There is growing evidence that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has begun a campaign to target warehouse keepers and hauliers who may unknowingly be handling excise goods on which the duty has yet to be paid.
And any company found guilty of storing goods on which duty is outstanding could face ‘financial ruin’ “ even if the storage company was unaware that duty had not been paid.
HMRC is deploying more officers to investigate excise goods supply chains, says Alan Powell of Alan Powell Associates, UKWA’s honorary adviser on Customs & Excise Matters.
He continues: As a result, we are now increasingly seeing third party service providers, including hauliers, warehouse keepers and lessors of property, such as barns and outbuildings, being penalised by HMRC as a result of their involvement with businesses that have evaded duty on alcohol and have absconded “ so called ‘missing traders’.
Anyone found to have held or dealt in duty-unpaid excise goods, can be fined up to 100% of the duty evaded.
Alan Powell says: Always be wary and query the business need, checking out with HMRC if possible. If in any doubt, do NOT become involved “ it could end very badly.
For further advice please contact UKWA on 0207 836 5522 or visit www.ukwa.org.uk