Regulatory News
September 17
Contraband cigarettes in Brazil that are produced in Paraguay grow exponentially not only in the states closest to the border between the two countries and in the large capitals of the Southeast, which is the largest consumer markets. In the Northeast, despite the great distance to Paraguay, this illegal trade is gaining increasing proportions.

The 2017 survey shows that only 4 billion illegal units were consumed in the states of Pernambuco, Paraíba, Alagoas and Rio Grande do Norte, resulting in a loss of R $500 million (US$120 million) in uncollected taxes.

According to the study, in three years, the cigarette smuggling market increased 222% in Alagoas and 149% in Pernambuco.
August 28
Signed by 40 countries, the Protocol on the Elimination of Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (ITP), a document from the World Health Organization, is expected to become international law later this year. However, experts believe the document will have little practical effect in Latin America, where only Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama and Uruguay have accepted it.

"It would be fundamental for Paraguay, which now has a new government, to accept it because the country produces 60 billion cigarettes per year, but domestic consumption and legal exports reach a maximum of 7.5 billion. That is: 52 billion are smuggled," says the president of the Brazilian Institute of Competitive Ethics, Edson Vismona.

According to him, the protocol could be an additional element for Brazil to intensify the integration of safety enforcement in the fight against smuggling.
August 13
Seven military police officers were sentenced to prison ranging from eight to ten years. They were accused of being part of a cigarettes smuggling scheme in Mato Grosso do Sul. The state is borders Paraguay, where shipments of the illegal product come in.

The police had been arrested in December. According to investigations, they demanded bribes in exchange for not reporting the crime; and if they did not receive the amount requested, they would even kidnap truck drivers with the contraband cigarettes to demand ransom.

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