About the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products

The new treaty aims at eliminating all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products. It provides tools for preventing and counteracting illicit trade through a package of national measures and international cooperation.

Parties to the Protocol will take a suite of measures to secure the supply chain of tobacco products. For example, they will require a licence for the manufacture, import and export of tobacco products and manufacturing equipment (i.e., the machinery used to manufacture tobacco products). Each Party will also establish a national or regional tracking and tracing system for all tobacco products that are manufactured in or imported onto its territory. The national and regional systems will be part of the global tracking and tracing regime which also includes a “global information-sharing focal point”, located at the Convention Secretariat. Through this global facility, each Party will be able to access – for the purpose of investigating illicit trade - the data on tobacco products made in or imported into any of the other Protocol Parties.

Other measures to control the supply chain include due diligence requirements, subjecting the sale by Internet, telecommunication and evolving technology, as well as duty free sales to the Protocol, and implementing control measures in free zones and international transit.

To counter illicit tobacco trade, Parties will establish a number of conducts as unlawful, including the illicit manufacture or smuggling of tobacco products. Unlawful conduct will be subjected to effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions, and confiscated products will be destroyed.

In a third key area, the Protocol will enable broad international cooperation among Parties. For example, Parties will be able to cooperate closely with one another in the investigation of illicit trade, including by affording mutual legal assistance and extradition. Another important aspect is cooperation through information sharing, technical assistance and cooperation.

For questions or assistance regarding the Protocol, please contact the Secretariat at: protocolfctc@who.int.

Parties to the Convention: 180

Parties to the Protocol: 8

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