Major cigarette producers in Romania have joined the previous protests of SMEs and business organizations by challenging the provisions of the draft Fiscal Code. According to industry representative Gilda Lazar, most excises on tobacco introduced by the draft changes to the Fiscal Code will double the the cigarette trafficking in Romania.

Gilda Lazar, Corporate Affairs head at JTI Romania, called on parliamentarians on Wednesday to reject a proposal to increase the excise from 90% to 95% as, she said, it would seriously affect the Romanian market and would favor major companies on the expense of cheap cigarette producers.

Which, according to Lazar, would not only encourage trafficking would also fall in contradiction with the competition law.

The JTI official warned that the European Union has not asked Romania to increase the minimum excise on such products as the issue was not part of negotiations or rules in the accession process and a EC directive says member states may impose such measures, but do not have to.

Representatives of cigarette producers announced they would also meet various influential parliamentarians to lobby against the provision of the draft changes to the Fiscal Code.