Revenue has assured me that it has implemented a comprehensive risk-based intervention programme to identify, target and disrupt all forms of cross-Border smuggling and criminality. Revenue’s focus on such activity will continue regardless of the outcome of Brexit. I am satisfied that its focus on cross-Border smuggling is appropriate and well targeted. I know that Revenue keeps such matters under active review and is committed to quickly confronting any new risks as they emerge.
The threat that smuggling and the illicit trade in tobacco, drink and fuel products pose to legitimate business, consumers and the Exchequer is clear and I am assured by Revenue that combatting such criminality continues to be its highest priority. Steps it has taken, of which I am sure the Deputy will be aware, include the introduction of stringent supply chain controls and reporting requirements, and a rigorous programme of enforcement action. In addition, Revenue and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs undertook a joint initiative to introduce a new marker for use in marked fuels, which came into operation from April 2015. Revenue has also conducted random national sampling programmes in the years 2016 to 2019 to assess the extent of fuel laundering. The industry view is that the actions taken have been successful in curtailing fuel fraud and the results of Revenue’s sampling programmes continue to support such a view.
The Revenue Commissioners act against all aspects of the illegal tobacco trade and use a combination of risk analysis, profiling and intelligence and the screening of cargo, vehicles, baggage and postal packages to intercept illicit products. Action after importation includes checks at retail outlets, markets and private and commercial premises.