Number of apprehended contraband cigarettes jumps by more than half in Q1

The amount of untaxed cigarettes apprehended by Customs in the first three months of this year has increased by 56 per cent for in the last quarter of last year, amounting some 518,480 cigarettes, the department told Macau News Agency.

Previously, tobacco group Philip Morris Asia Limited had indicated to MNA that untaxed cigarettes represented close to 80 per cent of local tobacco consumption in the last quarter of 2019.

There have been indications that entry restrictions enforced since the beginning of the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic in local borders with Mainland China – the largest entry point for contraband cigarettes – have led to an increase in local tobacco sales.

In total, from January to April 2020, Customs seized a total of 648,727 unpaid cigarettes at different entry points of Macau, with 181,567 apprehended just in February

People entering Macau are only allowed to carry for personal use and free of taxes a total of 19 cigarettes or 1 cigar or 25 grams of tobacco products.