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Netherlands Combats Tax Fraud In Wine Industry

20 January 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Ulrika Lomas
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Author: Ulrika Lomas (

The Dutch Customs and the Royal Association of Dutch Wine Sellers (KVNW) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Rotterdam, aimed at strengthening cooperation and combating tax evasion in the wine industry.

Within the framework of the MoU, both parties pledge to exchange information. The objective of enhanced cooperation is to better map imports and trade in wine where no excise duty has been paid, and to better monitor compliance with excise rules.

Furthermore, the accord concluded with the Dutch Customs is intended to support those wine importers that do comply with the applicable laws and regulations in place in the Netherlands. According to the Dutch Finance Ministry, adopting a "proactive approach to tax fraud in the wine sector" is becoming increasingly important.

Commenting, Director of Customs Aly van Berckel emphasized that the aim of the MoU is to prevent illegal imports and trade in wine, to enable the authorities to gain a clearer picture of this type of fraud, and to ensure that Customs work in a more efficient and targeted manner, to track down illegal imports and trade in wine.

KVNW Chairman Peter van Houtert pointed out that the Dutch Government has increased the tax on wine by as much as 80 percent over the course of the past twelve years. Alluding to the fact that wine taxes are much lower in neighboring countries, the KVNW Chairman revealed that there are growing signs that rogue traders are buying their wine over the border. Concluding, van Houtert urged all "honest wine importers to report suspicions of tax fraud directly to Customs."

In October 2012, the Dutch Customs launched a special application, designed to enable individuals to report their suspicions of excise fraud.

The Dutch Customs has concluded similar MoUs with the Dutch Brewers Association and with the tobacco industry.

This article first appeared on


Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.


The Act requires that a minimum academic and practical requirments be set to register with a controlling body. Click here for the minimum requirements of SAIT.

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