lundi 5 octobre 2015

Cameroon: The economy plumed by tobacco clandestine businesses

Counterfeit, illicit habits, false brands and low cost:cigarette traffic explodes, boosted by the cruel appetite of the tobacco industry. A parallel market which contributes to the fortune of mafia groups.
Yaounde urban council, the sky is obscure and the air is fresh, Robert in his twenties stops by a shopon the public path. In this shop, he does his credit transfer and buys a packet of cigarette. The park given to him carries no fiscal stamp, but for Robert, only his toxic dosage matters. Like Robert, many other tobacco users buy counterfeited products regularly.
Indeed, for the past two weeks, retail stands have been overwhelmed by counterfeited cigarettes and low cost brands, not respecting the regulating laws in Cameroon. This rise in counterfeit and illicit behavior activities around tobacco products is not without consequences on the economy.
According to a research conducted by the ‘Groupement Inter-Patronal du Cameroun’ (GICAM), almost 29% of cigarette sales emanates from counterfeit sources. The same study reveals that tax loses and customs loses related to illicit trade of tobacco amounts to almost 4 Billion Fcfa for the year 2006.

This situation is seen as aggressive by new methods of tax frauds developed by certain tobacco industries. As revealed by a brigade controller, « This practice sets confusion on the prices used at retail shops and instead of having same price, we find two prices for the same product». The same source entrust the existence of the same sub-regional traffic network enabling the spreading within the central African and Chad. Counterfeit profit thus tobacco producers. This constitutes sales tactics. Well marketed cigarettes to dissuade smokers from stopping, stimulating largely more youths to start smoking and exposing populations to dangers related tobacco consumption.
In Cameroon, to counter this problem, seizing operations are regularly done by the brigade of the Ministry of Trade, customs and security police. The most recent was on the 04th of August 2015. 1000 illicit cartons were seized from a Cameroon tobacco company depot in Douala.
Counterfeiting and the illicit trade of tobacco products does not need to be taken as a minor issue. Given that this reduces tax revenues of the state and touches all countries in the world. Fighting efficiently against this flew needs international measures. For this to be done, there is recommendation for the signing of a protocol to eliminate illicit trade of tobacco products, adopted by parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Protocol which is not yet signed by Cameroon. Gabon a neighboring country to Cameroon is the first country in the African region and the second in the world to ratify this protocol. The ratification by Cameroon will be an occasion to ameliorate tobacco control in Central Africa.

1 commentaire:

  1. "Sin taxes," a subset of excise taxes, are imposed on certain commodities or activities that are perceived to be unhealthy or have a negative effect on society, such as cigarettes, gambling, and alcohol.

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