Marco De Simoni
The Factbook on the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products 5 – Germany
This report is part of the project the Factbook on the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (henceforth ITTP).
The project has been developed by Transcrime after the Round Table on Proofing EU Regulation against the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products hosted by Università Cattolica of Milan, on 5 May 2011. During the Round Table, participants (researchers and policymakers with experience in the field of the illicit trade in tobacco products) agreed on a research agenda concerning the ITTP (Transcrime 2011b). Items 3 and 6 of the research agenda focused on the need for better analysis of the tobacco market taking account of its dual nature (i.e. legal and illicit) and on how licit and illicit markets vary across different countries and regions. Given these considerations, Transcrime has developed the Factbook on the ITTP, a multi-annual research plan providing detailed analyses of the ITTP and of its relations with the legal market and other socio-economic and political factors in a number of countries around the world.
The aim of the Factbook is to provide an innovative instrument able to shed light on the complex mechanisms behind the ITTP in different countries. This report focuses on Germany.
Tobacco consumption is undoubtedly a danger for human health, and governments should carefully regulate the tobacco market. Illicit tobacco avoids state regulation and taxation and may jeopardise tobacco control policies. The Factbook will contribute to raising awareness about the global importance of the ITTP and about the strategies available to prevent it. The Factbook has been developed for a wide readership ranging from policymakers, through academics, to interested stakeholders, the intention being to provide a support to develop knowledge–based debates and policies on the ITTP.
The information gathered for this report originates from academic literature, grey literature, open sources, questionnaires and interviews with experts and stakeholders. There are few studies on the ITTP in Germany. Furthermore, information of law enforcement action comes mainly from the German Customs, while other law enforcement agencies, although involved in the fight against the ITTP, provide more limited data. In addition to the these issues, the data–gathering phase of the project encountered major difficulties due to the number of sources, institutions and stakeholders involved.
The results of the report do not claim to be exhaustive, nor an accurate reflection of criminal practices. They provide an initial assessment of the ITTP in Germany and a starting point for future research.
As a concerned stakeholder in the fight against the illicit trade in tobacco products, Philip Morris International (PMI) welcomed Transcrime’s initiative to develop the Factbook on the ITTP with financial support and the provision of data. However, Transcrime retained full control and stands guarantor for the independence of the research and its results. Information and data for the study have been collected by Transcrime and have not been shared with PMI.