Kyrgyzstan tripled excise tax rates on imported tobacco for the countries that are not members of the WTO, except Russia.
The new excise rates will be in force as of June 2003. Excise rate on filtertipped cigarettes will now be 4,5 dollars instead of 1,5 dollars. For no-filter cigarettes the excise rate went up from 40 cents to 1 dollar.
The objective is to support home tobacco producers and promote economic interest of the republic as the volume of imported cigarettes from the neighboring states has gone up.
Experts believe that increased excise tax rates will result in higher tobacco prices and contraband of the good. Independent observers point out that already now 70% of tobacco items in the Kyrgyz market are illegally smuggled. Besides, experts note that higher excise tax rates on import will not increase demand for the home tobacco.
"Nemetskaya Volna", April 23, 2003