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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 180 - Illicit trade in tobacco [9242/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 180 - Illicit trade in tobacco [9242/15]. (03 Mar 2015)

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180. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Finance if he will introduce a proper banning of illegal cigarettes sales in streets, markets, and fairs (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9242/15]


Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The regulation of the retail sale of cigarettes is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Health. However, the supply and sale of cigarettes which have not been duty paid is banned under tobacco products tax law. All cigarettes that are intended for delivery, sale and consumption in the State must have the appropriate tax stamp affixed to the pack by the manufacturer to show that the cigarettes are tax paid. It is an offence, under Chapter 3 of Part 2 of the Finance Act 2005, for any person to offer or keep cigarettes for sale which do not comply with these tax stamp requirements, or for any person to knowingly use or deal in a counterfeited or altered tax stamp. In addition, any cigarettes in respect of which an offence has been committed under these provisions, and anything used to conceal these cigarettes, or any vehicle or conveyance used to carry them, are liable to seizure.


The Revenue Commissioners inform me that, in 2014, 53 million cigarettes and 9,836 kilograms of tobacco were seized. There were 111 convictions for smuggling or illegal selling of tobacco, resulting in fines of €227,219 and 28 custodial sentences being imposed. In addition, surveys of smokers by Ipsos MRBI, carried out for the Revenue Commissioners and the National Tobacco Control Office of the Health Services Executive, show that the consumption of illicit cigarettes has fallen from 15% in 2009 to 11% in 2013, suggesting that the consumption of illicit cigarettes is being contained.


New measures introduced in recent Finance Acts have further assisted the Revenue Commissioners, including the introduction of offences for involvement with illicit tobacco production, knowingly dealing in or delivering any illicit tobacco product and greater powers to search bags in the case of suspected illicit street sales. Where justified, I am committed to bringing forward new enforcement measures against the illicit tobacco trade.

Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
3 March 2015

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