This was as a result of increased co-operation and intelligence sharing between Ireland and other EU Member States in relation to the movement of product between bonded warehouses within the EU, states the Revenue Commissioners in its Annual Report for 2019.
During the year a total of 543,194 litres of alcohol (in the form of beers, spirits and wines) with an estimated value of €3.3 million was seized via 1,386 seizures. This represents an increase of almost 700% in the quantity of illicit alcohol seized when compared to 2018.
In March 2019, for example, Customs officers, along with members of An Garda Síochána, conducted a joint operation that involved searching an industrial unit in Knockbridge, County Louth.
In addition to contraband liquor, an alcohol bottling plant was also discovered and dismantled at the location.
Additionally, Ireland participated in a number of multinational operations involving other Member States, targeting fraudulent movements of alcohol products.
Along with the Department of Finance the Revenue Commissioners also participated in EU Council Working Party discussions on a number of legislative proposals concerning the structure of alcohol taxes and the general legal framework for Excise Duty.
Agreement was reached at EU level on the general Excise Directive in late 2019.