Sales of illicit cigarettes in the UK fell by more than 6% in 2013, a new KPMG study for BAT, Imperial, JTI and PMI has revealed.
Just over 10% of the cigarettes consumed in the UK in 2013 were illicit, down 6.2% on 2012. EU-wide levels also showed a decline from a record high of 11.1% in 2012 to 10.5% in 2013.
The fall was due to a significant decrease in the volume of genuine cigarette brands being smuggled from low tax countries into high tax countries “as industry, governments and law enforcement increased enforcement efforts” the report said.
In fact, 11 of the 28 EU markets experienced a decline in illicit cigarette consumption as a percentage of overall consumption in 2013.
However, the report did reveal significant growth of ’illicit white’ brands across Europe. While in the UK the number of illicit white cigarettes consumed in 2013 remained unchanged at 1.1bn, EU-wide KPMG found that the number consumed increased by 15% compared with 2012.
The biggest illicit white brands are Fest followed by Jin Ling, American Legend and Ducal.