Cigarette Smuggling in Bulgaria at Its Lowest Levels Since 2007

A survey of five cigarette companies in connection with the illicit cigarette trade shows that the buttlegging has fallen to its lowest levels since 2007 in the first quarter of 2018. At the moment, its share is 5.8%, while in the last quarter of 2017 it was 6.6%.

However, there are still cities in which the levels of illegal trade are three times higher than the total for the whole country. In the first quarter of this year, these regions were Asenovgrad, Pernik, Blagoevgrad, Montana, and Pleven.

Experts have pointed out that the work on finding channels for cigarette smuggling must continue because those who deal with it are very creative. Moreover, the level of illegal trade in cut tobacco continues to be extremely high. According to the Center for the Study of Democracy, about 75% of the trade in cut tobacco is illegal.

The municipalities, the pensioners, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and others have been helped with the money earned with the legal trade.

After May 2019, Bulgaria will implement new cigarette regulations that will have a small effect on their price. The new rules for cigarette production and packaging will be implemented due to an EU regulation with the goal of reducing contraband.

Photo by Sajjad Zabihi on Unsplash

Petya Petrova

Petya Petrova is a journalist, believer, and traveler.

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