• March 2, 2024

Illegal trade up sharply

 Illegal trade up sharply

The illegal trade in tobacco products in Russia captured nine percent of the market this year, according to a TASS report quoting the vice president of Japan Tobacco International, Brendan LeMoult.
“Illicit tobacco market in Russia has grown up from 1-2 percent to nine percent in 2018,” LeMoult told the Global Illicit Trade Summit 2018 in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, JTI’s vice president of corporate relations and communications in Russia, Sergei Golovko, said that Russia‚Äôs cigarette market had stood at 275 billion cigarettes in 2017, down three percent from that of 2016. However, the value of cigarette sales in the country had grown during the same period by 10 percent to 1.2 trillion rubles.
Golovko said that the TNS Kantar research agency had found that the illegal tobacco market in Russia had increased seven-fold between 2016 and the first quarter of 2018. The bulk of the illicit products, it added, had come from states that were members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), notably Kazakhstan and Belarus, which had accounted for 38 percent.
At the same time, 31 percent of illicit cigarettes were manufactured by domestic producers, while 25 percent had been supplied from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Tajikistan.
Golovko said that ‘free economic zones’ in the UAE had become the fastest-growing channel for illicit cigarettes entering Russia. This year, illegal cigarette shipments from this country had increased seven-fold and had taken 5.7 percent of the overall illicit market. In the past year, nearly 200 million cigarettes from the UAE had been seized, up 150 percent on those seized in the previous year.