Cigarette smuggling exploded, boosted by the price increase. France is one of the most concerned countries because of its tax policy on cigarettes. All brands are affected by this influx. Many websites offer cheap cigarettes.
Smuggled counterfeiting of tobacco is in constant progress. It stands for the first seizure by customs officers with 31% of all the product seizures.
A study which reveals many forms of smuggling
In 2012, KPMG study indicates that 65.5 billion of illicit cigarettes would be in circulation in the European Union, which represents 11.1% of total consumption of cigarettes and a tax loss amounting to 12.5 billion euros for Member States. There are several sorts of illicit cigarettes:
They are copies of original products often made by criminal networks.
They are cigarettes sold in parallel networks, called black market, where there is no tax and custom duty.
It is a type of smuggling. The cigarettes enter the country where they are not referenced or approved. They are imported illegally in the European Union to be sold.
Non Domestic Cigarettes (or foreign cigarettes)
These cigarettes were not intended to be sold in the market where they are consumed. They are legal whether the authorized quantity is respected, which is fixed by the legislation.
Still according to the study, one out of five packs of cigarettes would not be bought in a French tobacco shop. Counterfeiting consumption is risky: Philip Morris did analyses which revealed the presence of polystyrene, plastic and animal excrements in counterfeiting cigarettes.