Bad news for smokers. Faced with cigarette trafficking with its neighboring countries, the Principality of Andorra has raised its tobacco prices: the price of a pack may not be more than 30% lower than the cheapest Spanish pack, the government said.
This new measure mainly affects the cheapest cigarette brands, the cartridge of which may cost up to five to six euros more, according to the price list published by the Official Bulletin.
A cartridge from Austin, a cheap cigarette, will cost for example 26 euros instead of 20 euros. For more expensive brands, like Marlboro et ducados, at around three euros per packet each, the increase will be proportionately smaller. The text setting a minimum tariff, adopted in February by the Andorran Parliament, mentioned a differential that could not be more than 35% lower than the French or Spanish price. The Andorran government had indicated that it wanted with this law to respect its commitment to limit the differential in tobacco prices compared to those practiced in the European Union.
But after negotiations, the representatives of the government, the local tobacco industry and the businesses finally accepted a difference of 30% compared to the lowest prices in Spain and which are themselves lower than in France.
The new rates are due to go into effect on October 23. From this date, one should no longer find cartons of cigarettes in Andorra at a price lower than 24,95 euros. Asked by AFP, many Andorran traders expressed their satisfaction, judging that tourists will continue to obtain supplies in Andorra since a good price differential is maintained with neighboring countries.
The tobacco trade brings in around 130 million euros per year to the small state of the Pyrenees of 75.000 inhabitants.
Source : AFP / Capital.fr/