check whether the wholesaler they use is trading legally.

James Lowman, chief executive at the Association of Convenience Stores, said: “The trade in non-duty paid alcohol is blighting communities throughout the country, which has been made possible by a gaping hole in the regulation of the supply chain. Registration of wholesalers has a vital role to play in shutting this down.

“We will work closely with Government to make the registration scheme work, and continue to press for more action to close down the businesses trading in direct competition with honest retailers.”

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