Illegal tobacco represented 13.9 per cent of total national tobacco consumption last year, with 2.3 million kg of illicit tobacco consumed, according to IPMG LLP’s ‘Illicit Tobacco in Australia 2016’ report.
The report, commissioned by Philip Morris and Imperial Tobacco, estimates that if this illicit tobacco had been sold legally, it would have generated $1.61 billion in tobacco excise for the federal Government.
Philip Morris Managing Director Nikitas Theophilopoulos says the industry is urging federal and state/territory authorities to continue their efforts to combat organised crime in tobacco.
“A national anti-illicit-tobacco strategy is needed to help coordinate industry and law-enforcement efforts to ensure ongoing support for dealing with this serious criminal issue,” he said.
Overall, the KPMG LLP report found that, as a proportion of total consumption, the illicit tobacco market declined by 0.2 percentage points in 2016. This fall followed record seizures of illicit tobacco by the ABF and other law-enforcement authorities.
According to the report, unbranded loose-leaf tobacco (commonly known as ‘chop chop’) continued to account for the majority (58 per cent) of total illicit consumption in Australia. The report also found the volume of unbranded tobacco increased 1.3 per cent on the previous year to 1.33 million kg.