In the first quarter of 2021, Poles smoked 6.3 percent of smuggled cigarettes – 3.9 billion units, compared to 9.4 percent in 2020, it means a decrease by over 3 percentage points, which translates into a significant increase in excise tax revenues to the state budget, according to a report by the Almares Market Research and Consulting Institute.
The share of illegal trade in cigarettes in the Polish tobacco market has been gradually decreasing since 2015 when it exceeded 18.3 percent. It is estimated that each percentage of the market recovered for the legal sale of cigarettes is approximately PLN 250 million more in the state budget. The Almares Institute report shows that the market share of counterfeit tobacco products has also decreased: from 1.3 percent in 2020 to 0.7 percent in the first quarter of this year.
"In the first half of 2021, we seized nearly 169 million cigarettes and 410 tons of tobacco, while liquidating 10 illegal cigarette factories," Chief Inspector Iwona Jurkiewicz, CBŚP press spokesman, said.
The market for legal tobacco products is estimated at 60 billion pieces of cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
In the fight against the tobacco shadow economy, Poland performs very well compared to the Schengen area countries, where the average share of illegal products in 2020 was 7.8 percent and was 0.5 percent higher than the year before. In some EU countries, the share of the shadow economy is almost four times higher than in Poland and is growing year on year.
The latest report by KPMG shows that in 2020 the shadow economy in France accounted for 23.1 percent of the market, in Greece 22.4 percent, in Lithuania 20.2 percent, in Latvia 19.1 percent, and Great Britain 17.1 percent.