Tobacco sales in the border region have been hit hard by closures and cross-border traffic restrictions. “The government lost 61.5 million euros in tax income,” says Semabel, the Belgian-Luxembourg Federation of Cigarette Manufacturers.
Earlier this week, there was good news from Fevia, the food business association. He pointed out that the restrictions imposed on cross-border traffic, which resulted in Belgians from going to cross-border shops to get (cheaper) food or alcohol, led to about 40 million euros in additional income (value-added tax and excise duty) for the state. .
“But there is a downside as well,” Semable, the Belgian-Luxembourg Federation of Cigarette Manufacturers, said Sunday. The fact that Belgians can no longer shop across the border is one thing, but it also means that consumers from neighboring countries can no longer shop with us. One consequence of this is that tobacco sales on the Belgian side of the border with the Netherlands and France have completely stopped. This also comes at a much higher price than 40 million additional income from food and beverage sales.
This revenue along the border is an important injection for the Belgian treasury.
Cimabel also notes that border sales with the UK have largely disappeared in recent years, especially in 2016-2019. “Because of the previous government’s big tax shift, it became interesting and much cheaper to buy tobacco products with low-cost airlines for the British in countries like Poland, Portugal and Spain,” the union says.
He therefore calls for a “realistic and well-thought-out tax policy” in the future, to prevent foreign consumers from completely ignoring our country. It seems that “these revenues along the border are an important injection for the Belgian treasury.”