The Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products has reached the number of Parties required for it to become international law

On 27 June 2018, the conditions for the entry into force of the first legally binding instrument adopted under the WHO FCTC were met, paving the way to eliminate illicit trade of tobacco products.

The Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) announced that with the ratification of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland the necessary number of Parties to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (the Protocol) has been reached for its enter into force in 90 days from the given date.

This achievement is a milestone in the history of tobacco control, as the Protocol contains a full range of measures to combat illicit trade distributed in three categories: preventing illicit trade, promoting law enforcement and providing the legal basis for international cooperation.

Moreover, it aims to secure the supply chain of tobacco products, through licensing, due diligence and record keeping, and requires the establishment of a global tracking and tracing regime that will allow Governments to effectively follow up tobacco products from the point of production to the first point of sale. In order for it to be effective, the Protocol provides for intensive international cooperation including on information sharing, technical and law enforcement, cooperation, mutual legal and administrative assistance, and extradition.

Today’s fulfilment of the legal requirements for its entry into force, will allow the Parties to hold the First session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol (MOP1) in Geneva, Switzerland, from 8 to 10 October 2018 following the 8th Conference of the Parties (COP8) of the WHO FCTC.

An electronic version of the Protocol and an overview page can be found on the WHO FCTC website in the six UN languages. The Protocol was developed in response to the growing international illicit trade in tobacco products, which poses major health, economic and security concerns around the world.