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BAT Romania: the illegal traffic of cigarettes harms the Romanian state annually with almost 3 billion lei

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The illegal traffic harms annually the Romanian state with over 650 million euro ( approximately 3 billion lei) and the state budget loses almost 50 million euro per month due to the black market, according to a press release of the British American Tobacco (BAT) Romania.

‘The illegal traffic of cigarettes must drop. Each 6th cigarette smoked in Romania comes from illegal traffic which means less income for the state budget. We want to support the Romanian authorities to reach its objective to bring the black market to the European average of 10%. That is why, we want to show both the efforts the authorities make every day, and the dimension and the impact of smuggling on our everyday life’ stated Ileana Dumitru, judicial manager and public relations of the BAT Romania.

According to the company, Romania has 2,000 km of borders with non-EU countries where the price of tobacco may be 6 times less than in Romania. The state budget loses almost 50 million euro every month due to the black market and cumulated in the last 7 years (2010 – 2016) the losses were 4.8 billion euro (approximately 21.6 billion lei).

For every percentage added to the illegal market of tobacco, the state budget loses annually another 40 million euro

Between 2011 – 2016 the black market grew by 27%. Every container of illegal cigarettes means 1 milion euro profit for the smugglers. Data given by Interpol show that the illegal traffic of cigarettes is a boost for drug dealers, arms, even for terrorist activities’ the quoted document says.

In the context, BAT announces the launching in national premier of a map in real time of the cigarettes captures in Romania. The main negative effects of smuggling are presented in boards spread in the most 80 crowded places of the capital city.

Besides the information of the public, the campaign proposes to involve the citizens by the possibility to signal any aspect connected to the illegal traffic of the tobacco products. All information obtained under the protection of anonymity will be sent to the state authorities.

The campaign ‘Stop to the black market’ represents a continuation of the collaboration between BAT and the authorities which fight against the illegal traffic with cigarettes. The collaboration of the representatives of the industry and the authorities in the domain contributed to the reduction of the segment of the smuggling products from 36.3%, the level recorded at the beginning of 2010 to 16.8% in 2016. At European level, BAT signed an agreement through which they support the actions of the EU to fight with the illegal traffic of cigarettes with 200 million dollars between 2010 – 2030. The contribution of the company is until now of 47 million dollars.



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