Millions of cigarettes seized-proof the government needs to cut cig taxes

patslatt

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Just heard on the news that millions of cigarettes were seized and an estimate that the smugglers have captured a fifth of the market,costing the treasury €500 million a year. The size of the container shipment seized shows that smugglers have become major enterprises. The news of the seizure does not demonstrate success in the fight against smuggling-how long have we been hearing about drug seizures,yet the country is awash in drugs?

The government needs to wake up to the reality that it can't tax cigarettes at ridiculous levels without losing and more and more market share to criminal gangs. It should emulate the Canadian government's slashing of cigarette taxes in response to massive smuggling in the 1990s. And it should ignore the anti-smoking dogooders who would oppose the tax cut.
 
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corelli

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Just heard on the news that millions of cigarettes were seized and an estimate that the smugglers have captured a fifth of the market,costing the treasury €500 million. The size of the container shipment seized shows that smugglers have become major enterprises. The news of the seizure does not demonstrate success in the fight against smuggling-how long have we been hearing about drug seizures,yet the country is awash in drugs?

The government needs to wake up to the reality that it can't tax cigarettes at ridiculous levels without losing and more more market share to criminal gangs. It should emulate the Canadian government's slashing of cigarette taxes in response to massive smuggling in the 1990s. And it should ignore the anti-smoking dogooders who would oppose the tax cut.
They also need to introduce mandatory minimum sentences for such smuggling given the gravity for the Exchequer, depending on the amounts involved.
 

Tigris Celtica

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In reality they should at least double tax on the filthy cancer sticks ....
And increase penalties for smuggling them.
 

Oppenheimer

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No, they should increase the sanctions for smuggling them. The list of defaulters published this week shows those done for smuggling cigs (mostly non-Irish names too) were fined a few thousand euros when they can make tens of thousands over a few months at this. The sanctions should be prison, and for foreign nationals deportation.

Defaulters List
 

Baddaddy

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Simple solution, don't smoke, then all the smuggling would stop...

As a "dogooder" who smokes, its a bad habit which in time will increase your demise.

Think of the savings to the health service
 

junius

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The government needs to wake up to the reality that it can't tax cigarettes at ridiculous levels without losing and more more market share to criminal gangs. It should emulate the Canadian government's slashing of cigarette taxes in response to massive smuggling in the 1990s. And it should ignore the anti-smoking dogooders who would oppose the tax cut.
The government needs to treble the cost of cigarettes and abolish all duty free cigarettes. They need to quadruple the border guards at all airports and ports and confiscate all cigarettes in any person's baggage or container over and above an open packet of 20 for personal use. Any foreign national caught bringing cigarettes into this country other than an open packet of 20 should be deported immediately and without appeal. Disgusting and filthy habit!
 

patslatt

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As successful as Prohibition in the US 1920s

No, they should increase the sanctions for smuggling them. The list of defaulters published this week shows those done for smuggling cigs (mostly non-Irish names too) were fined a few thousand euros when they can make tens of thousands over a few months at this. The sanctions should be prison, and for foreign nationals deportation.

Defaulters List
Sanctions won't work,just as they didn't work in the 1920s Prohibition of alcohol in the US which led to the rise of large scale organised crime. Thousands of gangsters could become involved in cigarette smuggling and that would be a serious security threat to the state.
 

patslatt

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War on drugs mania

The government needs to treble the cost of cigarettes and abolish all duty free cigarettes. They need to quadruple the border guards at all airports and ports and confiscate all cigarettes in any person's baggage or container over and above an open packet of 20 for personal use. Any foreign national caught bringing cigarettes into this country other than an open packet of 20 should be deported immediately and without appeal. Disgusting and filthy habit!
If drugs can be smuggled even into prisons,what are the chances determined drug and cigarette smugglers can be prevented from smuggling? Do you want to create a police state in a war on drugs mania?
 

