Tobacco Smuggling In Romania Up In July By 16 pct After 11-Month Fall

Tobacco smuggling in Romania went up in July by 16 percent, the first growth after a 11-month in which it fell, considering that the highest growth of black market is registered in the western part of Romania, according to a study published by Novel Research and financed by companies from the tobacco industry.

In 2016, the tobacco smuggling reached 16.8 percent of the total market of Romania, the highest level from 2010. Until July 2017, the last growth of the smuggling was registered in September 2016.

The highest level of smuggling was registered in the northeastern Romania, in the counties from Moldova, of 38.4 percent of the market, a growth by 1.1 percentage points compared with May.

It was followed by the western regions (24.5 percent) and southwestern Oltenia (22 percent).

The following growth was registered in March in the southern region of the country, by 3.2 percentage points, to 4.8 percent.

The only region where the tobacco traffic dropped in July is the northwestern part, which comprises six counties from Ardeal, where tobacco smuggling dropped by 7.3 percentage points to 11.3 percent of the market.

Even if its slight increase, the period when it takes place is worrying, as July is usually a month with low levels, according to Gilda Lazar, the director for corporate affairs & communications at JTI Romania, Moldova, and Bulgaria.

In 2016, the state lost around EUR 672 million due to the smuggling of cigarettes, according to the tobacco companies.  Enditem