Up to 11 percent of all wine sales in the United Kingdom are estimated to have been sold without the proper taxes and duties being paid. The illicit sales causes losses to the government of up to $1.11 Billion (£700 Million), according to HM Revenue and Customs.
Security intelligence states that smugglers divert wine bottles that were destined for sale in other European Union countries where the taxes are lower.
A bottle of wine can be sold for over one British Pound cheaper when taxes are not included.
Source: “Government loses £700m of tax due to wine smuggling,” Daily Mirror, October 12, 2013.