Business Irish

Saturday 18 August 2018

Retailers fear Brexit will increase smuggling

Businesses in the Border region are fearful that they will suffer losses as smugglers seek to gain new markets off the back of Brexit. Stock photo.
Businesses in the Border region are fearful that they will suffer losses as smugglers seek to gain new markets off the back of Brexit. Stock photo.
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Cross-boarder smuggling and criminality will increase once the UK leaves the European Union, according to one in three retailers.

Businesses in the Border region are fearful that they will suffer losses as smugglers seek to gain new markets off the back of Brexit.

A study by Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) has found that 44pc of retailers in the Border counties have recorded a noticeable increase in illicit trade in recent years.

Ahead of Budget 2018, RAS are calling for a moratorium on further excise increases until such rises can be proven not to lead to a surge in smugglings.

And the survey found that a majority of retailers would like to see the purchasing of illicit goods made an offence.

This measure is included in the Sale of Illicit Goods Bill which is before the Dáil and would make it an offence for a person to buy alcohol, tobacco or solid fuel from an unregistered retailer.

One third of retailers fear the black-market is set to grow in the wake of Brexit.

The potential of tariffs being added to goods crossing the border if the UK leaves the customs' union would be a major driving force.

Responses from 114 retailers in Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan, Sligo, and Louth were combined with the views of 101 retailers from north of the Border for the survey.

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