Bulgartabac Chief - cigarette tax increase as of January 1, 2010..

November 24, 2009 - The price of cigarettes will go up between BGN 1,10 and BGN 1,40 from January 1 2010, the Executive Director of Bulgartabac Holding, Ivan Bilarev, stated Monday, November 23rd.

Bulgartabac’s "Victory" brand will cost between BGN 4,50 (USD 3.45), and BGN 4,80 (USD 3.68) per box - currently the price is BGN 3,40 (USD 2.60). According to Bilarev the overall huge rise of the excise duty on cigarettes will hit his business seriously.

Last week the Budget committee in parliament decided to increase excise duty on cigarettes to BGN 101 for 1000 plus 23% of the sales price. The proposal of the Ministry of Finance for the 2010 Budget was for a duty of BGN 74 plus 36% of the selling price. (Bulgaria - cigarette taxes going up each year except 2011..)

Bilarev concluded that the tobacco market in Bulgaria will shrink because of the increased tax but said that Bulgartabac does not currently plan to cut production. He added that Bulgartabac would also lose some market share and predicted that a large number of people will give up smoking while other people will look for cheaper cigarettes from neighboring countries.

Map of Bulgaria..

Reference: Tobacco Chief: Bulgarians Will Give Up Smoking over Tax Rise, Novinite.com - The Sofia News Agency, 11/23/2009.

European Union (EU) related: European Union - agrees to raise the minimum tax on tobacco products sold in the region..

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Bulgaria is marking Tuesday, November 10, 2009, the 20th year since the internal coup at the Bulgarian Communist Party which led to the crumbling of the communist regime.