The Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) has launched a public campaign Stop Smuggling, which aim is that all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina who have any information about the evasion of indirect taxes and illegal trade in goods, especially tobacco products, report to the open line 080 02 06 07 .
This year’s Stop Smuggling campaign, citizens can also send a photo and a location where the cigarettes and tobacco are being illegally sold, to Viber number 065 355 155, so that the authorized ITA officers on duty can perform a field check in real time.
Last year’s ITA Stop Smuggling action resulted in a large number of calls and submitted information, many of which were useful and on the basis of which field activities were carried out and excise goods, found and confiscated were sold contrary to legal regulations.
Reminder, since 2009, when Bosnia and Herzegovina started the process of harmonizing the excise taxation of tobacco and tobacco products, the number of issued excise stamps has been constantly declining in all previous years. However, in 2021, when the ITA conducted the first public campaign Stop Smuggling aimed at combating the “black market of tobacco” in BiH, the number of issued ITA excise stamps for tobacco and tobacco products increased. Namely, in 2021, the ITA issued a total of 208 million pieces of excise stamps, while e.g. in 2020, a total of 185 million pieces were issued. It is important that the growth in the number of issued excise stamps continued in 2022. The data show that in four months of 2022, a total of 74.5 million pieces of excise stamps were issued to mark cigarettes and tobacco packaging for rolling and smoking, while in the same period in 2021, 56.6 million pieces were issued, an increase of 31.6%. These are definitely supporting information in favor of the fact that in the last two years the percentage of so-called “Black market” of tobacco in BiH is decreasing.
Numerous actions of the ITA employees from the groups for the prevention of smuggling and violations from all four ITA regional centers (Banja Luka, Sarajevo, Mostar and Tuzla) certainly made a significant contribution to such statistics. Last year alone, in 2021, authorized ITA officers confiscated cigarettes and tobacco that were illegally sold in BiH in the amount of 5.3 million BAM, while in four months of 2022, cigarettes and tobacco without excise stamps of the ITA worth more than half million BAM.
Regarding customs fraud on the Internet and cyber crime, the ITA recognized this issue and determined in the Work Plan that it will pay special attention to undertaking actions, measures and activities aimed at investigating, detecting, preventing and prosecuting these criminal activities in terms of illegalities with indirect taxation. In this regard, ITA officials monitor the websites and social networks where illegally produced tobacco products are sold.