A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), mainly focused on strengthening the coordination and cooperation in the fight against illegal trade in tobacco products, was signed on Wednesday, June 24, by the Director of Customs Administration of the Republic of Macedonia, Natasha Radeska Krstevska and General Manager of Philip Morris Tutunski Kombinat Prilep, Emre Kozlu, who also represents Philip Morris International Management – the third party to the MOU.
With this MOU, both parties expressed their determination and commitment to implement and further develop an effective framework of cooperation that will have positive effect for the law enforcement bodies, for the state tax revenues, as well as for the legal tobacco industry. Illegal trade in tobacco products, such as smuggled cigarettes, directly damages the State budget and creates serious problems for the legal tobacco industry complying with all regulations. The MOU envisages mechanisms for cooperation including, among other things, specific trainings for Customs officials and exchange of relevant information for the investigations and prosecutions.
When contacted for further details, Mr. Kozlu said, “Such cooperation is more than needed. This MOU is a clear message that there is full commitment from both sides to fight illegal trade of tobacco products. Although the level of illicit cigarette trade in Macedonia currently might not be as high as in some other neighboring countries, we believe that continued vigilance and a cooperative approach between regulators, law enforcement agencies and the industry are key elements of a sustainable successful fight against the illegal trade of tobacco products.”Category: Member News