IRD to raid shops in crackdown on illegal alcohol, cigarettes

Surprise inspections for alcohol, wine and cigarettes are beginning this month, the Internal Revenue Department said in a November 30 statement.
A special team has been formed for the unannounced inspections, said an IRD official. There will be no advance warnings, he added.

The IRD will seize goods that merchants have not paid tax on. As well, merchants will pay a fine equal to 100 per cent of the value of the seized goods, with that sum reduced to 50 per cent of the value if the good was manufactured in Myanmar.

The Special Goods Law authorises the IRD to conduct surprise raids to check for contraband.
The IRD has previously issued public warnings to avoid importing or trading in illegal goods, the official noted.

According to a report by Euromonitor International, an international market research team, about 30 per cent of beer available in local markets come from illegal trade.
In 2016, it amounted to nearly one million hectoliters (100 million litres), 96 per cent of which entered the country via land and sea routes.
About 95 per cent of illegal beer found in stores in four townships were Thai famous brands.

According to surveys in stores, the price for an illegal beer is about 35 per cent cheaper than that of a locally made 330 mm beer. That increases the consumption of alcohol.
About 80 per cent of illegal beers enter the country via the Thailand border and the remainder via the Chinese border.

According to Euromonitor International, Myanmar lost US$ 48.52 million (65.7 billion kyat) in 2016 alone due to the import of illegal beers.

Source : Eleven Myanmar

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