May 13, 2015

PMI welcomes the EU Commission’s Proposed Ratification of the FCTC Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products

Philip Morris International welcomed the EU Commission’s proposed ratification of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (FCTC Protocol). In response to the EU Commission’s proposal, Alvise Giustiniani, Vice President, Illicit Trade Strategies & Prevention, Philip Morris International said:

“We welcome the EU Commission’s proposed ratification of the FCTC Protocol, which is one tool to address the serious problem of the illegal, unregulated tobacco trade.

“Since 2004, PMI and the EU have implemented many of the significant supply chain controls that the Protocol promotes as part of our landmark anti-illicit trade cooperation agreement. Further paving the way for controls such as tracking and tracing, licensing, and due diligence procedures to become law around the world, is a positive step forward.

“However, combating the global black market for tobacco products, which is estimated at 600 billion cigarettes a year and is equal to the size of the entire legal tobacco market in the EU, will take more than this Protocol. The long term solution to this challenge lies in coordinated efforts, effective policies, and sufficient enforcement resources to disrupt the global supply chain of illegal tobacco products and punish the criminals profiting from this unlawful activity.”

The Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products was developed under the auspices of the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and was adopted in November 2012. It includes a number of measures to secure the supply chain of tobacco products, such as licensing, tracking and tracing, and due diligence requirements. Before it can be implemented, 40 FCTC signatories must ratify the Protocol.  PMI’s press release on the adoption of the Protocol in 2012 is available here.

The 12-year Anti-Contraband and Anti-Counterfeit cooperation agreement between PMI and the EU was signed on July 9, 2004 and outlines a long-range and comprehensive framework for national governments, the European Commission, and PMI to fight the illicit trade in cigarettes together. More information is available here.