24 Aug 2023 14:01

Russian budget lost estimated 46.5 bln rubles in H1 from illegal tobacco trade - Ministry

UFA. Aug 24 (Interfax) - The damage to the Russian budget from the illegal circulation of tobacco in H1 2023 reached at least 46.5 billion rubles, Vladislav Zaslavsky, director of the department for the system of digital marking of goods and the legalization of the circulation of products in the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry said.

"According to the latest study, which ended this month, the share of illicit cigarette trafficking was 13.3% in terms of smokers. The minimum amount of losses, according to the NNCC [National Scientific Center for Combating Illicit Trafficking in Industrial Products], is estimated at 46.5 billion rubles," Zaslavsky said on Thursday during a round table as part of Retail Days in the Volga region.

Each percent of the share of illicit cigarette trafficking "costs the federal budget about 7 billion rubles in excise taxes alone," he said.

In the Volga Federal District, the share of illegal tobacco products in circulation in H1 reached 11.7%, which is lower than the average for Russia, Zaslavsky said. Budget losses due to illegal cigarettes sold in the Volga Federal District in H1 are estimated at 8.8 billion rubles.

"There are no fresh data on nicotine-containing products yet. The NNCC will conduct a study in the second half of 2023. As of the end of 2022, the share of illegal circulation of nicotine-containing products on the market was 79%, that is, a catastrophic share, including 93% in illegally sold nicotine-containing liquids at the end of 2022," he added.

Zaslavsky also noted that containing the sharp increase in the illegal cigarette sales in 2022-2023, subject to a significant reduction in verification activities "was possible only due to the use by the authorities of tools to identify the labeling on goods."