Brazil lost R $ 146 billion to the illegal market in 2017


The sale of illegal products in Brazil brought losses of R $ 146 billion to the country last year, according to data collected by the National Forum Against Piracy and Illegality (FNCP) in 15 productive sectors.

The sale of illegal cigarettes hit a record in 2017: 48% of the entire national product market is dominated by brands from Paraguay. As a result, Brazil has become the largest global market for illegal cigarettes, and the most sold brand in Brazil is Eight, manufactured by the Paraguayan Tabacalera del Este, of the Cartes family.

A survey of  (ETCO) shows that Brazilians believe that cigarette smuggling brings huge losses to the country. For 86% of respondents, smuggling encourages organized crime and drug and arms trafficking, and 87% say that these products increase health risks.

Brazilians believe that the fight against smuggling is a topic that should be part of the political debate in 2018: 86% of respondents said that they would not vote for a candidate who refused to fight smuggling. Among the main actions that should be taken by the president-elect to combat the smuggling of Paraguayan cigarettes, closing the border between the two countries would be the most efficient measure for 62% of the interviewees; 74% of the people interviewed pointed out the largest investment in border security actions; and 64% the adoption of laws with tougher penalties for the crime of smuggling.

For Edson Vismona, president of ETCO and FNCP, the result of the survey is not surprising. He believes that the solution to the problem must pass through an integrated action by the Brazilian authorities, but he also points out another problem: “the tax disparity between Brazil and Paraguay is the biggest stimulus for the gangs that dominate this activity. In Brazil taxes on the cigarette sector are, on average, 80%, while in the neighboring country this percentage is only 16%. The Brazilian government needs to address this issue within the scope of Mercosur if it wants to reduce smuggling in the country ”. He also recalls that the neighboring country needs to do its part: “Paraguay cannot act in isolation and the April 22 elections will be an excellent opportunity for Paraguayans to choose a president who is a true ally of Brazil in fighting this crime ”he said.