Half a billion illegal cigarettes were bought in Hungary in 2022, preventing the country from receiving HUF30 billion ($87.9 million) in excise tax revenue, KPMG data shows, according to Hungary Today.
The illegal cigarette market in Hungary recorded a three percentage point increase in 2022 despite falling consumption. According to KPMG, the country’s share has reached 2019 levels mainly due to products made specifically for smuggling and due to counterfeit tobacco.
Most of the illegal products come from Ukraine.
Criminal organizations are making increasing profits by distributing illicit products in countries with higher prices and taxes, according to the study. The pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian war are also noted as reasons why illicit trade has increased.