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Recent research suggests that the illicit tobacco trade now represents 10% of global commerce, with over US$40 billion of taxes unpaid every year.

The focus on eliminating this trade has intensified with the progress of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the associated Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.


WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)

The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is the most widely and rapidly embraced health treaty in the UN history. It sets out binding measures aiming at reducing the supply of, and demand for, tobacco products worldwide. The FCTC entered into force on 27 February 2005.


The Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (‘the Protocol’), which was adopted by more than 140 Parties at the 5th Conference of the Parties in November 2012 in Seoul, Republic of Korea, recommends Parties to develop “a practical tracking and tracing regime that would further secure the distribution chain and assist in the investigation of illicit trade”.


Indicating the importance given to the issue, the Protocol is the first additional instrument complementing the FCTC. Its Article 8 defines track and trace requirements to efficiently tackle illicit tobacco trade with unique, secure and non-removable identification markings, on all unit packets, packages or any outside packaging of cigarettes.

It requires a considerable set of information (date of manufacture, manufacturing facility and machine, production shift, product description, intended market of retail sale,…) on imported goods as well as goods produced for domestic market or export. 



Governments need improved tools such as SICPATRACE® for product identification and authentication that can effectively track & trace tobacco products, as they flow through the supply chain from production to the point of sale, and that aims to be in line with the specifications of the Protocol.


SICPATRACE® features include: data aggregation (pack to carton, carton to master case); supply chain visibility by consolidating data from SICPA systems and other sources; business intelligence and reporting; field authentication; interfaces with excise and customs systems.

Importation of containers of goods