Tobacco sales raise 2 billion for state coffers

Last year the sale of tobacco products in Belgium raised 2.01 billion euros for Belgian state coffers. In 2012 duty was paid on 11.2 billion cigarettes sold in Belgium as well as on 8,261 tons of tobacco.

The figures come from the Federal Finance Ministry.

The previous year, in 2011, revenue raised in this way was far lower: 1.65 billion euros compared with 2.61 billion in 2010 and 2.39 billion in 2009. The Finance Ministry says that it is difficult to make comparisons from year to year because of the changes to duty and VAT rules in 2010.

The Finance Ministry also says that the figures for 2012 do not really give an accurate picture of the consumption of cigarettes and tobacco by the people of Belgium in that year.

The figures reflect payments of VAT and duty by people selling tobacco products, but don't provide an accurate picture of sales in 2012.

In 2011 nearly 10 billion cigarettes were sold in Belgium as well as 7,499 tons of tobacco compared with 12.5 billion cigarettes in 2010 and 8,579 tons of tobacco.

Belgian cigarettes are among the most expensive in the European Union, but they remain cheaper than in most of our neighbouring countries.