Not less than 45 thousand Russian traditional outlets, including counter stores, kiosks, pavilions and in markets, trade in illegal cigarettes. It is 13,4% of the total number of objects of the traditional trade in Russia at the end of the first half of 2016. Likewise, the owners of about 10 thousand spontaneous trade objects – non-stationary stalls and stores that sell “from wheels”.
Such data, according to the RBC, contained in a research note the company “INFOLine-Analytics” entitled “Illegal products on the tobacco market of the Russian Federation”.
Hardest illegal trade in cigarettes is widespread in the markets (26% of the total). 22% of the stalls, 16.2% of pavilions and 8.5% countertop stores also sell illegal tobacco products.
“According to our calculations, given the high penetration of illegal products into the legitimate retail channels, only via traditional retail formats in 2016 may be sold more than 12 billion cigarettes that are illegal origin”, – says General Director of “INFOLine-Analytics” Mikhail Burmistrov. This corresponds to 4.4% of the market in natural expression.
Thus, from a legal turn is derived of the order of 45 billion roubles – so much is lost retail selling legal products. The potential loss of budget analysts estimated at least 20 billion rubles (17 billion roubles will fall in losses from non-payment of the excise tax).
After the legal restrictions of trading cigarettes and beer consumers have shifted to purchasing them in modern formats. On sale in the stalls at the major tobacco companies had 6-20% (a ban on trade in stalls and kiosks came into force from 1 June 2014).
In the face of declining real incomes of traditional retail, being unable to compete on price with modern formats, in the past two years to actively expand the range of illegal tobacco and alcohol products, the result of having the price advantage, the authors of the study.
So, a pack of illegal contraband cigarettes worth 40-45 rubles, while the average price of a pack of legal cigarettes in the low price segment is 75 rubles, mid – range 90-100 rubles in the premium segment – 115-150 rubles.
A dangerous precedent, according to Burmistrova, for example, are identified during the monitoring of individual cases of sales of tobacco goods Grodno tobacco factory (Belarus) in a small regional networks.
“At an average cost of a pack of cigarettes the low-price segment at 79 rubles, the legal production of the Russian factories are not able to compete with much cheaper contraband and counterfeit goods, and forcing manufacturers, and retail to respond to growing consumer interest in favor of the inexpensive brands of cigarettes,” – said Vice-President of the international tobacco companies JTI, corporate Affairs and communications Russia Sergey Kiselev.
“Against this background, a further increase in the tax burden with the weakening of the role of minimum rates of excise duty are able to stimulate consumers to actively search for a cheaper price alternatives, including illegal products, and ultimately undermine tax revenues,” says the lobbyist.
We will remind, a month ago, the research company Nielsen, analyzed by request of the tobacco companies more than 15 thousand empty cigarette packs collected in 89 cities of the Russian Federation, estimatedthat sales of illegal cigarettes in Russia for the year increased more than twice.