Fabian Demicoli

EU strategy to step up fight against illicit tobacco trade


The European Commission has adopted a comprehensive
package to step up its fight against illicit tobacco trade, especially
cigarette smuggling. The illicit tobacco trade is a global threat depriving
Member States and the EU of over €10 billion revenue every year in terms of
unpaid taxes and duties.

Not only does this hit national revenues hard, illicit
trade also fuels the shadow economy since it is almost exclusively the domain
of organised criminal groups operating across borders. Furthermore, it also undermines
health policy initiatives aimed at discouraging the consumption of tobacco
products and legitimate business as most illicit products are not made in line
with EU rules on tobacco products. To effectively tackle the problem of illicit
tobacco trade, the Commission's strategy sets out a number of coordinated
measures at national, EU and international level.

 

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