Lack of checks allows tobacco, fuel smuggling to proliferate

Lack of checks allows tobacco, fuel smuggling to proliferate

At a time when fuel and tobacco smuggling is rife, the authorities are reducing the number of inspections instead of increasing them, resulting in significant revenue losses for the state.

In the fuel market, there is virtually no monitoring, even though the wider gap between the taxes on diesel and heating oil provide the ideal conditions for illegal trade to flourish.

From the 27,365 inspections conducted during 2014, in the first half of this year authorities conducted just 1,702 inspections and confiscated only 60 liters of unleaded gasoline. Furthermore, the data the Finance Ministry receives from the fuel stations’ inflow-outflow systems are not checked, with officials saying the responsible agency is understaffed.

Regarding tobacco products, inspections had numbered 11,754 in 2014 but they amounted to just 3,177 in the first half of 2016, resulting in taxes and levies of 200.9 million euros being imposed.

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