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Contraband cigarettes market in Latvia drops 18% last year

Photo: State Revenue Service.
The illegal cigarettes market in Latvia last year dropped by 18% from 2015, according to the latest KPMG report on trade of illegal cigarettes in the EU, LSM reports.

The data suggest that it is one of the steepest drops among all European country covered by the survey. For example, illegal market share in Estonia declined by 12%, and in Lithuania – by 11%.

At the same time, Latvia was the only of the Baltic states demonstrating a rise of the legal cigarettes market in 2016.

"Despite the constantly growing prices, smokers prefers legal cigarettes. It definitely proves the successful work of Latvia’s law enforcement institutions, combating the illegal market. According to KMPG researchers, the illegal cigarettes market in Latvia in 2016 was 550 million, and more than 141 million cigarettes have been confiscated, which is a very good achievement," said State Revenue Service representative Baiba Smite-Roke.

As reported, according to KMPG survey, Latvia still has the highest share of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes among EU member states, Switzerland and Norway, as illegal cigarettes make up 22.6% of total consumption in Latvia.

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