Fight breaks out over extent of illicit tobacco trade in Ireland

| February 25, 2013

Ireland’s revenue commissioners have rejected as inaccurate a survey claiming that the consumption of illicit cigarettes in the country rose to 28.2 per cent during 2012, up from 24.5 per cent during 2011, according to a story by Marie O’Halloran for the Irish Times.

The commissioners said the survey did not distinguish between illicit products and cigarettes legally imported by people arriving from abroad.

The latest available figures from Revenue and the Tobacco Control Unit of the Department of Health put consumption of illicit cigarettes at 15 per cent of total cigarette sales during 2011, about the same level that applied in 2010.

The survey, conducted by market researchers MS Intelligence for Irish tobacco manufacturers, showed Waterford had the highest level of illegal sales with one-in-three cigarettes being non-Irish duty paid.

The survey was conducted by collecting about 10,000 empty packs from 22 towns and cities between April 15 and May 5 2012, and again between October 26 and November 10.

The figures were weighted to reflect the national population, according to a statement by the Irish Tobacco Manufacturers’ Advisory Committee.

The committee said the ‘shocking reality’ was that one third of tobacco consumed in Ireland during 2012 completely avoided excise and VAT.

The committee claimed the upsurge in the illicit market was a result of budget increases in December 2011.

Category: Breaking News

Comments are closed.