Unlawful Cigarette Distribution in Russia: Impact on Budget and Economy

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According to the Russian NIKUDING Union, the government suffered a loss of nearly 900 million rubles due to illegal cigarette sales in three Russian regions.

According to a report by Russia’s Nikudin Union, the Russian government has suffered a loss of nearly 900 million rubles due to illegal cigarette sales in the regions of Liangzan, Vladimir, and Tver states.

In Tver and Ryazan regions, the share of illegal sales is noticeably higher than the Russian average, reaching 23.9% and 19.1% respectively. Within less than a year, the share of illegal sales in Tver region has nearly tripled, while Vladimir region has witnessed a decrease in illegal sales (down to 0.7%). In Tver and Ryazan regions, the main source of contraband cigarettes in the illegal market comes from imports from Eurasian Economic Union countries. In Vladimir region, although these products are almost non-existent, there has been an increase in records related to the sale of counterfeit cigarettes. This was stated by Irina Bushna, Director of the National Center for the Exchange of Information on Counterfeit Industrial Products, during a conference organized by “Businessman’s Gazette.”

As of the second quarter of 2023, illegal tobacco sales in Russia have caused a minimum loss of over 26.4 billion rubles to the budget, an increase of 6.5 billion rubles compared to the first quarter.

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