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Japan Tobacco Urges Serbia to Align Excise Taxes With EU – Bloomberg

Tobacco company promotes health measure – excise tax increases

Japan Tobacco Urges Serbia to Align Excise Taxes With EU

By Gordana Filipovic – Jun 17, 2011 10:45 PM GMT+0800 .

.Serbia and other nations in the Western Balkans should increase excise duties on cigarettes and other tobacco goods to bring them closer to European Union levels, said Cristian Cring, Adriatic representative for Japan Tobacco Inc. (2914)

Excise duties in Serbia now are 28 euros ($39 dollar) per 1,000 cigarettes, compared with EU taxes of 90 euros.

“That is the target which will be imposed for the countries of the region. That is a huge difference, even if Serbia becomes an EU member in 2020,” Cring said today at a conference in Becici, Montenegro. “We are not here to ask for an increase in taxes, but for an increase in predictable and stable way.”

The duty of 114 euros in Italy compares with 22.3 euros per 1,000 cigarettes in Albania, Cring said, adding that differences between EU and the Western Balkans meant that “a pack of Winston costs 1.25 euros in Serbia and 5.25 euros in Italy.”

An excise duty calendar would determine the pace of an increase in excise duties over a three- to five-year period, while securing stable budget revenue and a predictable business environment for the tobacco industry.

Excise duties on tobacco in Serbia generated 9.1 percent of its budget in 2010, 5.3 percent of the Romanian budget and 6.3 percent of the Bulgarian budget, Cring said.

Japan Tobacco, the world’s third-largest publicly traded cigarette maker, is the manufacturer of brands such as Camel and Winston.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade

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