The number of cigs that visitors can take into Macau will be limited to 100 sticks or five packages per day starting with the next month. That is half the existing amount, according to the Macau DailyTimes News. The number of cigars permitted will be cut to 10 sticks and cigarillos to 50 sticks from April 1. Smoking products will be restricted to 125 grams, down from 250 grams. At present, inbound passengers may transport 200 cigs, 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars for personal use only and the restrictions are per entry, not every day.
Violators will face fines of 400 patacas (HK$388) to 600 patacas.
Some importers declared that the new legislation will have no positive effect on smokers because their numbers have decreased since Macau prohibited smoking tobacco in most public places starting with January.
As the price of cigs in Macau is lower than in Hong Kong and alike to that on the mainland, tobacco importers are unlikely to earn much from cigarette deals.
Some smokers even believe that the new limits will drop the number of smoking products of unknown origin being imported to Macau.
Smoker who usually purchase cigarettes from the mainland argued that the restrictions along with increased tobacco tax will discourage them from smoking cigarettes.
A Macau Customs Services spokesman reported that the state authority will urge the adoption of the measures with the Economic Services and Tobacco Control Office for to prevent illegal tobacco transactions.
Cigarette suppliers added that the fines are too light. Since the cigarette taxes were increased by 150 per cent last December from 4 patacas to 10 patacas per package, sales income in the market has decreased by almost 60 per cent, they confirmed.