Following reports in the news media today, Philip Morris International confirmed that it has been in discussions with the European Commission regarding the terms of a long-term cooperation agreement to fight illegal trade in counterfeit and genuine cigarettes. The terms of the draft agreement have been submitted to several member states of the European Union.
A spokesperson for Philip Morris International said that the draft agreement had not been finalized and was still subject to the approval of member states and the Board of Directors of Philip Morris International.
Philip Morris International did confirm that the negotiations contemplated broad areas of cooperation with European law enforcement agencies that would build upon Philip Morris International's existing policies and procedures designed to assure that its tobacco products are sold appropriately and lawfully. Included are customer oversight policies and provisions for the tracking of products manufactured by Philip Morris International.
Philip Morris International also said that the draft agreement would contemplate substantial payments over a number of years that would be available to fund anti-contraband and anti-counterfeit efforts.
The agreement would also resolve all disputes between the European Commission, the member states, and Philip Morris International relating to these issues.
Philip Morris International said that it sees a new era of cooperation with the European Commission and its member states in the fight against illegal trade in cigarettes, and particularly the growing problem of fake cigarettes, which increasingly dominate the market in illegal cigarettes and represent a significant challenge for Philip Morris International, and particularly its Marlboro brand.
PMI is the world’s leading international tobacco company, with six ot the world’s top 15 international brands and products sold in more than 180 markets. In addition to the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, including Marlboro, the number one global cigarette brand, and other tobacco products, PMI is engaged in the developement and commercialization of Reduced-Risk Products (RRPs). RRPs is the term PMI uses to refer to products with the potential to reduce individual risk and population harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes. Through multidisciplinary capabalities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities, and indusrty-leading scientific substantiation, PMI aims to provide an RRP portfolio that meets a broad spectrum of adult smoker preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements.