Ireland curbs inbound cigarette allowances from six EU states

IRELAND. Effective from 1 January, Ireland has cut to 300 the number of sticks that can be taken into the country by travellers from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania. The limit for other EU states is 800.

Anyone entering Ireland from these countries with more than the new 300-stick limit will have to declare them to Customs and pay Irish excise duty on the balance. Other tobacco products brought in from these states will not be affected, providing that they are for personal use only.

Under rules agreed by EU states in 2010, and that came into effect on 1 January 2014, there are new minimum levels of excise duty on cigarettes. This was set at a monetary minimum excise rate of €90 per 1,000 cigarettes.

Ireland is the first country to impose limits on inbound tobacco under the new rules, as the six named states do not yet comply. The ETRC noted that others are likely to follow Ireland’s lead.

Under EU rules the countries named above should reach the minimum taxation levels on cigarettes by the end of 2017.

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