Indore Customs Commissionerate Disposes 40.86 Lakh Sticks Of Smuggled Foreign-Origin Cigarettes Worth Rs. 3.89 Crores

Indore Customs Commissionerate Disposes 40.86 Lakh Sticks Of Smuggled Foreign-Origin Cigarettes Worth Rs. 3.89 Crores

Indore, February 29 (TNA) In a drive against the illegal import of foreign-origin cigarettes and other contrabands, the Customs Commissionerate, Indore in Bhopal Zone destroyed 40.86 Lakh Sticks of foreign-origin cigarettes at Raipur, Chhattisgarh today. Along with cigarettes, 2000 numbers of Foreign Origin Cigar and 557 Boxes of Rolling Paper of Foreign Origin which were smuggled into India were also destroyed. The estimated value of cigarettes and other contrabands destroyed is about Rs. 3.89 Crores. These goods were smuggled into India in contravention of the provisions of the Indian Customs Act, of 1962.

The seized cigarettes and cigars also did not conform to the provisions/conditions laid down under “The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2008” (as amended). The seized Cigarettes, Cigars and Rolling Papers were also not compliant with the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011 framed under the Legal Metrology Act 2009.

The seized foreign-origin cigarettes, cigars and rolling papers of various brands including Paris, Gudang Garam, Dunhill etc. were smuggled into India by resorting to mis-declaration in contravention of the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962.

The contravention of the terms and conditions of the Legal Metrology Act, 2009 and “Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply, and Distribution Act, 2003 (COTPA, 2003) was also noticed.

The seized Foreign-origin cigarette packets did not have mandatory pictorial health warnings in compliance with Notifications issued from time to time by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. As per COTPA Act, 2003, cigarette packets are required to have, inter alia, mandatory health warnings to cover 85% of the principal display area of the package.

These smuggled cigarettes cost less for the consumer as they are usually smuggled into the county without payment of Customs duties and GST. The smuggling of Cigarettes and other tobacco products is done to avoid the duty and compliance with regulations related to the import/ sales of tobacco-related products, the smuggling syndicates often indulge in the smuggling of such items in the guise of cover cargo or by misdeclaration of goods as some other items.

As, illegally smuggled Cigarettes and other tobacco products are non-compliant with statuary guidelines and warnings the said count of seized goods were disposed of by way of destruction as per prescribed guidelines with the assistance of officers of Central CGST, Raipur in the presence of independent witnesses, officers of Customs ICD, Raipur and DRI officials.

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