Montenegro’s finance ministry will be proposing a law that would see the country able to take over and sell confiscated tobacco products, reports BalkanInsight.
Finance Minister Aleksandar Damjanovic said that his ministry would soon be proposing a law on taking over confiscated tobacco products from the Port of Bar, which is known as a cigarette-smuggling hub. If the law was to go ahead, Montenegro could earn up to EUR 20 million from sales of the confiscated tobacco.
“Under the law proposal, we will establish takeover deadlines for tobacco products and offers to the former owners. If they do not take it over and take it out of Montenegro, we may hold a public auction,” Damjanovic told the government session. “In this way, the state could earn between 15 and 20 million euros,” he added.
Back in May, Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic was at the port when 145,000 packages of tobacco were seized and said that the government intended to set up a legal method for selling the confiscated cigarettes to pump money into the budget, reports BalkanInsight.
The British ambassador in Montenegro, Karen Maddocks, has spoken out against the law and said that confiscated tobacco should not be sold but destroyed.
“We recently shared good UK practice with the Montenegrin government on what to do with seized goods in a way that complies with international protocols – which is to destroy such goods, due to concerns about their quality, health standards and intellectual property rights,” she said.