Share of illegal Tobacco Trade in Bosnia and Herzegovina exceeded 50%

September 7, 2020 9:30 AM

The legal market for tobacco products fell by more than 56 percent from 2010 to 2020, resulting in huge losses in all budgets, warn economic experts, representatives of the tobacco industry and the Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA).

Thus, for example, according to the data of the Indirect Taxation Authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the first seven months of this year on the basis of excises on tobacco and tobacco products collected 430 million BAM less compared to the same period last year, while the black market is growing rapidly and is the largest in Europe, eKapija business portal reports.

For this reason, the ITA BiH, in cooperation with the Association of Economists of RS SWOT, launched a Stop Smuggling campaign aimed at combating cigarette smuggling in BiH, encouraging the harmonization of tax levies with the market to reduce the prices of legal cigarettes.

As part of this campaign, the organizers invite citizens to, if they have information about tobacco and cigarette smuggling, report it to the phone number 080 02 06 07. All calls are anonymous, and the report, as they say in the ITA BiH, already exists.

Ratko Kovacevic, Head of the Communications Department of the ITA BiH, said that it is very important that citizens do not have to leave any data when reporting cases of sale of tobacco and tobacco products without an excise stamp, ie on the black market.

“For that reason, we ask them to submit as specific information as possible, which we will process, go out on the field and practically confiscate cigarettes that are sold illegally on the BiH market,” said Kovacevic.

He explained that cigarettes that are sold without excise stamps are not paid by excise and VAT, and those funds are used to finance very important things in our country, and those are primarily health, education, road infrastructure, various social benefits and the like. Speaking about the Stop Smuggling campaign, Kovacevic stated that it is already giving certain results and that the general public will soon be acquainted with them.

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