Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the risk of tobacco smuggling is steadily increasing in Georgia, the Association of Young Financiers, and Businessmen of Georgia reports.
As vice president of the Association Paata Bairakhtari says, the demand for tobacco is growing as incomes are falling, which leads to the increased temptation to smuggle.
He says that if the excise tax does not decrease, the problem will remain unresolved.
"The rise in tobacco smuggling is not news. We all expected this process to start, and so it took place. The country cannot cope with the scale of smuggling," Bairakhtari remarked.
In his words, the initial idea that rising tobacco prices would lead to a decrease in the number of smokers did not materialize.
Nowadays, a day does not pass in Georgia without new cases of tobacco smuggling.
As the Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia reports, on June 15-22, the Tax Monitoring Department of the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti and Guria Revenue Services detected 24 storage and transportation facts of excise tobacco.