Illegal alcohol and damage to public coffers


illegal alcoholIllegal alcohol concerns unregistered types of alcoholic beverages, that is, it is a product of smuggling, adulteration, or even artisanal production.

According to a survey by the Euromonitor Institute entitled “The Illegal Alcoholic Beverages Market in Six Latin American Countries”, the Colombian government loses about US $ 450 million in free translation per year with illegal alcohol. Just to serve as a parameter, the newspaper The Republic, from Colombia, presented an interesting comparison, according to which this value is almost equivalent to Colombian coffee exports in the first quarter of the year.

Still according to the research, the main reason that makes the consumption of illegal alcohol so expressive in the local market would be the high tax burden on the industry regularly established. As a result of the tax on alcoholic beverages being one of the highest in the region, the illicit market grows at a rate six times higher than that of the legal market (19,2% against 2,9% annual growth). Low prices are pointed out as one of the attractions for the final consumer, who is often unaware of the health risks to which they are exposed.

The survey also draws a comparison between the countries of Latin America, in which Brazil points ahead of Colombia, with 28,4% of alcohol consumed being illegal against 24,3% in the neighboring country. In this ranking, Brazil is only behind Peru, with 30,8% of illegal drinks.

In order to combat this clandestine market that accounts for more than consumo of the total consumption of alcohol in Brazil, and that spreads on fronts such as smuggling and adulteration, ETCO has been promoting discussions and looking for skillful alternatives to discourage consumption and illicit beverage production. In December 2014, a multidisciplinary round table was held in São Paulo analyzing economic, health and market surveillance aspects of illegal alcohol, where opportunities for a common agenda were identified among those involved and actions needed to increase the population's awareness of the subject. In March of this year, the subject under the aspect of smuggling was addressed at the ETCO events held in Brasília and São Paulo.