The government said Friday it will impose fines of up to 50 million won (US$48,262) on those who hoard cigarettes in a bid to stabilize the market following its decision this week to hike tobacco prices.
The penalty will go into effect as of noon Friday, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. The government announced on Thursday that it plans to raise the price of cigarettes by 2,000 won per pack, an 80 percent increase, a move it said is aimed at lowering the country’s smoking rate that is one of the highest among advanced countries.
The penalty is aimed at tobacco manufacturers and importers unloading cigarettes onto the market in excessive quantities and retailers hoarding them to maximize their profits. Individual consumers are not subject to the penalty, the ministry said.
The ceilings on the market unloading and purchase by manufacturers and retailers are set at 104 percent of their averages in the January-August period.
Source: Busan eFM News