Oppenheimer

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Sanctions won't work,just as they didn't work in the 1920s Prohibition of alcohol in the US which led to the rise of large scale organised crime. Thousands of gangsters could become involved in cigarette smuggling and that would be a serious security threat to the state.
Prohibition wasn't a sanction - it was a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. Its absolutely not comparable in this case because we do have a legal supply of cigarettes whereas prohibition banned alcohol legally and otherwise. Thousands of gangsters are involved in cigarette smuggling - not exactly Al Capone's in terms of scale but there are thousands if this smuggling alone is costing the exchequer €0.5 bn per annum. At present the level of sanction for this activity is far too low and increasing this significantly before we reduce taxes is the way to go.
 

controller

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I have never heard a good argument for cigarettes. I say this as a smoker, increase the tax, but bring in draconian legislation for smuggling
 

junius

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If drugs can be smuggled even into prisons,what are the chances determined drug and cigarette smugglers can be prevented from smuggling? Do you want to create a police state in a war on drugs mania?
Aren't I suggesting an excellent way to solve the problem of unemployment? Everybody and every piece of luggage and every container and vehicle entering this country could be searched. The current system of everybody walking through the green channel is simply a nonsense! I have been in Russia - there are hundreds of security personnel there - they go through every piece of luggage with a fine comb. As I had nothing to hide, I had no problem. That should immediately be implemented here - that's what eastern Europeans and foreigners expect - they're taking us for complete fools - which, of course, we are!
 

TommyO'Brien

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Just heard on the news that millions of cigarettes were seized and an estimate that the smugglers have captured a fifth of the market,costing the treasury €500 million a year. The size of the container shipment seized shows that smugglers have become major enterprises. The news of the seizure does not demonstrate success in the fight against smuggling-how long have we been hearing about drug seizures,yet the country is awash in drugs?

The government needs to wake up to the reality that it can't tax cigarettes at ridiculous levels without losing and more and more market share to criminal gangs. It should emulate the Canadian government's slashing of cigarette taxes in response to massive smuggling in the 1990s. And it should ignore the anti-smoking dogooders who would oppose the tax cut.
Yes.

All the increasing of taxes has achieved is


  • increasing illegal availability of cigarettes
  • lowered their price
  • made them more available to children through lack of controls
  • funded the so-called Real IRA
  • funded gangs and gangsters
Increasing the tax has backfired totally.
 
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Oppenheimer

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Yes.

All the increasing of taxes has achieved is


  • increasing illegal ability of cigarettes
  • lowered their price
  • made them more available to children through lack of controls
  • funded the so-called Real IRA
  • funded gangs and gangsters
Increasing the tax has backfired totally.
True that increasing the tax has given a motivation for alternative ways to supply and this will always be the case but smuggling as a crime is dealt with far too leniently here. We live on an island with 1500 kilometres of coastline - opportunty to land smuggled goods - anyone taking advantage of this should be jailed for a long, long time.
 

Odyessus

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Smugglers love excise duties. There is only one group of people who are happier than than the anti-smoking lobby when excise on tobacco is increased: cigarette smugglers.

Even the idiots in the department of finance must have noticed by now that every time tobacco taxes are increased the tax take goes down, with no reduction in tobacco use.

If I was a tobacco smuggler, I would be egging ASH on to demand a €5 a pack increase on tobacco excise.

As Del Boy would say: "Lovely Jubly!" :roll:
 

asset test

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The cost of 20 cigs is roughly the same if not more expensive in the UK as here. Legitimately purchased (duty paid) cigs in Spain are less than half the price of here. Obviously much less from Eastern Europe.

Anyone know if the UK have the same smuggling problem as ourselves? I'm sure they do. They are an island too. If they do, how do they deal with it.

I just checked HMRC (UK customs) website and you can import 3,200 cigs duty paid from another EU country to the UK, provided they are for your own use or a gift. You can of course import more than that, but you will be asked questions about the volume of the importation.

Here, the indicative amount is 800. So even a citizen of Ireland, having bought cigs duty paid in EU could be challenged for importing over that amount. Anyone know why the indicative amounts are different amongst EU States? I'd say in our case it is protection of our excise receipts. However it is against free movement of goods etc., or so it seems to me.

I wholeheartedly agree that the sanctions for cigarette smuggling are a joke in this country, and the smugglers don't care if their stash is confiscated. They will just rinse and repeat.
 

patslatt

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Absurdly high prices equivalent to Prohibition.

