Gilda Lazăr, JTI: "The four-year excise tax increase calendar will last almost two"

English Section / 20 septembrie

Gilda Lazăr, JTI: "The four-year excise tax increase calendar will last almost two"

Versiunea în limba română

The four-year excise tax increase calendar will last almost two years, says Gilda Lazăr, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communication of JTI Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria, in the context of the publication in public debate of the Fiscal Code amendment project. The JTI representative points out: "As a rule, any miracle lasts three days. In our case, the four-year calendar will hold almost two. The last calendar for increasing tobacco excises, for the period 2022-2026, negotiated and included in the Fiscal Code last year, will be modified from January 1. A few days ago a 108-page version of the project was published on sources, now another 82-page version appears on the website of the Ministry of Finance. For now, we are studying them intensively. Like any of the companies affected by these proposals, we will have to change our business plans and hope that these new changes are not changed again in a few months. In addition to the uncertainty faced by the entire business environment, in this pre-election period the tobacco sector must also face an inflation of legislative initiatives, an unprecedented radicalism - no less than ten anti-tobacco projects, most of them launched by USR, is currently in various stages of parliamentary debate. However, as in all crisis situations so far, we continue to see to it - to produce and sell recognized brands, to export about 75% of the production, to transfer about 80% of the turnover, including excise duties, to the budget, and even to invest".

Last year, a new excise tax increase calendar came into force. The calendar, part of the Fiscal Code, is valid for all tobacco and nicotine products in the period 2022-2026. The first increase, according to the Calendar, took place in August 2022, and the second on April 1, 2023. In less than a year, the excise duty increased by 11% - 62 lei, from 565 to 626 lei.

Currently, the minimum excise duty on cigarettes in Romania is one of the highest in Central and Eastern Europe, 126.5 euros, while in Bulgaria it is 95 euros, Hungary - 98 euros, Poland - 107 euros, with differences significant compared to neighboring non-EU countries: in Serbia, the minimum excise duty is 75 euros, and in Moldova - 48 euros.

As a result, the profile companies drew public attention and in the official meetings they had that the non-compliance with the excise tax increase calendar, assumed by the governing coalition in 2022, will lead to the growth of the black market, endangering ongoing investments , budget contributions and, last but not least, Romania's accession to Schengen.

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