RTL Today – Despite new law in France: French people continue to buy tobacco in Luxembourg




                        En raison d'une nouvelle loi, les résidents français ne sont autorisés à rapporter qu'un carton de tabac du Luxembourg au lieu de quatre.  Cependant, il semble que peu de choses vont changer pour certains buralistes…                        

Recently, the French government decided to reduce the amount of tobacco its residents are allowed to bring back from neighboring countries. While people were previously allowed to bring in up to 1 kg, the new legal amount is only 250 grams of tobacco, which is one carton instead of four. Greedy buyers therefore risk heavy fines, if they get caught with their arms full of tobacco by French customs in the future.

However, the new measure does not seem to arouse major enthusiasm among French stores. Perhaps one of the reasons is that many of them have already quit selling tobacco for a long time. Murielle Rogowski, manager of La Mu Presse tobacco in Audun-le-Tiche for 20 years, is one of them: “The last tobacconist who still sold tobacco in Audun-le-Tiche closed 10 or 15 years ago… Before that , there were three! ”

Rogowski specifies that in view of the low prices of the Grand Duchy “it would be useless to continue this activity”. However, she also explains that even if Luxembourg tobacco prices “miraculously” aligned with those in France, she would not start selling tobacco again. Like many other tobacconists, she makes most of her money with games of chance: “60% of my turnover is Lotery [the operator of France’s national lottery games] ».

“The measure will not be respected”

RTL also spoke with another tobacconist (who prefers to remain anonymous) who still sells tobacco: “This remains an emergency solution for people, otherwise they will go to Luxembourg”. An emergency solution that was gaining momentum during the health crisis because border residents could no longer enter the Grand Duchy. “But when the lockdown measures were lifted, they did not stay,” she admits.

She also does not think that the limitations on “imports” of tobacco from Luxembourg will change anything about this situation: “The measure will not be respected. Luxembourg tobacconists will not check where their customers are coming from ”. There is of course the possible fear of customs and fines. However, the seller anticipates that if customs do not increase border controls, border workers will continue to buy their tobacco in Luxembourg.

On the other side of the border, at the Tabathèque d’Esch-sur-Alzette (rue Jean-Pierre Bausch), the owners have not noticed any particular change since the announcement of the measure: “No, we do. we still have as many We were closed until May 11, but since then business has picked up, ”explains one of them. And indeed, their queues would seem to support it.

The president of the federation of service stations of Luxembourg, Roland Clerbaut, meanwhile recently told RTL that the sector expects a decline in tobacco “tourism”: “The service stations will surely notice in their figures business, but it is still too early to measure it. “.


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