Taxation and Customs Union
Commissioner Šemeta's statement on the proposal to widen scope of automatic exchange of information within the EU
"Today the Commission has proposed to expand the automatic exchange of information between EU tax authorities - and to do so quickly. With this move, the EU will have the most comprehensive information exchange system in the world for taxation.
Today the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive package to step up its fight against illicit tobacco trade, especially cigarette smuggling. The illicit tobacco trade is a global threat depriving Member States and the EU of over €10 billion revenue every year in terms of unpaid taxes and duties. Not only does this hit national revenues hard, illicit trade also fuels the shadow economy since it is almost exclusively the domain of organised criminal groups operating across borders. Furthermore, it also undermines health policy initiatives aimed at discouraging the consumption of tobacco products and legitimate business as most illicit products are not made in line with EU rules on tobacco products. To effectively tackle the problem of illicit tobacco trade, the Commission's strategy sets out a number of coordinated measures at national, EU and international level.