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Ukraine, EU to intensify fight against cigarette smuggling

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Oct. 11, 2012, 5:15 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

The customs services of the European Union and Ukraine are to intensify the fight against cigarette smuggling.
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The customs services of the European Union and Ukraine are to intensify the fight against cigarette smuggling, Director General of the European Commission's Taxation and Customs Union Directorate-General Heinz Zourek has said.

"Unfortunately, not only goods turnover, but the volume of shadow imports, including tobacco products, are increasing at our borders. That's why one of our key shared tasks is to unite the efforts of our customs services to combat cigarette smuggling," he said at a press briefing on Thursday.

EU Taxation, Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud Commissioner Algirdas Semeta in his video address, which was played during the Breaking Borders seminar on customs cooperation on the Eastern border of the EU, stressed the importance of the timely exchange of information between state customs services considering the threats caused by the smuggling of tobacco products.

"One of the most serious problems we often face is cigarette smuggling. It causes damage to trade, as well as posing a serious threat to security, as it is closely connected with organized crime. Cooperation in this sphere is very important to our services. It includes timely exchange of necessary information, as well as improvement of risk management systems," he said.

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