26% of alcohol consumption is illicit, with serious consequences for consumers – including health risks stemming from the consumption of unsafe products, governments – with an estimated loss in fiscal revenues of at least US $8.9 billion per year – and for legitimate businesses. The World Spirits Alliance’s roadmap on illicit alcohol examines the issue of illicit trade in alcohol, its root causes and potential solution. It also contains case studies, information about the impact of the COVID crisis & alcohol restrictions on illicit trade in alcohol, a perspective on the role of the WTO in the fight against illicit trade, and information on the role that public-private partnerships can play.
”Illicit trade in alcohol has a detrimental impact on 5 of the un’s sustainable development goals (SDGs)
The dangers of illicit alcohol
- Products which do not meet quality standards & expectations (particularly for counterfeit); and
- Health risks, including death & blindness, stemming from the consumption of unsafe products (counterfeit, illicit artisanal, surrogate)
For Legitimate Businesses
- Reputational risk
- Loss in sales and revenue, impeding opportunities to invest in facilities, innovation and employment; and
- Unfair competition benefiting illicit traders at the expense of legitimate ones.
- Loss in fiscal revenue;
- Burden on customs resources at the border;
- The country becomes less attractive for legitimate traders and foreign investors;
- Increased health expenditures due to the negative health impact of unsafe products; and
- llicit alcohol often brings revenues to criminal networks, which use it to fund illegal & dangerous activities.