Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) was set up in June 2009 to represent retailers in the fight against the black market in Ireland.

We have almost 3,000 retail members around the country and 15 corporate sponsors.

Our Aims

Aim 1: Impose Fines
Minimum fines for cigarette smugglers and illegal cigarette sellers.
Aim 2: Raise Awareness
To raise awareness about cigarette smuggling and illegal cigarette selling among the public, media and political system and about the effects of illicit tobacco on retailers.
Aim 3: Instigate Legal Reform
To campaign for legislative reform and extra law enforcement resources.
Aim 4: Liaise with Law Enforcement
To liaise with the relevant law enforcement authorities.

The RAS Charter: A ten point action plan to stamp out smuggling.

The unacceptable levels of cigarette and fuel smuggling in Ireland needs to be tackled in a multi-layered, cross jurisdictional manner, involving a wide range of Government departments and agencies. Tobacco and fuel should only be sold in registered retail outlets. Any other point of sale is illegal and should be dealt with as such.

10 Point Action Plan

A moratorium on further excise increases until such increases can be proven not to encourage smuggling as a result of price differentials.
We strive to make it illegal to purchase illicit cigarettes.
The establishment of a working group on illegal trade in Ireland in which all interested parties are invited to participate.
Full use of existing resource and an increase in same over time to allow the Revenue Commissioners, with An Garda Siochana, to enhance their efforts to tackle tobacco and fuel smuggling.
Support, through resources pledged for An Garda Siochána and the Revenue Commissioners, for the work of the Joint Agency Task Force, set up under the terms of the 2015 A Fresh Start Agreement, to tackle cross-jurisdictional organised crime.
An extension of the Fines (Payment and Recovery) Act 2014 to cover all those deemed to have illegally smuggled cigarettes or fuel, regardless of that person’s means.
An extension of the investigations scope of Revenue to non-registered retail outlets; for those outlets which are repeat offenders of selling illicit cigarettes and tobacco; and the serving of closure orders.
A repeal of market licences by local councils where illegal goods have been found to be sold.
Increased inspections of non-tobacco and non-fuel retail shops by Environmental Health Officers.
Regular spot checking of fuel transports on the road for compliance with carbon tax and VAT legislation.
  • The Journal

    Over 10 million cigarettes worth €6 million seized at Dublin Port

    Revenue Officer seized more than 10 million cigarettes in Dublin Port  
    The Journal
  • Irish Examiner

    Three arrested after Revenue seize more than 33,000 cigarettes in separate operations

    Revenue officers at Dublin Airport seized more than 33,000 cigarettes with an estimated retail value of €22,500.
    Irish Examiner
  • Irish Examiner

    'Giving information works' - Labour TD praises community for helping authorities in €1.5m seizure

    Labour's Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has welcomed the seizure of over 20kg of cocaine worth €1.5m which was found in the back of a vehicle at Rosslare Harbour
    Irish Examiner
  • Irish Examiner

    Alcohol seized at Irish ports doubled in 2019

    The amount of illicit alcohol seized at Ireland's ports and airports doubled last year
    Irish Examiner
  • The Irish Times

    Tobacco seizures down by 75% as smugglers use ‘sophisticated concealments’

    Revenue says smugglers using ‘inventive and complex methods’ to bring in cigarettes
    The Irish Times

A unified voice, RAS aims to halt and reverse the growth of the illicit trade in Ireland.

RAS is funded and kindly supported by corporate sponsors including: Applegreen; Barry Group; BWG Foods Ltd; Circle K; CPL Fuels Ireland; CSNA; DHL; Hardware Association of Ireland; Irish Tobacco Manufacturers Advisory Committee (ITMAC); NFRN; Nightline Group; Primeline Group; Retail Excellence; RGDATA; and Stonehouse.

Benny Gilsenan

Benny Gilsenan

National Spokesperson

With over forty years experience in the grocery trade, Benny Gilsenan is an Irish retail expert. In 1965, Benny moved from Oldcastle to work in wholesale and opened his first and only shop on Emmet Street, right opposite Croke Park in November 1973.

William Hanley

William Hanley

National Spokesperson

William has been involved in retailing ever since he joined Quinnsworth in Limerick after leaving school in 1988. Having then managed a number of SuperValu and Centra stores, William went on to open his own SuperValu in Clondalkin in 2005.

Stephen Daly

Stephen Daly


Stephen Daly along with his wife Mary have been operating Happy Days newsagent in Galway Shopping Centre for 29 years. Stephen served for many years on the national executive of the CSNA and was elected President for the year May 2013 to May 2014.

Marcella O' Neill

Marcella O' Neill


Marcella and her sister Ann own O'Neill’s Mace on Upper William Street, Limerick. O Neill’s is one of the longest established businesses in Limerick City and has been trading in Upper William Street for over three generations.

What can you do?

What exactly is the scale of the problem? The black market damages livelihoods, hurts businesses and supports criminality. It is vital that we all work with retailers, An Garda Síochána and Customs to tackle this problem. Every euro spent on illegal products is one less euro to support your local economy. Now is the time to fight back and we can all help.
What can I do? Report suspicious activity and ask your local TD to tackle the black market now. Call the Revenue Confidential freephone: 1800 295 295. Contact you local TD or Senator about this issue.
Why should I help? The illicit trade in tobacco creates the greatest cost in terms of annual losses of revenue to the Exchequer. In 2018, approximately 23 million packs of illegal cigarettes were consumed in Ireland, represents a potential loss to the Exchequer of approximately €211 million (Excise & VAT).

Retailers Against Smuggling.

If you need to get in touch with us please see our details below or click on the email address to send us a message.

13% of cigarettes sold are contraband
2M: The annual cost of fuel smuggling
75M: The cost of environmental damage
47000Jobs lost per year
  • Applegreen
  • Barry Group
  • BWG
  • circlek
  • CPL Fuels Ireland
  • CSNA
  • DHL
  • Hardware Association of Ireland
  • National Federation of Retail Newsagents
  • Nightline Group
  • Primeline
  • Retail Excellence
  • Retail Grocery Dairy & Allied Trades Association
  • Stonehouse