PRA comment on National Audit Office report into HRMC’s progress on tackling tobacco smuggling

Published 06/06/2013 00:00:00 in Press Releases

Brian Madderson

Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) Chairman

“Unfortunately the National Audit Office report is further evidence of a serious problem which PRA members are only too aware of, and one that HMRC is not adequately addressing.

“Despite the extra £25 million of funding the HMRC has received to help tackle illicit tobacco, it has yet to get a grip on the situation.

“Not only does the illicit trade of tobacco significantly undermine the tax revenues in this country, it also represents a significant loss of sales to legitimate, honest retailers. 

“A poll, carried out by Populus at the end of last year, shows just how many PRA retailers are currently impacted by the trade of illicit tobacco. Nearly two-thirds (62%) believe illicit trade in tobacco products, a product category they view as essential to their bottom line, has an impact on their business.

“In addition, nearly half (47%) believe it is easy for people to buy illicit tobacco products and a huge 43% believe the government isn’t doing enough when it comes to enforcement of illicit trade.

“We remain deeply concerned the Government’s proposal on plain packaging of tobacco products will only exacerbate this issue which, as NAO state, HMRC are already seriously struggling to tackle.”



Brian Madderson is available for interview. Please contact the press office.

The Petrol Retail Association represents some 5,500 independent forecourts which is 60% of the total UK marker. A trade association committed to helping members run their businesses legally and profitably adapting to new challenges in the market place.

The Poll of UK Petrol Retailers Association Members was carried out in September and November 2012 by Populus. 

Keely Scanlan, Press Officer

Tel: 020 7307 3410

Mob: 07825097697

Press Office direct line: 020 7307 3422  

Press Office fax: 020 7307 3406


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The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses.  

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