Bhutan Targets Tobacco Smuggling

    Photo: Taco Tuinstra

    The Bhutan government met on July 30 to discuss ways to combat tobacco product smuggling on the nation’s borders.

    Prime Minister Lotay Tshering noted that tobacco product smuggling has been one of the major illegal activities in the country as more than 30 individuals are arrested each day for this crime.

    Bhutan bans the sale of tobacco products but not their import. The government is proposing to introduce a scheme to allow people to purchase their tobacco products at the nation’s duty-free outlets but with the nation’s 100 percent excise tax included in the purchase price.

    Currently, an individual who enters Bhutan is permitted to carry 800 sticks of cigarettes or 1,200 sticks of bidis or 150 pieces of cigars or 750 grams of other tobacco or tobacco products in a month after paying the excise tax.