A report published by business advisory firm, Grant Thornton, has revealed that illicit trade is costing the Irish economy €2.3 billion every year.
This breaks down to €788m in tax revenues lost by the Exchequer, and a further €1.5bn lost by retailers and intellectual property holders, such as record companies.
The Illicit Trade 2015-2016: Implications for the Irish Economy report measures the impact of illegal trading across a range of sectors, from fuel, tobacco and alcohol, to pharmaceuticals, digital and alcohol.
The report reveals that seizures of alcohol destined for the black market increased 100% between 2010 and 2014, and notes that the introduction of minimum unit pricing may increase illicit activity
Meanwhile, the Exchequer yield from excise on tobacco products reduced from €1.2bn in 2009 to €984m in 2015. According to the report, the increase in retail price year-on-year did not materialise into the expected yields announced on budget days, and that this shortfall amounted to €300 million over a five year period.
Brendan Foster, Partner at Grant Thornton, commented on the findings, "The level of illicit activity reported in Ireland is quite remarkable.
"While we welcome the increased efforts to improve legislation and enforcement activity over the past few years, it is vital that all sectors impacted continue to invest in public awareness campaigns to remind consumers that illicit activity is far from being a victimless crime."
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.