Black market tobacco trade increase: report

16.5% of all cigarettes consumed in 2015 were illiegal

A second consecutive rise in the illicit cigarette trade has been recorded in a report by KPMG on behalf of British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Philip Morris International.



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8 June 2016

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The illegal cigarette trade has grown in Ireland for a second consecutive year, making Ireland’s black market for tobacco the sixth-highest in the EU.

In a report compiled by KPMG, results show that the volume of “illicit white” cigarette sales (being cigarettes legallly manufactured in one market but brought illegally to another market for the purposes of illicit sale) grew by nearly 30%, making them now account for 28% of all illicit cigarettes.

The report also states that if the illicit trade’s cigarettes had been sold legally, it would have resulted in an additional €249m raised by the Exchequer.

The report was jointly commissioned by the four major tobacco manufacturers in the EU – British American Tobacco, Imperial, Japanese Tobacco International and Philip Morris International.

“The illicit trade in tobacco products denies the State substantial legitimate revenue,” said Paul Adeleke of PMI, “at a time when there are constraints on Exchequer finances. This has significant implications for public service spending.

“In addition,” Adeleke said, “it contributes to the entrenchment of organised crime, because of the scale of profits for illegal operators. Philip Morris International continues to devote significant resources in combating this problem as it strongly believes that effective solutions require solid cooperation between governments, law enforcement agencies and manufacturers and retailers.”



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