Illegal trade at 16 percent

The Romanian state received no revenue from the sale of 16 percent of the cigarettes consumed in Romania last year, according to a story in The Romania Insider.
This is because those cigarettes were sold by people who were involved in the illegal trade in tobacco products and who reaped the profit from those sales.
If those cigarettes had been sold legally, tax-paid, the government would have received an additional €640 million.
It is estimated that more than 4.3 billion cigarettes were sold on Romania’s black market last year, while the country’s agencies seized about 150 million.
An operation mounted during the first half of 2017 is said to have reduced smuggling, but according to the local affiliate of British American Tobacco, the illegal trade boomed once that operation stopped.
The Insider said that Romania’s tobacco-products black market was bigger than the EU average, which stood at about nine percent.
From 2010 to 2017, Romania was said to have ‘lost’ about €5.4 billion to the illegal trade in cigarettes.