The Importance of the Commercial Sector
The Regie is the exclusive agent for all imported tobacco product brands. The tobacco products trade in Lebanon follows the Regie’s monopoly. Moreover, the Regie imports tobacco products from foreign tobacco companies, stores them in the Regie’s stores, and then gives local companies the required permits in order to market such products in the Lebanese market. As well, the Regie exports tobacco bales to the outside.
These responsibilities are entrusted to the Trade General Secretariat. In 2007, in order to rescue the Regie from the financial crisis, from which it suffered, new concepts and means were introduced to the domain of management. These new concepts took part in tangibly developing sales and increasing profits; a phenomenon that is still ongoing. These concepts rely in one hand on ensuring companies’ interests through helping such companies to find solutions to problems encountered in Lebanon and in the other hand on helping Head of Sales through protecting their interests and aiming to increase their profits. As well, the Regie projects a full program for the management of trade transactions and sets a new system in order to introduce new imported brands and calculate purchase price fixing index for imported brands. Such indexes are calculated in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance. Since the monopoly is the adopted system, the Regie itself sets the retail price as well as the wholesale price for Head of Sales and their profit margin.
The Trade General Secretariat aims to implant laws, decisions, and regulations that manage the introduction of tobacco products into the Lebanese market. Plus, all sales and importing and exporting operations had been mechanized in order to accomplish trade transactions in less time possible.
Revenues are largely provided through tobacco products sales and especially through the revenue of imported cigarettes that constitutes 95%.
Trade is the financial core that provides the Regie with an extensive share of its expenses. Thus, sales development comes as follows:
Number of supplier Companies
Number of marketed products
Number of Sales licenses
Number of annual orders
Number of received invoices annually
Number of sales head bills severed annually
Number of containers