The share of illicit trafficking in nicotine-containing products in Russia decreased from 79% in 2022 to 68% in 2023. At the same time, the losses of the budget of the Russian Federation only from illicit trafficking in tobacco products in the first nine months of 2023 are estimated at 75 billion rubles. This was announced at a press conference by Vladislav Zaslavsky, Director of the Department of digital labeling of goods and legalization of product turnover at the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.
"As for nicotine-containing products, the share of counterfeit goods, which was catastrophic at the end of 2022 and amounted to 79%, also decreased to 68%, which still cannot satisfy anyone - neither business nor the state," he said, citing data from the National Scientific Competence Center (NSCC) in the field of countering the illegal turnover of industrial products.
Zaslavsky noted that the share of illegal cigarette trafficking decreased from 13.3% to 12.6% compared to the middle of 2023. "This is the whole country. In some regions of the Russian Federation, the level of counterfeiting still reaches 30%. Although it should be noted that in 2022 and early 2023, in some regions of the Russian Federation, the share of illegal trafficking reached 40%," he said.
At the same time, Zaslavsky pointed out that, according to the NNCC, the losses of the budget of the Russian Federation from illicit trafficking in tobacco products in the first nine months of 2023 are estimated at 75 billion rubles. According to the representative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia, the reasons for the preservation of illegal tobacco products on the market are still a serious difference in excise tax rates in the EAEU countries and open borders that allow unscrupulous participants in the turnover to import illegal products into the country. The second global reason is the decrease in the number of control and supervisory measures in the market due to the introduction of a moratorium on inspections, he added.
"The result that we are now seeing in 2023, in our opinion, was still achieved thanks to everyone's efforts, and first of all, the introduction of a digital labeling system," Zaslavsky stressed.
As Irina Bushina, director of the autonomous non-profit organization "National Scientific Center of Competencies in the field of combating illicit trafficking in industrial products" (ANO "NNCC"), told during a press conference, the Ryazan region, the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic and the Chechen Republic are regions with the highest concentration of illegal tobacco products, almost every third pack in these regions it is illegal.
At the same time, the leading regions with a minimum level of illegal tobacco trafficking (up to 1%) were the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug - no illegal cigarettes were found in these regions. Then there are the Khabarovsk and Kamchatka Territories (0.2% illegal share of cigarettes), the Jewish Autonomous Region (0.3%), the Udmurt Republic (0.6%), the Magadan and Tomsk regions (0.8%).