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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2702

Sri Lanka has become a Party to the Protocol to eliminate the Illicit Trade of Tobacco Products

By Manjari Peiris

It is most welcoming and glad to hear that Sri Lanka has ratified the World Health Organization – FCTC Protocol to eliminate the Illicit Trade of Tobacco Products which is effective from February 2016. Already 15 Parties have ratified this important protocol.

The illicit trade in tobacco products has become a pervasive problem reaching all corners of the globe.

It threatens the health of the population, causing as many as 6 million deaths annually, as well as fostering criminality and reducing tax revenues.

Parties to the Protocol enjoy a wide spectrum of benefits extending from the maintenance of national security, to increasing fiscal revenues and most importantly protecting the health of the population, particularly the vulnerable groups.

The objective of the Protocol is the elimination of all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products. “Illicit trade” in tobacco products in this context means any practice or conduct related to producing, shipping, receiving, having possession of, distributing, selling or buying tobacco products which is prohibited by law.

In order to prevent this illegal trade, the Protocol aims to secure the supply chain of tobacco products through a series of government measures. It requires the establishment of a global tracking and tracing regime within five years of the Protocol’s entry into force, comprising national and regional tracking and tracing systems and a global information sharing point located within the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). Other provisions to ensure control of the supply chain include licensing and record-keeping requirements, as well as regulation of Internet-sales, duty-free sales and international transit.

To address the illicit trade, the Protocol establishes offences and addresses liability and seizure payments, as well as the disposal of confiscated products. Other requirements aim to boost international cooperation, with measures on information sharing, technical and law enforcement cooperation, mutual legal and administrative assistance and extradition.

The Protocol’s obligations cover tobacco, tobacco products and manufacturing equipment (that is, machinery to make tobacco products), not all of which are covered by every provision of the Protocol.

- Asian Tribune -

Sri Lanka has become a Party to the Protocol to eliminate the Illicit Trade of Tobacco Products
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