ANAF Chairman requests Customs activity inspection, given rise of illicit trade in cigarettes

The chairman of the National Agency for Tax Administration (ANAF), Bogdan – Nicolae Stan, requested that an analysis of last year’s activity of the General Customs Directorate (DGV) and regional customs’ directions be carried out, in view of identifying the causes that have led to the increase in the illicit trade of cigarettes.

“Smuggled cigarettes bring major losses to the national economy, and the state consolidated budget is suffering. We will intensify the actions to combat illicit trade in cigarettes. Simultaneously, we will launch a check-up operation of all territorial customs offices, and we will take all necessary measures accordingly,” stated Bogdan – Nicolae Stan in a press release  on Monday.

The cigarettes black market has recorded in 2016 an average level of 16.6 percent, on an upward trend compared to the annual average in 2015, which was of 16 percent, the north-east region being the most affected by the illegal trade according to a study carried out by a market research company, sent on Monday to Agerpres. The level in 2016 represents the highest annual average level from 2011 to the present, according to the data of the NovelResearch company.

The illicit commerce with cigarettes doesn’t just mean significant losses incurred by the state budget, but it also stimulates the organised crime phenomenon, assert ANAF representatives. In 2016 the state lost around 672 million euros, money that filled the pockets of smugglers instead of reaching Government priorities, state the representatives of BAT (British American Tobacco) Romania. They appreciate that even though the black market growth was limited by the joint efforts of the industry and Customs Authority, it is obvious that 2017 will represent a test year for the Romanian state.

The tobacco sector represents the second largest contributor to Romania’s state budget, after the oil sector. In 2015, tobacco companies poured to the budget around 3 billion euros, in excises, VAT, taxes and contributions. The sum represents almost 2 percent of the GDP, or the equivalent of 12.5 percent of the overall budget revenues.

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