Fiscal policy officials and representatives of law enforcement authorities in ten European and Asian countries met in Bucharest last weekend for two days to determine future strategies to halt the loss of billions of dollars due to illegal trade, counterfeit products and other aspects of the black economy.
“We are talking about a dangerous problem and growing, which is not only a fiscal matter. Apart caused substantial losses in state budgets, illegal restricts economic development, raise barriers and increase costs of international trade, produce significant health risks and presents many challenges for the authorities – from intellectual property infringement, to money laundering and organized crime, “said Daniel Witt, President, International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC). Some experts gathered to addressing the connection between the underground economy, tax evasion and illegal trade, there were experienced officials from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, World Customs Organization, INTERPOL and EUROPOL and private sector specialists and university professors . “One of the main issues related to the underground economy is illicit trade in tobacco products because it is linked to organized crime. In this context, cooperation between companies and authorities can help to achieve better results in combating black market cigarettes. This conference represents a unique opportunity to understand the latest trends in illegal trade and techniques to combat it. Officials attending the event will be better equipped in order to implement the strategies discussed in Bucharest in local context and will use the contacts established at the conference, sharing information in order to more widely in the future, “said Cristina Vasiloiu, CEO Euromonitor Business Consulting Services. “Given that cigarettes are excisable goods, smuggling of tobacco products, by significant losses due to budget represents a very serious problem. As I said, we need a new national strategy to combat illegal trade in cigarettes, nationwide, for the period 2015-2018, aimed at improving the regulatory framework and concrete measures to be implemented in concert by all institutions responsible. General Customs Department continues to implement firm measures to reduce smuggling. At the moment, are active in customs, supported by cigarette manufacturers, 33 canine teams specialized in detecting cigarettes and 11 canine teams with double capability – screening drugs and cigarettes.
Cooperation protocols were signed between NAFA and the major manufacturers of cigarettes, between DGV and the Customs Administration of Moldova and Serbia, in order to combat illegal trafficking. A similar document will be agreed with Ukraine. Also, since analyzes Customs, and Novel study reveals an increase in black market in the northern, western and northeast, as soon as the administrative capacity will allow, will be reintroduced at the border customs offices Sighet, Halmeu and Siret small border traffic monitoring certain products “, said Claudiu Ardeleanu, director general of the General Customs Directorate. “Simplify the legal framework which prevents illegal. It is necessary to develop an integrated strategy to combat illegal trafficking of goods and customs fraud in the EU’s eastern borders. Members of the Working Group which will develop and coordinate this strategy should come from OLAF, WCO, EUROPOL, INTERPOL, FRONTEX, SELECTION, EUBAM, the EU countries in the region and representatives of companies and authorities in member countries of the Eastern Partnership . An additional recommendation is the active involvement of EU member states, in order to create the necessary framework for business development and ensuring good conditions in countries bordering the European Union, “said Dorel Fronea, former head of the National Customs Authority of Romania and Mission was expert in the European Union Advice and Public Policy in Moldova. “International Conference on economy and taxes” was organized by the International Tax and Investment Center (iticnet.org) nonprofit research and education oriented on fiscal reform and public-private initiatives to improve the investment climate, and Euromonitor Business Consulting Services, provider of consulting policies and strategies for business development in Central and Eastern Europe