§ Dawn Primarolo
HM Customs and Excise estimates of the revenue lost to the Exchequer through cross-Channel smuggling of alcohol and tobacco products in 1996 and 1997 are set out in the table:
£ million Product type Excise duty VAT 1996 Total Excise duty VAT 1997 Total Alcoholic drinks 135 60 195 135 65 195 Tobacco products 510 130 640 550 135 690 Total 645 190 835 685 200 885
Figures have been independently rounded to £5 million. Components may not therefore sum to the totals shown.
Figures for estimated revenue losses use Customs assumption that 70–80 per cent. of smuggled alcoholic drinks substitute for similar products in the UK. Effectively 100 per cent. of smuggled tobacco is assumed to substitute for UK purchases.
The above estimates exclude any amounts for revenue lost on alcoholic drinks and tobacco products involved in commercial fraud, smuggling in freight consignments or by air passengers. There are no official estimates for the extent of these activities. Similarly, there were no official estimates for the extent of smuggling prior to 1996.