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Tobacco importers will soon be forced to pay all duties and taxes at the border, reaping an expected $3.7 billion over four years to the federal government.

The draft legislation is part of the government’s crackdown on illicit tobacco, and will ensure that from July next year importers can’t store their products in warehouses prior to paying the money.

‘Thereby denying criminal groups the opportunity to obtain tobacco on which duty has not been paid,’ Trade Minister Steve Ciobo told parliament as the legislation passed the lower house on Wednesday.