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What is Illicit Trade

Defining Illicit Trade
Illegal or illicit trade is the supply, distribution and sale of smuggled or counterfeit tobacco products, or tobacco products on which the necessary duties and taxes have not been paid.

Types of Illicit Trade

  • The first type is the importation, for commercial use, of tobacco products on which payment of applicable taxes,┬ásuch as duties, excise and value-added tax, is evaded in the country of consumption, or no tax is paid at all.
  • The second is “undeclared” local production, where products are produced and consumed in the same country, but with no payment of local taxes. These products may be manufactured in approved factories, but not declared to the authorities, or they may be manufactured in illegal covert operations.
  • The third type is counterfeit product, which is intended to be an identical or near identical copy of a genuine branded product and its packaging, to give it the appearance of being genuine.

Stopping Illegal Trade
Be on the lookout. Notice what people are selling, what their cigarettes look like and for how much they are being sold. Report any suspicious activities or products to:


SARS Fraud and Anti-Corruption Hotline:
0800 00 28 70