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New body to fight illicit consumer goods trade

London, May 23, 2013

The world’s four largest international tobacco companies have collaborated to launch an association to combat illegal trafficking of excisable consumer goods.

British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco Group, Japan Tobacco International and Philip Morris International have launched the Digital Coding & Tracking Association (DCTA), set up to promote international standards and digital technologies to help governments fight smuggling, counterfeiting and tax evasion.

The DCTA draws upon the industry’s collective expertise in securing international supply chains and developing sophisticated technologies to help distinguish genuine product from counterfeit.

Eliminating the illicit trade in cigarettes and alcohol requires international cooperation and smarter tools to help customs, border and tax officials tackle the criminals who carry it out. The DCTA promotes a proven, secure and cost-effective solution, based on Codentify technology, for this purpose.

Codentify makes the leap into the digital age, offering quick and easy access through a mobile phone to all the information governments need to protect tax revenues, verify the legitimacy of shipments and meet international regulatory requirements, including the World Health Organisation’s protocol to eliminate the illicit trade in tobacco.

Pat Heneghan, spokesperson for the DCTA, said, “Today’s legal supply chains are global, complex and involve many parties. When combined with the sophistication of the criminals and terrorists who traffic illicit goods, it means national governments must use the latest advances in technology to secure supply chains if they are to make any real progress in addressing this dangerous and growing problem.”

“The world’s four largest international tobacco manufacturers have created the Digital Coding & Tracking Association in order to offer governments a twenty first century solution to the international problem of illicit trade.

“With governments looking at ways to secure tax revenues in these austere times and crack-down on the criminals that prosper from the black market, we are certain that the DCTA can provide the technologies and expertise needed to make a real impact,” Heneghan concluded

According to independent research, it is estimated that around 12 per cent of the global cigarette market is illicit, equivalent to some 660 billion cigarettes each year, costing national governments more than $40 billion a year in lost tax revenues. The illicit alcohol trade is also substantial, with the World Health Organisation estimating that around 30 per cent of all alcohol consumed globally is illegally produced, or ‘unrecorded’. . – TradeArabia News Service




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