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Netherlands Targets Untaxed Beer Imports

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

05 December 2012

On behalf of the Netherlands customs administration, Dutch Financial State Secretary Frans Weekers recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the director of the Dutch brewers association Cees-Jan Adema, designed to combat the illegal import of beer from abroad, thereby ensuring due payment of excise duty in future.

In the text of the MoU, both parties agreed on the specific information and data to be exchanged to better identify imports of beer on which no excise duty has been paid and to improve compliance with excise rules in the trade of beer.

Welcoming the signing of the agreement, Weekers emphasized that unfair competition and tax evasion are simply not fair to honest entrepreneurs and to all other taxpayers who contribute to the state treasury. Both brewers in the Netherlands and the finance ministry are "very motivated" to tackle fraud, Weekers stressed.

Underlining the fact that illegal imports of beer are a big problem for both brewers and the Dutch Treasury, Adema estimated that one in ten glasses of beer are sold without excise duty being paid. Adema pointed out that this results in significant revenue loss for the government and leads to job losses in breweries and supermarkets, noting that brewers operating in border areas are most affected.

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax compliance | Netherlands | tax avoidance | law | excise duty | food | agreements | memorandum of understanding (MOU) | trade

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