18 January 2018, Thursday, 18:57

Tons of contraband cigarettes go from Belarus to Lithuania


Lithuania’s illegal tobacco market is largest in Europe.

The illegal cigarettes market in Lithuania remains one of Europe’s largest, second to the one of Latvia, and in 2013 it accounted to 27.1% of the total tobacco market, which follows from the latest research, done by the KPMG all over Europe, ru.Delfi.lt reports.

Last year Lithuania consumed 48 million packs of illegal cigarettes, out of which 40 million came from Belarus and 6 million – from Russia. Had they been sold legally, the budget would have gained additional 314 million lits.

“According to the KPMG data, due to the active effort of the state of law enforcement agencies on reducing the share of the shadow economy, the illegal cigarette market has been gradually decreasing in Lithuania in recent years. Still, almost a third of the tobacco products sold in the country are illegal. For this reason the country loses large incomes and collects less tax than due, the public suffers, the crime grows”, - notes the director for corporate affairs of the Philip Morris Baltic Gintautas Dirgela.

According to the study, last year one out of ten cigarettes, smoked in the European Union, was illegal. Out of them over a third (33%) amounted to legally produced cigarettes, but sold illegally in other countries. Due to such products the governments of the EU lost about 38 billion lits in taxes.

It was earlier reported that cigarette exports from Belarus to Ukraine grew by 45 times.