State monopoly authorized to import tobacco

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The Council of the Republic, the upper chamber of Belarus's National Assembly, has approved Decree No 4 which envisages an exclusive right for the state to import raw tobacco and tobacco products, reports AFN. Udner the decree, the import of tobacco raw materials will be carried out only by the Hrodna Tobacco Factory and Tobacco Invest Co. Tobacco products will be imported only by Belarushandal Co., run by the Office of the President. The previously signed tobacco import contracts will be terminated not later than January 1, 2008.