Today, the Customs Administration of the Republic of North Macedonia, in cooperation with the State Market Inspectorate conducted two raids targeted at illicit sale of cigarettes, cut tobacco and other tobacco products.

Subject to the raids was control and seizure of illegally sold products, subject to excise duties.

The two raids were carried out simultaneously in Skopje and Tetovo. In Tetovo the officers were brutally attacked by a large crowd known to the police and appropriate charges will be brought against them. 

The Customs Administration and the State Market Inspectorate say that despite all the obstructions they will continue to fight against the gray economy and the illegal sale of tobacco products throughout the country.

During the raids, the officers seized:

• 113kg of cut tobacco and 415 boxes of cigarettes.

The seriousness of the problem and the magnitude of the damage caused by illicit trade in tobacco and tobacco products requires our continued efforts to prevent the illicit trade in excisable goods.

This way we not only protect competitiveness and prevent tax evasion, but we further contribute to the protection of people's health which may be endangered by the use of unauthorized products released into circulation illegally.

Cigarettes and cut tobacco are excise products, and when released for trade they must be marked with excise stamps. Excises account for about 22% of the total tax collected by the state, and excise taxes account for 13% of the budget revenues, of which over 5% are from cigarettes and tobacco products. Accordingly, it is a significant source of revenue in the state budget.

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