Illicit alcohol and tobacco

Trading Standards have made many seizures of illicit alcohol and tobacco over recent years and are interested to hear – from consumers or other businesses - of any suspect goods being sold in the borough.  All information will be treated in confidence.

Illicit goods are those which are counterfeit, non-UK duty paid or stolen.  They

  • may be unsafe, if they are counterfeit, as the normal quality standards will be ignored;

  • allow business trading illegally to complete unfairly with honest businesses;

  • boost the profits of organised criminals, who are behind the distribution of these goods;

  • cause huge losses to the UK’s tax revenues.

Trading Standards intend to carry out more visits to counter this widespread problem.  Businesses selling illicit goods may be prosecuted or have their alcohol licence revoked or suspended.

A link to our guidance letter on this subject, detailing the rules and checks that businesses are advised to follow is below.  Posters intended to warn sellers of illicit goods that you will not buy are also available. 

Retailers who are found with illicit goods and that are not following our advice are likely to be prosecuted and/or have their premises licence reviewed.  Between July 2011 and March 2014, 25 premises licences were revoked and 17 suspended for periods of up to 3 months.

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