Total Consumption, including loose tobacco, was estimated at 21.4 billion cigarettes (or cigarettes equivalents) in 2016, representing a decline of 3.9% in comparison with 2015.
Illicit Incidence fell by 0.6pp to 13% in 2016. In total, an estimated 2.8 billion illicit cigarettes (or cigarettes equivalents) were consumed throughout the year.
Total Illicit Consumption fell by 8.4% in 2016. This was primarily driven by lower illicit Inflows of cigarettes from South Korea and New Zealand.
By contrast, Chop-chop volumes rose by 1.3% in 2016, following a modest fall in the previous year. Chop-chop accounted for 60% of total Illicit Consumption in 2016.
The recent decline in Illicit Consumption has coincided with a pick-up in anti-illicit tobacco efforts in Australia, with the ABF launching a dedicated unit called the “Tobacco Strike Team” in late-2015. In 2016-17, the ABF seized 318 tonnes of illegal tobacco, nearly four times the level of recorded in the previous fiscal year.
Higher Excise Taxes offset the impact of a decline in Illicit Consumption on the estimated Tax Loss in Australia, which rose by 17.9% to AUD 1.9 billion (USD 1.4 billion) in 2016.
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