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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 433 - Illicit trade in tobacco [41915/12].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 433 - Illicit trade in tobacco [41915/12]. (02 Oct 2012)

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433. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his proposals to deal with the illegal smuggling of cigarettes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41915/12] 

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): The issue raised by the Deputy is primarily a matter for the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Finance. It is the Revenue Commissioners who are responsible for tackling the illicit trade in cigarettes and tobacco products and they have advised as follows. Revenue has adopted a comprehensive tobacco strategy which is published on Revenue’s website The strategy includes a number of programmes, which are designed to complement each other in targeting the supply and demand sides of the market for contraband tobacco in Ireland. Key elements include developing and sharing intelligence on a national, EU and international basis, development of analytics and detection technologies, and ensuring optimum deployment of resources at point of importation and within the country, in order to intercept the contraband product and to prosecute those involved.
With regard to the level of penalties for illicit importation and sale of tobacco products, the threat to tax revenues from criminal activity in the cigarette market is viewed very seriously, and substantially increased penalties were introduced in the Finance Act 2010 as a deterrent. The penalties for the smuggling of tobacco products are contained in Section 119 of the Finance Act 2001 as amended and the penalties for the illegal sale of unstamped tobacco products are contained in section 78 of the Finance Act 2005, as amended. In 2012 to date a total of 81.1m cigarettes with a retail value of €36.6m and 3,338kgs of tobacco with a retail value of €1.2m have been seized by Revenue. In addition, 41 convictions were secured for cigarette smuggling and a further 52 convictions were secured for illegal selling of unstamped tobacco products.
Dáil Éireann Debate
Tuesday, 2 October 2012

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