The number of inspections on outlets selling counterfeit alcohol and misrepresented food between April 2012 and March 2015 rose by 10 per cent - from 115 to 127. Despite efforts to combat food crime by councils and Trading Standards, 40% cuts to budgets in England and Wales are beginning to take effect. In Birmingham, TSOs carried out 102 inspections, the highest figure recorded from 243 councils. Despite this increase, the overall rate of inspections remains low.
In January 2015, HMRC launched the 'Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme' (AWRS), which requires all businesses selling alcohol to other businesses to register with the scheme by 31 March 31 2016. The scheme aims to further regulate the alcohol trade by reducing the sale of illegal alcohol and help recoup the £1.2bn that HMRC estimates is lost through evasion of alcohol duty and VAT each year. In March 2015, Newham Council destroyed £75,000 worth of illegal alcohol, which had been seized from shops selling alcohol without a license and from restaurants selling wines and spirits without paying the correct duty.
Read the article at: http://www.solicitorsjournal.com/news/commercial/consumer/25751/under-resourced-local-authorities-struggle-tackle-food-crime