The damage to the Russian budget from illegal tobacco trafficking in the first half of 2023 amounted to at least 46.5 billion rubles, said Vladislav Zaslavsky, director of the Department of digital labeling of goods and legalization of product turnover of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.
"According to the latest study, which was completed this month, the share of illegal cigarette trafficking was 13.3% in terms of smokers. The minimum budget losses for the first half of 2023 are estimated at 46.5 billion rubles by the NSCC (National Scientific Center of Competencies in the Field of Combating Illicit Trafficking in Industrial Products - IF)," Zaslavsky said on Thursday during a round table within the framework of Retail Days in the Volga Region.
According to him, each percentage of the share of illegal cigarette trafficking "costs about 7 billion rubles for the federal budget only on excise taxes."
According to Zaslavsky, in the Volga Federal District (PFD), the share of illicit tobacco trafficking in the first half of the year was 11.7% - lower than the average for the Russian Federation. Budget losses from the presence of illegal cigarettes on the market in the Volga Federal District in the first half of the year are estimated at 8.8 billion rubles.
"There is no fresh data on nicotine-containing products yet. The NSCC will conduct the study in the second half of 2023. According to the data at the end of 2022, the share of illicit trafficking in nicotine-containing products on the market was 79%, that is, a catastrophic share, as you understand, including 93% occupied by the illegal turnover of nicotine-containing liquids at the end of 2022," he added.
Zaslavsky also noted that the sharp increase in the turnover of illegal cigarettes in 2022-2023, subject to a significant reduction in verification measures, "was only actually possible due to the use of labeling of goods by means of identification by the authorities."