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EU Customs Seized 816 Million Cigarettes, 240000 Liters Of Alcohol In 2013

Around 816 million cigarettes and 240 000 litres of alcohol were seized by EU customs over a 10 month period in 2013, a report published by the European Commission on Monday reveals.

The report details the planning, implementation and results of "DISMANTLE", a targeted customs operation to tackle the risk of smuggling and fraud in excise goods.

Between March and December 2013, customs controls were increased at the eastern border, on the basis of common risk criteria and real-time information exchange between EU customs authorities. During that period, seizures in smuggled tobacco reported in the Common customs risk management system increased considerably - by 105% compared to the same period in 2012. Around one third of the quantity seized came from source countries targeted through DISMANTLE, notably Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. Half of the total seizures of smuggled tobacco came by sea from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, while the remaining 10 percent were of unknown origin.

Based on the findings of DISMANTLE, the report presents a number of specific recommendations to ensure better risk targeting of smuggled excise goods in the future.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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