The Eastern Balkan Hub for Illicit Tobacco
Key hubs are crucial sets of countries on the regional, continental or global map of the illicit trade in tobacco products. Analysis of key hubs instead of single countries enables a more comprehensive understanding of the factors determining the transnational illicit flows and a more effective identification of the strategies to fight and prevent the ITTP (Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products). The following elements often characterise key hubs:
- medium to high levels of the ITTP in the hub,
- significant price differentials of tobacco products across the hub,
- extensive engagement of local manufacturers in the ITTP,
- substantial flows of illicit tobacco to, within or from the hub to other countries.
This report focuses on the Eastern Balkan hub for illicit cigarettes. Bulgaria is the most relevant country in the hub because it has significant inflows and outflows of illicit tobacco products. The sorrounding countries (Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Turkey) are included because they enables and facilitate these flows. The report takes the name from the geographical area of the countries included.