• May 19, 2024

Tobacco under the radar

 Tobacco under the radar

The European Commission has been asked what it is doing to fight ‘bulk tobacco inflows into the European Union’.

In a preamble to their question, which the Commission will answer in writing, the Italian MEP, Fulvio Martusciello, and the Slovenian MEP, Patricija Šulin, said the fight against the illegal tobacco trade centered largely on manufactured cigarettes.

However, according to a study carried out by the Universita’ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and Transcrime in December 2016, the illegal trade in bulk tobacco, or the sale of unbranded cut tobacco outside legitimate channels, had been increasing.

More than €870 million per year was lost in eight EU member states alone, a considerable proportion because of inflows from outside the EU, mainly from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The illegal tobacco trade was in breach of the competition laws laid down in Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, but bulk tobacco had never been cited as a growing problem.

‘In the light of the above information, what is the Commission doing to fight bulk tobacco inflows into the European Union?’ they asked.