The volume of the illicit trade in cigarettes is growing in the Republic of Moldova and reached a share of 4.1% in October 2021. The data were published by IPSOS, one of the largest market research companies in the world. The study data show a doubling of the illicit trade in tobacco products in September- October 2021, compared to February-March 2021 (2.3%).
The main source of illicit trade are cigarettes without excise stamps ("Cheap Whites"), with a share of 1.4%, cigarettes of "Duty-Free" origin - 1.3%; cigarettes destined for sale in countries other than Moldova (Non-Domestic Duty-Paid) account for - 0.4% and the share of other cigarettes of unknown origin is - 0.8%.
An increased incidence of the illicit trade in cigarettes is registered in the southern region of the country, increasing from 1.4% to 7.8% and in the regions located close to the border with Ukraine -7.6%. This phenomenon is also increasing in the Center area and in rural areas.
IPSOS research data show that illegal products are mostly sold in grocery stores (30%), followed by Duty-Free stores (14%) and markets (11%).
The districts with the highest level of cigarette sales on the black market are Cantemir (18.8%), Gagauzia (13.3%), Straseni (14.8%), followed by Basarabeasca (9.4%), Soroca (8.5%), Ocnita (8.5%) , Dubasari (8.0%), Riscani (7.6%) and Anenii Noi (7.7%).
The study was conducted by IPSOS in 2021 on behalf of the major nicotine products producers (BAT, ITG, JTI, PMI), in two waves, in February-March and in September-October 2021.
The research methodology includes interviews and sample collection. A total of 1545 adult smokers from rural and urban areas of the country were surveyed.