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Smuggling: Northern Ireland

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the size of the illicit market for (a) cigarettes, (b) spirits, (c) diesel and (d) petrol in Northern Ireland in each of the last two years. (213557)

The size of the illicit markets for cigarettes and spirits is not estimated separately for Northern Ireland. Figures for the UK were published by HMRC in ‘Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2007’ in October 2007. The two most recent years covered were 2004-05 and 2005-06. This publication is available in the House of Commons Library.

Because of difficulties in measuring cross-border shopping across the border with the Republic of Ireland, it is not possible to produce estimates of the illicit market for Northern Ireland in diesel and petrol. However, estimates of the share of these markets in Northern Ireland that are not UK-duty paid were also published in ‘Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2007’. The two most recent years covered were 2004-05 and 2005-06.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the estimated total revenue loss was as a result of illegal trading in (a) cigarettes, (b) spirits, (c) diesel, (d) petrol and (e) counterfeit goods in Northern Ireland in each of the last two years. (213558)

The total revenue losses as a result of illegal trading in cigarettes and spirits are not estimated separately for Northern Ireland. Figures for the UK were published by HMRC in ‘Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2007’ in October 2007. The two most recent years covered were 2004-05 and 2005-06. This publication is available in the House of Commons Library.

Because of difficulties in measuring cross-border shopping across the border with the Republic of Ireland, it is not possible to produce estimates of the total revenue loss as a result of illegal trading in diesel and petrol for Northern Ireland. However, estimates of the share of these markets in Northern Ireland that are non-UK duty paid were also published in ‘Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2007’. The two most recent years covered were 2004-05 and 2005-06.

These estimates include all forms of illicit activity and do not separately identify each of the component parts such as counterfeiting, smuggling or fraud.