A new campaign spearheaded by British American Tobacco Romania that is seeking further to reduce the black market in tobacco products is a continuation of a collaboration between the company and the Romanian authorities, according to a story by ACTMedia News Agency.
The collaboration saw the reduction of the black market from 36.3 percent at the beginning of 2010 to 16.8 percent in 2016. The next stage aims to get it down to 10 percent.
“The illegal traffic of cigarettes must drop,” said Ileana Dumitru, public relations manager of BAT Romania.
“Each sixth 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 percent.”
According to the company, Romania has 2,000 km of borders with non-EU countries where the price of tobacco can be six times lower than in Romania.
The state budget was said to lose almost €50 million every month due to the black market and, over the past seven years (2010 – 2016), the losses were put at €4.8 billion.
For every percentage added to the illegal tobacco market, the state budget reportedly loses annually another €40 million.
As part of the campaign, BAT Romania is making public information about where in the country illicit cigarettes are intercepted and where the main negative effects of smuggling are felt.
The company is hoping, too, to involve the public in reporting any suspicious activities possibly related to smuggling.