We support the measures included in the WHO's Illicit Trade Protocol
From the very beginning we have publicly supported the development of a World Health Organisation (WHO) Protocol that would 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) at the Fifth Conference of the Parties, held in Seoul, South Korea. It is the first Protocol to the WHO FCTC.
Smuggling and counterfeiting are truly global problems that take different forms from country to country. We believe the Protocol, which will be binding on over 160 of the world’s governments, could really strengthen international co-ordination and enforcement, providing an effective framework for tackling illicit trade.
We have used our expertise and knowledge of the tobacco supply chain to help governments and law-enforcers clamp down on the criminals smuggling up to 600 billion cigarettes a year. See how we tackle illicit trade for more information.
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 crime activities – is for regulators, law enforcement authorities and the tobacco industry to work together. It’s also important that other government departments get involved as this will directly impact their areas of responsibility.
The Protocol is an important step in addressing the problem but there is still a long way to go. It’s vital that the work to move this finalised Protocol forward, to implementation stage, begins immediately.