81.5 billion rubles – budget losses from illegal tobacco in 2022

#industry news

In 2022, the damage to the Russian budget from illegal tobacco trafficking amounted to 81.5 billion rubles, said Vladislav Zaslavsky, acting director of the Department of digital labeling of goods of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. He said this at a round table on the fight against illegal trade in tobacco and nicotine-containing products.

These calculations are an assessment of the National Scientific Center of Competencies in the field of combating illicit trafficking in industrial products (ANO "NNCC").

"According to the estimates of the largest manufacturers, this figure exceeds 100 billion rubles," the official added.

Zaslavsky also said that, according to the NSCC, the share of illegal cigarette turnover in 2022 in terms of smokers was 12.2%. "The share of illegal turnover of nicotine-containing products at the end of 2022 was 79%, liquids - 93%. This also adds to the "piggy bank of losses" of the budget, according to industry experts, 30 billion rubles," he said.

According to him, drastic changes in this market are expected after the adoption of a separate law on the regulation of the tobacco and nicotine-containing products market, which is currently being prepared for the second reading in the State Duma. He recalled that the bill provides for licensing activities in the field of production and import of tobacco, nicotine-containing products and raw materials for their production. It also provides for the obligation of manufacturers to register the main equipment for the production of products and other measures aimed at whitewashing this market.

The bill also provides for the transfer of the powers of the Ministry of Agriculture to regulate the tobacco market to the Ministry of Finance and the reorganization of Rosalkogolregulirovaniya in the Federal Service for the Control of Alcohol and Tobacco Markets (Rosalkogoltabakkontrol).

According to the participants of the round table, the spread of illegal products is facilitated, in particular, by the moratorium on business inspections. In these conditions, Zaslavsky believes, it is necessary to switch to risk-oriented control.

"A labeling system that ensures the traceability of products can become the basis for a risk management system. Together with the labeling operator (CRPT - IF), we propose to establish indicators of the risk of violations and mandatory requirements based on the use of information contained in the state product labeling system," he said. - It has already implemented the possibility of identifying potential violations and deviations in automatic mode. This information is already being transmitted to Rospotrebnadzor. It remains only to bring the regulatory framework under the use of this data from the system for the implementation of control and supervisory activities."

According to him, 11 indicators have been developed to identify potential violations in the tobacco market.

Speaking about the transition to a digital excise tax for tobacco, Zaslavsky said that from 2024 there will be no excise stamps on tobacco packs. "Starting from 2024, we will remove excise stamps from packs, the additional burden on the business of buying them will go away, excise taxes will be charged solely on the basis of information contained in the labeling system. Integration with the tax service systems is fully completed," he said.

According to him, the reconciliation of data on shipments of tobacco products with the data of the Federal Tax Service on excise taxes completely coincide. "Therefore, from the point of view of excise tax administration, the Federal Tax Service can fully rely on absolutely objective data on the production and shipment of tobacco products, which are recorded in the labeling system. Thus, we are technologically ready for the transition to digital excise duty," he said, recalling that this work is being carried out in accordance with the instructions given following a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister - head of the government Dmitry Grigorenko in February 2022.

According to Rosstat, 222 billion cigarettes were produced in Russia in 2022, which is 7% less than in 2021.