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Post: Media: Russia may bring criminal liability for counterfeit tobacco

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RBC: Ministry of Finance proposes to introduce criminal liability for counterfeit tobacco products

MOSCOW, January 23 – RIA Novosti. The Ministry of Finance offered to introduce criminal liability for the sale and manufacture of counterfeit cigarettes, the newspaper wrote on Monday. RBC, citing sources in the government and the press service of the ministry.

“Draft Law on Amending the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation” and “Draft Laws on Amending the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation” were submitted to the government commission in 1999. Additional legislative documents prepared by the Ministry of Finance say that they aim to introduce state regulation of the production and circulation of tobacco products,” writes RBC.

Publication refers to a package of documents whose accuracy has been confirmed by sources in the Council of Ministers. In the final version of the article, it will be stated that the production, purchase, storage and supply (including export and import) of tobacco products and raw materials by “major processing” without an appropriate compulsory license is punishable by fines. The publication states that for a period of one to three years, or forced labor or imprisonment for up to three years, in the amount of 500 thousand to 1 million rubles, or the income of the convicted person.

Such proposals are discussed with concerns about the “losses” of the state budget, as well as the health of the population. According to experts, the share of illegal tobacco products in the Russian market increased from 1.5% in 2016 to 10.7% in 2021. And according to the Accounting Chamber, the loss of the federal budget from 2016 to the first half of 2021 amounted to about 300 billion rubles, including the deficit in VAT and excise taxes.

It also provides data on the “smoking-related” death rate in Russia, which is 266.5 thousand people per year. The authors of the bill are confident that since their compliance with technical regulations and state standards is not checked, consumers of counterfeit products put their health at greater risk.

“The Ministry of Finance has prepared a draft law introducing state regulation within the framework of a separate industrial law, with the establishment of special supervision on the production and circulation of tobacco products, nicotine-containing products and raw materials for their production.” The press service of the Ministry of Finance confirmed that the draft laws are being considered by RBC, adding that as a model regulation, it is recommended to use the “already established” system of state regulation and control of the alcohol market.

Source: Ria

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