CSNA calls for changes to personal allowances of goods from other EU countries

Tobacco control has "gone far enough", according to a new survey by pro-smoking lobby Forest EU

Data shows 8% of all tobacco consumed in Ireland had emanated from a European member state other than Ireland, representing approximately €162 million in lost revenue to the State and Irish retailers

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22 June 2022 | 0

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The Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association (CSNA) is calling on the Irish government to limit the personal allowance for tobacco for those travelling from another EU country to 200 sticks in order to save millions of euros in lost revenue to both the Exchequer and Irish retailers.

Travellers returning to Ireland from any other EU country can purchase alcohol and tobacco goods within limits. Their purchases will be regarded as being for their personal use, though they may have to demonstrate to Customs that if they exceed the ‘limits’ the products are for their personal use.  In other words, the CSNA believes the ‘limits‘ are indicative and discretionary and may be exceeded.

The association points out that four cartons of Silk Cut costs €232 in Portugal this week, the equivalent in any of its members’ stores would cost €612 – “saving” the traveller €380.

Any person buying 1 Kg of Golden Virginia will pay €270 in Portugal, the equivalent purchase in Ireland would cost €703, saving €433.

Last year, the CSNA reports a survey by IPSOS/MRBI commissioned by the Department of Health and Revenue found that 8% of all tobacco consumed in Ireland came from a European member state other than Ireland. There was no figure given for the percentage of duty-free tobacco brought into the country by travellers coming from the United Kingdom.

According to the CSNA, this 8% represents €162 million in lost revenue to the State and Irish retailers. It is the approximate figure that Revenue acknowledged “reappeared” as additional turnover in Irish shops during the restriction in travel caused by the pandemic.

The CSNA states: “There can be no justification for the Irish government to continue to permit entry into this country of countless millions of packets of tobacco, the vast majority without appropriate health warnings and complete with advertising logos banned under standardised packaging legislation.

“The French and Finnish governments have restricted freedom of movement of tobacco to 200 sticks, our government should do the same,” the association added.

 

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