The rate at which the legal cigarette market in Poland contracts is dropping, due to a.o. the decision not to increase the excise in 2015. Nearly 31.8 cigarettes were sold to wholesalers in the first three quarters of this year – show figures provided by Cyber Service. The numbers are a little less than 3 percent lower than in the same period last year.
The market is still in trouble, but compared to recent years, the rate at which the demand for legal cigarettes is decreasing has dropped significantly.
A decade of raising prices has also had a negative impact on budget income. In 2013, the ministry received 18.2 bln PLN in excise payment, although it expected to receive 600 mln more. In 2014, it estimated the value of payments to be received at 19.1 bln, but got less than 18 bln. In the first 8 months of this year, the income has been less than 11.8 bln, 1 percent less than the year before.
– The excise policy should not push customers to the grey market – says Grzegorz Byszewski, expert of Employers of Poland. – Excise raises have to be stopped for a few years. Afterwards, it should be increased with moderation and at a steady year to year rate, eg. by the inflation rate, preferably based on a long-term plan. The industry warns that despite symptoms of stabilization, next year may see a breakdown in cigarette sales. There are still no regulations implementing the tobacco directive - directive which will come into force on May 20th 2016 – he says.