In Ukraine want to be arrested for smuggling of cigarettes and alcohol

The idea of ​​criminalizing the smuggling of alcohol and tobacco closer to implementation. The Parliamentary Committee on Legislative Support of MPs recommended to adopt the draft №3254. It was registered in the parliament in the autumn of last year and provides a major increase penalties for illegal handling of tobacco and alcohol.

If smuggler caught with party goods, the value of which exceeds 100 non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens (about 70 thousand. UAH.), It shines a period of 3 to 7 years with confiscation. When it comes to smuggling in large sizes (from 1 thousand. Non-taxable minimum incomes of about 700 mln. UAH.), Imprisonment can reach 5-10 years.

Recall: Now smuggling refers to administrative violations and criminal liability for it is not provided at all. The criminals threatened with a penalty of 100% of the value of the goods and, in fact, the confiscation of the latter. If caught again, will also pay the same fine, but at double the rate. But by 2012 the rate of prosecution of smugglers we had (it was canceled within the decriminalization of economic crimes). It is significant that after this amount of illegal transshipment of goods began to grow. If in 2012 the figure stood at 2 billion. Cigarettes per year, according to the results of this could increase to 13mlrd. pcs., told Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications "of JTI Ukraine" Alexander Kohut.

Suffice it to lighter penalty, poor control, and huge money you can earn, if not caught, led to the fact that the level of our country smuggling is almost a European leader. In particular, tobacco products it several years headed the anti-rating. It's all about price.

If we average pack of cigarettes costs less than 1 euro, whereas in Poland - 3 euros in Germany - 5 euros, while in the UK - about 10-12 euros. That is, in case of successful "delivery" (the main recipient countries of illegal products from Ukraine are Poland, the Baltic States, Great Britain, Italy, Slovakia, Romania) you can raise a lot of money.

"On one wagon of contraband cigarettes, successfully crossed the border Ukraine and the EU, you can earn from $ 500 thousand to $ 1,5mln depending on the brands and countries of destination..", - Says Kohut.

It is clear that part of this amount comes from the smugglers to bribe border guards, but the resulting earnings still huge. Not surprisingly, the supply of cigarettes in Europe have long turned in Ukraine in a well-established pattern. Suffice it to recall the sensational case, when a few years ago was discovered a tunnel in Slovakia, according to which our "exporters" stable there the goods are shipped to customers. And with the opposition in Donbas the situation only worsened. On the territory controlled by the rebels almost the whole factory, stamp cigarettes openly work, which are then being transferred to the EU.

Is the Director of Corporate Legal Affairs Imperial Tobacco in Ukraine, Moldova and the Caucasus Oleg Strekal he said, now there is another problem: Ukraine is increasingly becoming a transit country, where Asian smuggling across our territory falls to the west. "And it will negatively affect the image of Ukraine in the international arena", - the expert believes.

He both hands "for" the criminalization of smuggling. But it adds, it is only one method of solving the problem. "An integrated approach: setting the legal framework for the protection of intellectual property rights, the introduction of effective legal production control mechanisms and turnover of excisable goods, changes in administrative and criminal codes, the adoption of a strategy to combat illicit trafficking of tobacco products in Ukraine", - said the expert UBR .ua.

The head of the association "Ukrvodka" Vladimir Ostapyuk also supports the idea of ​​introducing criminal LIABILITY smuggling. "Especially because the illegal supply of alcohol grow We are talking about the import of alcohol, which comes to us from Europe and of alcohol (it imported from Russia, Moldova and Transnistria).", - He says. Experts estimate that contraband products on our alcohol market takes up to 5%.

In the explanatory memorandum to the bill authors refer to the European practice. For example, in Ireland for smuggling can thunder in jail for 1-5 years, and in the UK to receive up to 7 years. However, it is a criminal offense is not in all European countries. Independent experts believe that the best barrier is not so much severe punishment as the control and the creation of prerequisites that make illegal shipments uneconomical.

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