Winebusiness.com - Homepage for the Wine Industry

U.S.-Style Three Tier System Could Address Beverage Alcohol Challenges in U.K, WSWA Says


Date: 10/30/13

PRESS RELEASE

The U.S. three tier beverage alcohol system has proven remarkably effective at protecting the public from the dangers related to an unregulated and unrestricted market. Officials in the U.K. should consider adopting a similar regulatory system to address a host of safety and revenue concerns. That was the message from the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) in comments filed yesterday with H.M. Revenue and Customs (HMRC), a United Kingdom tax and regulatory agency.

In recent months, the U.K. has experienced a wave of public health and safety incidents related to counterfeit or adulterated alcohol. Media reports have indicated that officials have identified as much as £1.2 billion (GBP) in uncollected tax revenue lost each year in the illegal market. In addition, consumers in the U.K. have consistently encountered adulterated or counterfeit product sold outside legal distribution channels, including fake products causing death or serious illness. WSWA’s comments pointed out how a system replicating the three tier model could address many of these concerns.

“As HMRC and others assess improved regulatory models, we would like to offer our expertise on the safety, benefits, efficiency and protections delivered by the U.S. three tier system and the important role wholesalers play in the process,” WSWA president and CEO Craig Wolf wrote in the comments. “We would encourage you to consider the implementation of just such a system in the United Kingdom, with a mandated independent wholesale tier, as the most effective solution for the varied and difficult problems your country is facing.”

WSWA’s comments also noted that the three tier system was designed to accomplish several objectives. The first was to ensure an orderly marketplace by preventing one tier, or one company or type of business within a single tier, from dominating the marketplace and exerting undue influence over other members of the industry or consumers, to the detriment of the public. Also guaranteed was protection against illegitimate sales and movement of product. Second, the system facilitated distribution while discouraging over-consumption and encouraging responsible consumption. Finally, the system created a process that allowed for efficient and appropriate government tax revenue collection.

“Today, the U.S. three tier system delivers adults the widest variety of products available anywhere in the world in a manner that controls access to of-age consumers, delivers tax revenue to government and protects public safety,” Wolf added.

A complete copy of WSWA’s submission is available here. HMRC is soliciting comments as part of an information consultation document entitled “Alcohol Fraud: Next Steps” published August 19.

WSWA is the national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry. It is dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of wholesale distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has over 350 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and its members distribute more than 70 percent of all wines and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States. More information is available at www.wswa.org.

Subscribe to Daily news Email

FREE Wine Business Daily News delivers the industry's top stories emailed to you from our editorial team.

most popular daily news links

latest real estate

- real estate  •  yesterday at 11:15AM PDT
- real estate  •  Oct 17, 2014 at 1:15PM PDT
- real estate  •  Oct 17, 2014 at 11:25AM PDT
- real estate  •  Oct 17, 2014 at 9:31AM PDT
- real estate  •  Oct 8, 2014 at 2:41PM PDT

latest used equipment

- used equipment  •  yesterday at 1:31PM PDT
- used equipment  •  yesterday at 1:31PM PDT
- used equipment  •  Oct 18, 2014 at 10:55AM PDT
- used equipment  •  Oct 17, 2014 at 3:59PM PDT
- used equipment  •  Oct 16, 2014 at 5:41AM PDT

latest services & supplies

- services & supplies  •  Oct 16, 2014 at 12:18PM PDT
- services & supplies  •  Oct 14, 2014 at 12:57PM PDT
- services & supplies  •  Oct 10, 2014 at 1:21PM PDT
- services & supplies  •  Oct 10, 2014 at 11:51AM PDT
- services & supplies  •  Oct 10, 2014 at 11:14AM PDT

industry events

Search Events:

Copyright© 1994-2014 by Wine Communications Group. All Rights Reserved. Copyright protection extends to all written material, graphics, backgrounds and layouts. None of this material may be reproduced for any reason without written permission of the Publisher. Wine Business Insider, Wine Business Monthly, Grower & Cellar News and Wine Market News are all trademarks of Wine Communications Group and will be protected to the fullest extent of the law.