Impact of Belarus on Russia's Illegal Tobacco Trade
On May 23rd, according to the "Round Table on Illegal Tobacco Trafficking and its Impact on the Economy of Russia and the Urals Federal District", it was revealed that Belarus accounts for 88.4% of the fake cigarettes entering Russia from European Union countries.
According to Irina Bushina, the Director of the Russian State Center for Combating Illicit Trafficking in Industrial Products, illegal tobacco products will account for 12.2% of the total market share in Russia in the second half of 2022. The largest share of smuggled cigarettes will come from European Union member states, accounting for 7% of the total. Belarus will make up 88.4% of this share, down from the previous figure of 92%.
A report has revealed that 33% of illegal cigarettes originating from Belarus enter Russia without a consumption tax stamp, while 55.4% of cigarettes have a Belarusian consumption tax stamp.
Bushna pointed out that in 2022, the total loss caused by illegal tobacco trade in Russia amounted to 81.5 billion Russian rubles (slightly over 1 billion U.S. dollars).
Almost all counterfeit cigarettes from the Eurasian Economic Union on the Russian market come from Belarus.
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