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Working together to tackle excise fraud

Press Release   •   Feb 27, 2013 13:47 GMT

A revised multi-agency protocol to tackle excise fraud by dubious hauliers could lead to an increase in the number of hauliers losing their licences to operate, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced.

Hauliers who facilitate the movement of illicit alcohol, tobacco, and fuel could lose their operator licences under the new protocol, which has been developed in partnership with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Traffic Commissioners (TC).

Excise fraud involving alcohol, tobacco, and misuse of oil costs the UK almost £3bn a year and HMRC are committed to reducing the amount of illicit products on the market.

By working together, HMRC, VOSA and the TC can more effectively remove those operating in the illicit supply of alcohol and tobacco, and provide a more effective deterrent to those considering entering the illicit trade.

Andy Wiggins, Oils policy team leader at HMRC said:

“Hauliers who choose not to play by the rules distort free and fair competition within the market, placing the large majority of legitimate hauliers at a disadvantage. So this initiative is about HMRC helping to create a level playing field.

“Hauliers should be aware that by participating in fraudulent activity, including the movement of illicit alcohol, tobacco and oils products or the evasion of road fuel duty, they run the risk of having their licence to operate removed.”

More detail on the protocol can be found at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/news/vosa-update.htm.

Notes to Editors

1. The protocol builds on the work put in place in 2011, helping the disclosure of relevant information between agencies.

2. The Traffic Commissioners have responsibility for ensuring only fit and proper people hold licences to carry out certain activities on public roads, while HMRC have responsibility for collecting excise duty revenues, including reducing the amount of illicit excisable product on the open market, and preventing misuse of rebated fuel.

3. Follow HMRC on Twitter - @hmrcgovuk

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.