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4th National Forum on Smuggling ‘Fighting Smuggling – Challenges and Success’

On June 30, 2022, from 11.00 in the “Live broadcasts” section of the “Delfi” portal and on the LETA channel of the news agency.

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The forum will present the latest SKDS study on the attitude and tolerance of the Latvian population towards smuggling, which reveals the general public opinion on the problem of smuggling in the country, the attitude towards the purchase of smuggled goods, knowledge about smuggling places, as well as possible penalties and actions to reduce smuggling.

Thus, for example, the study shows that the tolerance of the population against the purchase of smuggled goods in Latvia is gradually decreasing – this year only 30% of the population believed that the purchase of smuggled goods is not reprehensible, which is 2% less than in 2021, when 32% of the population stated that the purchase of smuggled goods was not reprehensible. On the other hand, in 2013, almost half – 46% of the population – thought that buying smuggled goods was not a bad thing and was to be condemned. Also, compared to previous years, fewer and fewer people know where to buy smuggled goods – this year 72% of the population indicated that they do not know where to buy smuggled tobacco products, alcohol or fuel, while last year 64% did not have such information, but in 2019 only just over half – 56% of respondents – did not know where to get the “benefits” of smuggling.

Baiba Šmite-Roķe, Deputy Director of the SRS Tax Board, will present the current situation in the fight against excise smuggling in Latvia, but Mārtiņš Āboliņš, an economist at Citadele Bank and a member of the Fiscal Discipline Council, will talk about the current economic situation, future forecasts and possible impact on the shadow economy. The forum will also cover the latest research on the circulation and consumption of illegal cigarettes in Europe and Latvia. After the presentation section, there will be a discussion “Fighting smuggling in the context of the current political and economic situation”.

Participants:

  • Arnis Sauka, shadow economics researcher, SSE Riga professor;
  • Juris Stinka, Member of the Board of BASE (Business Against Shadow Economy);
  • Mārtiņš Āboliņš, Citadele Bank Economist, Member of the Fiscal Discipline Council;
  • Ojārs Karčevskis, Chairman of the Board of the Latvian Fuel Traders Association;
  • Arnis Kaktins, director of the research center SKDS;
  • Baiba Šmite-Roķe, Deputy Director of the SRS Tax Board;
  • Madara Apsalone Philip Morris Latvia Head of External Relations
  • in the discussion section: Representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the SRS, the State Police, associations of excisable industries, etc.

The forum is organized by BASE and SSE Riga in cooperation with SKDS.

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