Customs and Excise
30 May 2012
The SWA works with HMRC on a range of
technical issues relating to procedures and controls.
Avoidance of paying duty on excise goods such as Scotch Whisky
damages legitimate businesses and diverts money from public
services. It is often carried out by organised
criminals getting goods onto market without paying taxes.
HMRC estimates that in 2009 up to £440m in revenue was lost to
the Treasury. While the SWA might not always agree
with HMRC about how to estimate and tackle duty evasion, it takes
alcohol fraud very seriously. The SWA works closely with HMRC and
the legitimate trade to help understand where and how alcohol fraud
In 2005, the SWA signed a landmark Memorandum of
Understanding, a formal undertaking to co-operate and to signal
that spirits fraud will not be tolerated. The agreement with HMRC
was refreshed in 2008.
Excise Movement and Control System
The Operational and Technical Affairs team has worked with HMRC
on the implementation of the new EU Excise Movement and Control
System (EMCS). EMCS captures and processes information on
all movements of excise goods in duty suspension within the
EMCS replaced the old paper system for all UK traders
dispatching or receiving duty suspended excise goods to and from EU
Member States from 1 January 2011.
The SWA continues to work closely with HMRC to help resolve
initial teething problems with the new system to ensure a fair and
workable trading environment for its members.