New research by KPMG has revealed that 15% of cigarettes consumed in Ireland in 2015 came from the illicit trade, marking a second year of growth in a row for the black market trade.
This rise was driven by a near 30% annual rise in the volume of ‘illicit white’ cigarettes, which now account for 28% of all illicit cigarettes in Ireland.
The study, carried out on behalf of British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Philip Morris International, also found that the level of the Irish black market is now the 6th highest across the whole of the EU.
Another key finding in the 2016 Project Sun report for the RoI in 2015 is that if the total black market volume had been consumed legally, an additional tax revenue of €249 million would have been raised by the Irish Exchequer.
In response to the report, Paul Adeleke, from Philip Morris Limited, said, “The illicit trade in tobacco products denies the state substantial legitimate revenue, at a time when there are constraints on exchequer finances, with consequent implications for spending on public services.
"In addition, it contributes to the creation and entrenchment of organised crime, because of the scale of the profits involved for illegal operators. Philip Morris International continues to devote significant resources in combating this problem as it strongly believes that effective solutions require solid cooperation between governments, law enforcement agencies, manufacturers and retailers."
The 2015 KPMG study on the illegal cigarette consumption in the EU is available here.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.