Trade in illegal tobacco - "erosion of the economy"

#industry news

Trade in illegal cigarettes leads to the closure of shops, losses for honest entrepreneurs and reduces the availability of everyday goods. This opinion was expressed on Thursday by the president of the Association of Small-format Trade, vice-president of the Association of NP "Opora" Vladlen Maksimov.

"It's not even about the 10 billion rubles that, according to experts, retail loses [from illegal tobacco], not only small, but in general all, but that it pulls other very dangerous processes. If a person comes and sees that driver products are more expensive than illegal immigrants, as we understand, then he does not take them. Accordingly, the store loses here, and the person does not go there at all, he does not buy sausage, bread, or anything. Shops are closing, especially in rural areas. People who ask to bring them cigarettes from Kazakhstan once a week in the trunk of a car, they do not fully understand, and it is wrong to demand from them that this leads to the closure of stores, the destruction of retail and the erosion of the economy," he said at the forum "Days of Retail in Siberia".

According to him, tobacco is a unique commodity category because it is excisable. The excise tax is about 70% of the cost of a pack, so this category is especially attractive for illegal operators. They discard the excise part of the price, assign most of it as rent, and at the expense of the other give "discounts" to the buyer. "Illegal traders mimic it for small business, but at the same time they have nothing to do with legal small business, as you understand. With the introduction of marking, it has become much more difficult to interfere with legal goods with illegal ones," Maximov noted.

He added that a specific feature of the tobacco retail trade is that some buyers themselves are looking for illegal goods, because they are cheaper, and thus, it is a kind of "push" the entrepreneur to look for it. Another feature is the low retail marginality from tobacco. "The entrepreneur himself is abstractly interested in the fight against illegal immigrants, but practically it is necessary to do this: it is necessary to write letters, complain, it is necessary to go to track. He does not have the economic strength to do this, so to speak," Maksimov believes.