PMI and E.U. Cooperation Agreement
On July 9, 2004, Philip Morris International (PMI), the European Commission, and 10 Member States signed a 12-year cooperation agreement to fight the illegal trade in cigarettes.
Additional Member States have joined the agreement each year, and since early 2009 all 27 Member States have been party to the agreement.
The agreement outlines a long-range and comprehensive framework for national governments, the European Commission, and PMI to fight the illicit trade in cigarettes together.
Key points of the agreement:
Know your customer
This builds on our previously existing review process for selecting and monitoring the persons to whom we sell our products. We know our customers and with whom they do business.
We limit sales to volumes commensurate with legitimate retail demand. Sales volumes are regularly monitored and checked against the estimates of legitimate retail demand.
Tracking and tracing
Our initiatives include far-reaching product tracking procedures that facilitate our efforts and those of law enforcement to determine the point at which any genuine product is diverted from the authorized sales channels. The PMI Product Marking section of our website provides more details of our tracking and tracing initiatives.
The Agreement establishes a comprehensive system for exchanging information on the seizures of counterfeit and genuine cigarettes between PMI, OLAF, and the Member States. It allows us and law enforcement to get a better sense of the big picture and to identify E.U.-wide trends. As a result, since 2005, 30 factories producing counterfeit PMI branded cigarettes were closed down in the E.U.
According to Siim Kallas, European Commission former Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Audit, and Antifraud, “this cooperation to date has exceeded all expectations and sets an example of what industry and law enforcement can do when they work together in pursuit of a common goal.” (Brussels, June 6, 2006).