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Ivan Bakanov proposes initiatives that will strengthen combating smuggling and illegal tobacco market

Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov called the heads of law enforcement bodies, tax and customs services to introduce joint mechanisms for combating smuggling and illegal tobacco market. This was stated by the SBU Head during the coordination meeting on the areas of concern of Ukrainian tobacco market, which was held on February 11 at the SBU initiative.

"According to experts, the volume of illegal tobacco market comprises about 7% of the total. Last year the budget did not receive UAH 5 billion due to unpaid taxes. Behind these figures are unrealized opportunities for citizens - new roads, hospitals, kindergartens... This is also the average monthly pension for over 1 million 600 thousand of Ukrainian pensioners” - said Ivan Bakanov.

According to him, the experience of the SBU has shown that under present conditions it is possible to oppose any manifestation of illegal market. Thus, only last year the Service seized 10 million packs of cigarettes and 91 ton of raw materials for their manufacture. The special service held a series of large-scale operations, in particular, blocked the activity of the large criminal group and seized the most significant in the history of the independence smuggled tobacco valued at UAH 120 million.

The meeting participants also discussed the issue of non-payment of VAT and 5% of retail excise tax on sale of tobacco products, which is almost for 50% in the shade, because of this the state does not receive billions of hryvnias annually. The SBU Head urged to improve legislation and strengthen control in the sphere of retail and wholesale trade of tobacco products in order to prevent further tax evasion and illegal export of cigarettes.

Ivan Bakanov also drew attention of state agencies and manufacturers of tobacco products on the need to implement effective control over the movement of excisable goods on the domestic market.

“We should improve the work in this direction. First, to implement the Concept “Electronic excise mark". We are talking about the introduction of automated control system over turnover of excisable goods. Secondly, it is necessary to criminalize smuggling, in particular, with excisable goods, in order captured criminals would be punished rather than walk free after payment of fines,” - added the head of the SBU. The meeting was attended by the Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov, Minister of Finance Oksana Markarova, Deputy Minister of Economy, Trade and Agriculture Svitlana Panoiotidi, the Head of the State Tax Service Serhiy Verlanov, Deputy Chairman of the State Customs Service Robert Zeldi, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy of Danylo Hetmantsev, General Director of the Association “Ukrtiutiun" and representatives of the business environment.

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