Last Update 9:33
Monday, 19 November 2018

Cigarette smuggling hits Egypt's economy by LE3 billion annually

While taxes and fees on cigarettes have gone up 25 per cent in the last year, smuggling has skyrocketed, a new report has found

Ahram Online, Saturday 31 Dec 2011
About 17 billion Cigarettes are smuggled to the Egyptian market Photo: Reuters
Views: 1821
Views: 1821

Egypt's economy faces a hit of about LE3 billion ($500 million) yearly, with the smuggling of 17 billion cigarettes to the domestic market, according to a report reviewed by Egyptian Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mahmoud Eissa and Minister of Supplies and Domestic Trade Goda Abdel Khalek on Friday.

Smuggled cigarettes reached 20 per cent of total domestic consumption, which is up to 80 billion cigarettes. The smuggled cigarettes constitute a significant tax loss.

"The total taxes and fees on cigarettes rose by 25 per cent compared to last year," Nabil Abdel Aziz, chairman of the Eastern Company, which monopolises the cigarette market in Egypt, told Ahram's Arabic Portal.

He explained that local cigarettes are subjected to LE15 billion as taxes, mentioning that the damage caused by smuggled cigarettes is not only a financial loss but constitutes a violation of global standards, which will severely damage health.

In November, Eastern Company posted a first quarter net profit of LE121 million, up 66 per cent from a year earlier. The company's financial year begins 1 July.

Eastern Company made a net profit of LE72.8 million in the same quarter last year.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.