Ban on mephedrone costs Britain £600,000 in lost import duty

By Terrapinzflyer · Apr 8, 2010 · ·
  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Ban on 'miaow miaow' party drug costs Britain £600,000 in lost import duty

    The Treasury has released figures detailing the economic impact to the UK of criminalising miaow-miaow.

    Official figures released yesterday show the import duty collected nearly £600,000 on consignments of mephedrone over the past three years.
    Stephen Timms, the treasury minister, said £174,000 was collected in 2007, £158,000 in 2008 and £250,000 in 2009.

    This figure will fall sharply as imports slow now that Home Office Alan Johnson has decided to follow his drugs advisers’ recommendation and make it a class B drug.

    And they demonstrate that behind every Government policy decision – however, welcome in this case – there is a cost, however small, paid for by someone.

    By Christopher Hope
    Last updated: April 8th, 2010

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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    does anyone have a good enough understanding of the UK import duties to be able to convert these figures into an estimate of the amount of mephedrone imported?
  2. Seaquake
    I don't think it's based on weight, rather it's based on the cost, and you'd have to know what they were importing mephedrone as (general classification:chemical, pharmaceutical, fertilizer or what) to get the right duty rates.
  3. John Doe
    Was just flickin around some of HM's websites and to be honest you'd have to know what exact category of goods it falls under, I can't find a list of rates so we could work a min and max. Bear with me though!
  4. John Doe
    A comment on the BBC news blog...
  5. John Doe
    Here's what we wanted...
    £250,000 / 6.5 per cent * 100 = £3,846,154~ pounds value.

    We have no real way of knowing how they value it at customs do we?

    EDIT: For reference sake...
  6. Synchronium
    Useful stuff, John Doe.

    Here's something to bear in mind though - at least some imports aren't correctly priced to avoid these kinds of costs. Some of these Chinese labs will offer to label these packages at a much lower value, saving the customer some money as a selling point.

    So, it's likely that any value we work out for the total imported based solely on tax will be an underestimate.
  7. John Doe
    I agree completely Synchronium, I forgot to add my opinion at the end, I had it typed in a notepad window while I was formating the quotes grr hehe :thumbsup:

    It all depends on how exactly it was being imported, even though it was completely legal they could very well have labelled it 'Plant Food' or 'Bath Salts' and probably gotten a lower tax rate again. When I searched the TARIC database for anything I might have thought it would fall under, GENERAL CHEMICALS had a tax rate of 0% so depending on how brave they were they could have passed a pipeline of it through between each shipment they paid tax on.

    A completely out of the air guesstimate would be an exponentialy larger number than that which they presented, not least because it's in the govs favour to show they'll be losing less tax but also because of the sheer volumes which seem to be consumed in the UK now.

    And that doesn't include any manufactured in the U.K. and probably nothing of the way of European imports either...
  8. Seaquake
    the £3,846,154~ pounds value. is probably not too far off. it equates to approx 2600kg (based on a cost price per kg found in a news story on here) over the year. obviously that only averages about 217kg/month, no doubt less was brought in at the start of the year and more towards the end, so it seems a reasonable valuation/quantity
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