Urgent action needed to combat illegal trade across borders

May 9, 2023 17:10 By News Northern Sound
Urgent action needed to combat illegal trade across borders Urgent action needed to combat illegal trade across borders
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'The rising trend of coal smuggling is a major challenge for legitimate family run solid fuel merchants'

Solid Fuel Merchant Ireland is urging the Government to intervene to regulate the industry and combat the illegal trade across borders.

Speaking to Northern Sound Peter Madden, CEO of Madden Fuels says further regulation is needed as 54% of households depend on solid fuels for heating their homes, while smugglers are benefitting from the lack of a licensing system.

According to Mr Madden, this illicit activity and the lack of regulation adversely affects the profitability and sustainability of merchants that rely solely on solid fuels as their livelihood.


While the illegal trading of fuels was previously focused to border regions, Mr Madden revealed that this is a past-tense narrative, adding that illegal trading is an issue right across the country.

"This was once a cross-border issue only, but that's not the case anymore when you can tap onto Facebook or DoneDeal and have a tonne of coal delivered to your door two or three days later," he explained.

"This illicit activity not only undermines fair competition, but also generates huge losses to the Irish Exchequer. It is time for our government to take proactive steps in collaboration with SFMI to crack down on coal smuggling and ensure that small businesses are protected. We urge policymakers to prioritise enforcement checks and licensing, to work towards creating a level playing field for all businesses, big or small."

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