Turkey’s Council of Ministers has approved the international Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (“Protocol”). The Protocol outlines precautions for preventing and identifying illicit tobacco trade, as well as controlling supply chains, destroying related products/equipment and cooperation between signatory countries.

The Approval Decision for the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products was published in Official Gazette number 30372 on 26 March 2018. The Protocol will enter into effect 90 days after required documents are submitted to the UN’s General Secretary.

The Protocol requires parties to:

  • Agree that supplementing the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (“Framework Convention”) via a comprehensive protocol would be a powerful and effective means of countering illicit tobacco trade (including hand-rolling tobaccos) and its grave consequences.
  • Adopt effective measures to facilitate or obtain technical assistance and financial support for capacity building and international cooperation to achieve the Protocol’s objectives.
  • Endeavour to license any real persons and/or companies unless prohibited by national law.
  • Establish a global tracking and tracing regime accessible to all parties within five years of the Protocol coming into force, in order to secure the supply chain and assist during investigation of illicit tobacco trade.
  • Cooperate with each other to share and develop best practices for tracking and tracing systems, as well as transferring and acquiring improved tracking and tracing technology.
  • Within the scope of security and preventive measures, advise competent authorities about any:
    • Cross-border cash transfers for amounts stipulated in national law.
    • Cross-border payments in kind.
    • Suspicious transactions.
  • Destroy all confiscated tobacco products and manufacturing equipment, using environmentally friendly methods in accordance with national laws.
  • Supporting other Protocol parties with mutual legal assistance to the largest extent possible during investigation, prosecution and all legal processes.

The Protocol also includes detailed regulations for extradition, judicial locations and dispute resolution.

Please see this link for full text of the Protocol and the approval decision (available both in Turkish and in English).