Illicit cigarette trade in the Maghreb region | KPMG | UK

Illicit cigarette trade in the Maghreb region

Illicit cigarette trade in the Maghreb region

This is the first year KPMG has studied the illicit tobacco trends in the Maghreb region. In addition to KPMG’s proprietary quantitative analysis of illicit tobacco, this report includes RUSI’s (the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies) qualitative analysis of the trends in other illegally traded commodities.


Partner and Head of Mobility 2030, KPMG Global Strategy Group

KPMG in the UK


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Key findings:

  • 1 in 5 cigarettes consumed in the region were illegal, representing 13 billion cigarettes in total;
  • If these cigarettes had been purchased and imported legally, an additional US$565 million in tax revenues would have been made;
  • Over 7.4 billion of the illicit cigarettes are believed to originate from trademark owners based in the UAE Free Trade Zones, mainly entering Libya without the payment of taxes;
  • Cigarette smuggling in the region constitutes just one part of a broader illicit trade landscape; Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya all subsidise staple products from bread to sugar, oil and construction materials, which creates price differences and an incentive to smuggle goods across borders.

Read the full Illicit cigarette trade in the Maghreb region report. (1.9 MB)

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