Today, the Customs Administration of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Market Inspectorate conducted joint controls against illegal sale of cigarettes, cut tobacco and other tobacco products on the green markets in several cities across the country, previously in Skopje and Bitola and today in Tetovo. Subject to the joint controls was control and seizure of illegally sold products – excise goods.

During the controls the following was seized: 69 boxes of 500 grams cut tobacco or a total of 34.5 kg and 2156 boxes of cigarettes i.e. 43,120 pieces of cigarettes. Charges will be brought against the perpetrators.

This action is part of the regular controls we announced earlier. The seriousness of the problem and the magnitude of the damage illicit trade in tobacco and tobacco products causes requires continued efforts to prevent illicit trade in excise goods. This way, not only do we protect competitiveness, prevent tax evasion, but we also contribute to protecting people's health that may be endangered by the use of suspicious products released on the market illegally. 

The composition, origin, method of production and storage of these products is unknown. In this action, products have been found that have yet to be tested for the composition which, according to first estimates, have a low percentage of tobacco and are packed in packages of half a kilogram, which do not exist as a product. The perpetrators, as before, will continue to be subject to the most severe sanctions in order to prevent this phenomenon.

Cigarettes and cut tobacco are excise taxable products, and when they are in retail they must be marked with control stamps. Excise duties account for about 22% of total taxes collected by the state, and excise taxes account for 13% of the budget revenues, over 5% of which are from cigarettes and tobacco products. Accordingly, it is a significant source of revenue in the state budget. Actions to suppress illegal trade in excise goods also protect legal production and licensed producers.

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