Retailers call for protection of legitimate Irish businesses in Budget 2018

Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS), which represents over 3,000 small and medium sized retailers nationwide, today publish their Budget 2018 submission calling for:

  1. A moratorium on further excise increases until such rises can be proven not to lead to a surge in smuggling as a result of price differentials.
  2. In the context of Brexit, provide increased resources for Revenue to enhance their efforts to tackle alcohol, tobacco and solid fuel smuggling.
  3. Provide support for the Sale of Illicit Goods Bill 2017 which provides for on-the-spot fines for buyers of illicit goods of alcohol, tobacco and solid fuel.[1]
  4. Implement the registration of all solid fuel traders provided for in the Environment (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 2015 to ensure that retailers are tax and VAT compliant.

RAS spokesperson and retailer in Dublin city, Benny Gilsenan, said at the launch of the Budget 2018 submission: “The Revenue Commissioners stated in the recent Tax Strategy Group papers that we must ‘remain vigilant that reductions [of seizures] may be due to changes in smuggling activity’.  This is a great concern to retailers, especially as Minister Coveney warned last week of the increased danger of smuggling with an unresolved border situation.”

Benny concluded, “The legitimate trade of alcohol, tobacco and solid fuel accounts for up to 50% of retailer’s business turnover and the ever-increasing excise applied to tobacco products is undermining our ability to do business whilst making life considerably easier for criminals engaged in smuggling”.

Retailers Against Smuggling’s full Budget 2018 submission can be found here.