Counterfeit alcoholic drinks are often easier to spot than other types of counterfeit goods, as their price alone should be enough to warrant suspicion. Counterfeit alcohol is almost always sold at a big discount compared with genuine products sold on the high street.
The issue of counterfeit and illegal alcohol has emerged as an increasing problem over the last year, adding to this, local problems with counterfeit Jacobs Creek suggests that there is perhaps a need for further routine visits of premises selling alcohol products.
Last year East Sussex County Council Trading Standards authority played an integral part in a Trading Standards South East project led by Brighton and Hove Trading Standards where they set out to measure the availability of illegal spirits and other counterfeit alcohol in East Sussex focussing solely on off license trade.
A more recent project ‘Boozy Nights’ has sought to expand upon this to include independent nightclubs, bars and pubs where counterfeit or illegal alcohol may be served to the unsuspecting consumer.
The ‘Boozy Nights’ project consists of six teams of two officers who have made unannounced inspections of approximately 40 premises across the five districts of East Sussex examining the alcohol on offer for counterfeit or illegal alcohol; this can be smuggled, duty evaded, or counterfeit stamped alcohol.
Officers have inspected on licence premises selling alcohol and examined alcohol on sale or present on the premises for authenticity and labelling compliance under the relevant legislation. In the instance that they have uncovered what they suspect to be illegal alcohol they have then taken formal samples for testing, and the traders may be required to provide evidence of traceability.
So far the results of this project have uncovered very few instances of counterfeit alcohol for sale in nightclubs, bars and pubs in East Sussex.
If you suspect counterfeit alcohol or tobacco is being sold in East Sussex contact Trading Standards on 0345 60 80 197.