The report, which passed with an overwhelming majority, gives the European Parliament's consent for the European Union to approve the protocol.

Speaking after the vote passed in Strasbourg, Anderson stated: “The World Health Organisation Protocol is the first internationally drafted treaty aimed at combatting and eliminating the illicit trade in tobacco products, and today the European Parliament threw its support behind it.”

“The stated objective of the Protocol is the elimination of all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products.”

“Illicit trade in tobacco products is defined in the WHO Protocol as 'any practice or conduct related to producing, shipping, receiving, being in possession of, distributing, selling or buying tobacco products and that is prohibited by law'.

“The Protocol will also insist upon additional provisions aimed at addressing the supply chain of illicit tobacco products. These include: licensing, record-keeping requirements and regulation of internet sales, duty-free sales and international transit.

“Once enforced, this protocol will also see countries take control of vital tracking and tracing operations. This will make it more difficult for tobacco products to make their way into the hands of smugglers or to be sold illegally.

“The passing of this report means that the European Union is now under pressure to ratify and enforce the World Health Organisation’s Protocol on the elimination of the illicit trade in tobacco products. When ratified, this protocol will see countries collaborate in the fight against the illegal trade in tobacco products.”


GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Nikki Sullings  +33 381 76723 / +32 483 03 55 75

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

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