Spain plans New Year curbs on frontier tobacco
New finances of Spain contain a measure to crack down on low-level cigarette smuggling from Gibraltar by reducing existing cigarette allowances.
The finances will slice the amount of cigarettes that frontier workers and residents of the Campo can take in Spain in the course of any given month by over half.
According to the legislation passed last June, people living within a radius of 15km are formally permitted to take just one carton a month from Gibraltar into Spain, and not 3 as it was earlier. That is the equal to 200 cigarettes, or 10 packets. The most recent measure suggested in the new budget will further minimize the allowed monthly allowance to 80 cigarettes, or just 4 packets.
The Spanish authorities said that the measure was required to tackle a climb in the ‘abuse’ of current tobacco allowances by “frontier residents and frontier workers” leaving Gibraltar.
A Spanish source said that there is a lot of low-level smuggling across the boundary, just a few packets at a time.
It continues to be viewed how the Guardia Civil will implement the new conditions once they begin operational.
In fact, it could result in closer checks on border traffic, especially pedestrians.
The state budget has yet to be discussed in the Madrid parliament and authorized.
Accoring to the EU laws, European government have discretionary power to reduce cigarette allowances to as little as 40 cigarettes per person.