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UK Customs Mulls Tax Stamp System For Spirits

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

19 December 2001


The Christmas spirit seems to be sadly lacking at the UK Customs Department, as it revealed recently that it is considering the introduction of a tax stamp system for alcoholic spirits in order to reduce the amount lost each year through tax evasion and fraud.

The system, which is similar to that recently introduced on cigarettes and tobacco products, would assist in the identification of smuggled products, as well as ensuring effective revenue collection. The issue of the stamp would form the basis for paying UK excise duty on spirits, which would mean that the duty is effectively paid before the product is delivered to the UK market.

The Customs and Excise Department has issued a consultation document outlining its proposals, and detailing the costs, benefits, and practicalities of introducing a stamp system for spirits to trade associations representing the industry's major players- spirits producers, bottlers, warehouse keepers, wholesalers, and retailers. The deadline for submissions is 5th March 2002.


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