3 April 2017
Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) today welcome the introduction of the Sale of Illicit Goods Bill as a significant step in combating smuggling into Ireland – a problem that cost the exchequer as much as €2.4bn in 2015. The aim of the draft legislation is to deter people from buying illicit alcohol, solid fuel and tobacco by introducing on-the-spot fines for buying goods where taxes have not been paid.
RAS spokesman, Benny Gilsenan, welcomed the Bill as a means of protecting small retailers: “This Bill will help protect small retailers by deterring the purchase of illicit goods. This goes some way to closing the gaping holes in Irish legislation that have existed until now.”
While RAS welcome the draft legislation, we also recognise that Revenue officials and An Garda Síochána need more resources to combat smuggling in the coming years:
“Brexit has created a political atmosphere that will likely make cross-border smuggling more lucrative, with a fluctuating sterling and potential tariffs. The Bill ensures that a major gap in the legislation surrounding the illicit trade is closed – the next steps are to ensure that retailers and Revenue do not lose out on yet more money to criminals,” Gilsenan continued.
The draft legislation will be tabled in Dáil Éireann by Fianna Fáil TD for Louth/Meath East, Declan Breathnach and Robert Troy Longford/Westmeath, on 4 April. RAS would like to thank and commend Deputy Breathnach for his dedication in drafting a Bill that is important to the economy of our island during these uncertain times.