Study: Cigarette Contraband Decreased Between July And September

The cigarette black market in Romania accounted for a lesser share of total consumption in September, dropping to 15.3%, a 2.9% decrease from the value registered in July, according to a Novel Research study presented on Thursday.

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Imaginea articolului Study: Cigarette Contraband Decreased Between July And September

Study: Cigarette Contraband Decreased Between July And September

This is the lowest market share contraband cigarettes had in the past 12 months, according to the market research company, with tobacco companies stating that the main cause for the decrease was an intensification in police actions against contraband.

“A good example is that of the border police, which captured in July and August about 10% more contraband cigarettes compared to the same period of last year,” stated Ileana Dumitru, Judicial and Public Relations director for British American Tobacco.

Romanian Police and anti-organized crime prosecutors also registered better results in the last three months, with more than 200 raids and arrests performed against suspected cigarette contraband risks.

Bulgarian authorities also discovered in September four illegal cigarette factories, producing about 100.000 packs per day.

Valentin Canura, Sales Development Manager of Imperial Tobacco Romania, also said that the decrease in contraband was exclusively possible because of law enforcement.

According to the study, 62.5% of contraband cigarettes were “cheap whites”, or unbranded cigarettes destined for the black market, with Moldova, Ukraine and Serbia being the main sources of import.

Northeastern Romania continued to be the most affected by contraban , with a 33.5% market share of contraband cigarettes, although it also registered a six-point decrease since July.

However, contraband in Southeastern Romania decreased by approximately 15% during the three months, marking the largest decrease in the region in the past decade.

The tobacco sector is the second largest contributor to the Romanian state budget, after the oil sector.

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