The Federation of Wholesale Distributors is urging the government to tackle duty fraud on beer, wines and spirits in this month’s Budget.

In its pre-Budget submission, the FWD claimed Chancellor George Osborne could recoup £550m a year in lost revenue if he adopted measures put forward by HMRC to crack down on duty fraud - including UK duty paid stamps on beer, and a registration scheme for wholesalers.

“This is an opportunity to take back the £550m gift given to fraudsters every year, and restore sales to responsible, regulated wholesalers,” said FWD CEO James Bielby.

“In recent years there has been almost no progress in catching criminal traders, and duty fraud is now so widespread that one in 10 beers in the UK is sold illegally. The Chancellor must adopt HMRC’s recommendations and stamp out the fraud before it happens.”

Last month, Bestway trading director Kaiser Yousaf, AF Blakemore MD Peter Blakemore and Dhamecha Foods CEO Pradip Dhamecha all told The Grocer that stamping out duty fraud would be the one thing they would ask the government to do to help their businesses, if they had the chance.