WHO Protocol

Promoting international collaboration

We have always publicly supported the development of a World Health Organization (WHO) Protocol to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products.

In November 2012, after more than five years of negotiations, the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products was unanimously adopted by the delegates of the Parties to the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Smuggling and counterfeiting are truly global problems that take different forms from country to country. We have used our expertise and knowledge of the tobacco supply chain to help governments and law-enforcers fight the black market for many years.

We firmly believe that the only way to stop these smugglers, counterfeiters and tax evaders – some of whom have links to weapons, drugs, people trafficking and other organised criminal activities – is for regulators, law enforcement authorities and the tobacco industry to work together.

We believe the Protocol, which we hope will enter into force during 2018, could significantly strengthen international co-ordination and enforcement, providing an effective framework for tackling illicit trade.