Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) welcome smuggling convictions but question whether fines will actually be paid
In the context of the publication by the Revenue Commissioner of the latest cigarette smuggling and illegal cigarette sales defaulters list, Retailers Against Smuggling Spokesperson Benny Gilsenan notes “I am pleased to see that the Revenue Commissioners continue to pursue smuggling, but we know from recent figures that many of those fined ultimately do not pay them. It concerns me as a legitimate retailer that almost 30 people this month alone were issued a fine of €2,500 for smuggling cigarettes or selling cigarettes illegally. My worry is how many of these will actually pay the fine?
In the lead up to Budget 2018, RAS continues to call on Minister Donohoe to protect the retailer and place a moratorium on further excise increases until such rises can be proven not to lead to surges in smuggling. Benny concluded “The average price of a pack of cigarettes is now €11 and on the street it can be as low as €4.50, how can a tax-paying retailer compete with that sort of black market price?”