The illicit trade in tobacco products has expanded significantly in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past decade, reports The Sarajevo Times.
The legal market for tobacco products shrunk by more than 56 percent from 2010 to 2020, resulting in huge losses to the state budget.
In the first seven months of this year, the government collected BAM430 million ($261.5 million) less in tobacco taxes than it did in the same period last year. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s black tobacco market is believed to be the largest in Europe.
The Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) of Bosnia and Herzegovina is now advocating a harmonization of tax levies to reduce the prices of legal cigarettes, which it believes will reduce the incentive to smuggle.
Meanwhile, citizens are encouraged to anonymously report suspicions of illicit tobacco trade to the ITA.