Source: Email poll of wholesalers Almost three-quarters of wholesalers believe new legislation introduced by the government at the last Budget to curb duty fraud on beer has had a positive effect. However, the rather gloomy news is that 71% are not convinced the positive effects will last. As of 1 April HM Revenue and Customs have been able to demand more detailed information from traders using the duty drawback systems. The measure was introduced because the FWD believed that beer notionally destined for export was being diverted back into the UK and sold at unrealistically low prices underpinned by a rebate on the UK duty. Since it came into force, a massive 86% of wholesalers who responded to our survey say they have witnessed an upturn in the amount of beer they have sold. Although some claim the hot weather during April contributed to the growth, the majority believe the new regulations have played the most significant role - one wholesaler says his beer sales were up 10% on what he had expected for the last two months. It is still too early to tell what impact the legislation has made, however. According to one cash and carry operator: "It will take some time to finish the stock currently in the supply chain and get the confidence of independent traders back to buy from legitimate wholesalers at duty-paid prices." While some wholesalers are happy to praise the efforts of customs officials and suppliers, not everyone is convinced suppliers are doing all they can to solve the problem. "Beer sales have improved during April," says one delivered wholesaler. "But this is limited to specific brands, which indicates that certain brewers can do more to stamp out duty fraud. Much more can be done by suppliers and wholesale buying groups to ensure this practice is eradicated." A fellow delivered wholesaler agrees, claiming big brand owners still need to take more responsibility over where their products are distributed. Overall, wholesalers are holding their breath as to whether these changes will have a long-term impact. The consensus is that these "rogue traders", as they have come to be known, will eventually find a way to get around whatever obstacles are put in front of them. Worryingly, 57% of those polled say they are aware of rogue traders continuing to operate in their area.