"As far as we know, (the government) is considering such a decision and it is likely to be made," Syarhey Bury, head of the company's corporate relations department, told BelaPAN.
The company used up its annual import quota of 650 million pieces earlier this month and currently does not supply Cigarettes to Belarus.
Trade Minister Alyaksandr Ivankow told reporters on July 23 that only one company, Belaruszamezhhandal controlled by the Presidential Administration, would be allowed to import tobacco products.
On October 1, the Belarusian government is expected to remove import quotas on Cigarettes supplied from Russia as requiRed by a March 24, 2007 Belarusian-Russian interstate agreement on trade and economic cooperation.
Apart from BAT, licenses to import Cigarettes in 2007 were granted to three entities. In particular, the presidential property management department's Uskhodni Trading House was allowed to import 750 million Cigarettes; Belkaapzneshhandal, an enterprise run by the Belarusian Union of Consumer Cooperatives' Societies, 98 million Cigarettes; and a company named Delphi Dealings, two million Cigarettes.
This year's domestic production quota for Cigarettes was set at 17,600 million pieces, 2,600 million More than in 2006. The country's two cigarette manufacturers, Tabak-Invest and Nyoman, were allowed to raise their output to a total of 17,600 million pieces this year.
The cabinet has been setting production quotas for the domestic cigarette industry since 2003.