Prohibition wasn't a sanction - it was a sledgehammer to crack a walnut. Its absolutely not comparable in this case because we do have a legal supply of cigarettes whereas prohibition banned alcohol legally and otherwise. Thousands of gangsters are involved in cigarette smuggling - not exactly Al Capone's in terms of scale but there are thousands if this smuggling alone is costing the exchequer €0.5 bn per annum. At present the level of sanction for this activity is far too low and increasing this significantly before we reduce taxes is the way to go.
Cigarette taxes are comparable to Prohibition in that the legal supply of cigarettes is available at absurdly high prices that are recognised as such by many consumers. Naturally, they respond by buying contraband. THe cigarette prices are equivalent to charging about €15 for a pint in a pub. If the government tried that level of tax on alcohol,shebeens and neighborhood BYOB (bring your own bottle) parties would take over the role of pubs.
 

patslatt

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Aren't I suggesting an excellent way to solve the problem of unemployment? Everybody and every piece of luggage and every container and vehicle entering this country could be searched. The current system of everybody walking through the green channel is simply a nonsense! I have been in Russia - there are hundreds of security personnel there - they go through every piece of luggage with a fine comb. As I had nothing to hide, I had no problem. That should immediately be implemented here - that's what eastern Europeans and foreigners expect - they're taking us for complete fools - which, of course, we are!
That level of monitoring would increase the market available to professional smugglers bringing in truckloads and container loads of cigarettes. It would be particularly difficult to police traditional smuggling routes across the border with the North.
 

Capt Blah

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The cost of 20 cigs is roughly the same if not more expensive in the UK as here. Legitimately purchased (duty paid) cigs in Spain are less than half the price of here. Obviously much less from Eastern Europe.

Anyone know if the UK have the same smuggling problem as ourselves? I'm sure they do. They are an island too. If they do, how do they deal with it.

I just checked HMRC (UK customs) website and you can import 3,200 cigs duty paid from another EU country to the UK, provided they are for your own use or a gift. You can of course import more than that, but you will be asked questions about the volume of the importation.

Here, the indicative amount is 800. So even a citizen of Ireland, having bought cigs duty paid in EU could be challenged for importing over that amount. Anyone know why the indicative amounts are different amongst EU States? I'd say in our case it is protection of our excise receipts. However it is against free movement of goods etc., or so it seems to me.

I wholeheartedly agree that the sanctions for cigarette smuggling are a joke in this country, and the smugglers don't care if their stash is confiscated. They will just rinse and repeat.
You are quite right - the ideal of free movement of goods and capital only seems to apply to big business, not to the little guy. I should be able to buy my car, fags and booze in any EU country and travel home without my baggage being torn apart by customs agents. And I should also be allowed to carry any amount of cash without having to explain myself. The only thing I should be checked for is explosives when passing through airports. As a European citizen I should be entitled to "free movement of goods and capital" within Europe.

The Irish government taxes cigarettes beyond any reasonable level because they can get away with it. If they thought they could get away with more they would do it. As usual, it is ALL about revenue.

The joke is that we have a cash-rich exchequer -- we just spend our money badly.

Oh, and we guarantee failed banks too ... petunia
 

patslatt

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You are quite right - the ideal of free movement of goods and capital only seems to apply to big business, not to the little guy. I should be able to buy my car, fags and booze in any EU country and travel home without my baggage being torn apart by customs agents. And I should also be allowed to carry any amount of cash without having to explain myself. The only thing I should be checked for is explosives when passing through airports. As a European citizen I should be entitled to "free movement of goods and capital" within Europe.

The Irish government taxes cigarettes beyond any reasonable level because they can get away with it. If they thought they could get away with more they would do it. As usual, it is ALL about revenue.

The joke is that we have a cash-rich exchequer -- we just spend our money badly.

Oh, and we guarantee failed banks too ... petunia
They can't get away with ridiculous cigarette taxes as shown by the rising share of the market going to smugglers.

You are entitled to free movement of goods under a legal decision. THe UK customs got too aggressive with consumers importing alcohol from across the Channel and someone took them to the European Court of Justice. The decision a few years ago allows consumers to load up even the biggest consumer vehicles with alcohol for personal consumption and gifts.
 


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