UK black market trade increases

An almost 300% increase in counterfeit cigarette volume has driven a second consecutive annual rise in UK black market cigarette consumption, according to a new report.

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The KPMG Project Sun report for British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Philip Morris International says 16% of all cigarettes now consumed in the UK are either contraband or counterfeit.
It adds that the overall volume of illegal cigarettes consumed in the UK during 2015 increased by over 6% to reach 6.7bn cigarettes – the second highest increase in volume across the whole of the EU.
The study also calculated that if the total black market volume had been consumed legally extra tax revenue of 2.8bn euros would have been raised in the UK.
The report was issued after the implementation of the new EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD2), which manufacturers have argued will boost demand for cheap illegal tobacco.
Paul Adeleke, from Philip Morris Limited, said: “This illegal activity not only comes with a financial cost, but it fosters criminality in local communities. Philip Morris International continues to devote significant resources in combating this problem as it strongly believes that effective solutions require solid co-operation between governments, law enforcement agencies, manufacturers and retailers.”