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You're reading: Ukraine, EU to intensify fight against cigarette smuggling

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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