Imperial Tobacco and European Commission Signed Agreement on Combating Illicit Trade


On September 27, 2010, Imperial Tobacco Limited (ITL) has signed a co-operation agreement with the European Commission and the Member States of the European Union to jointly combat illicit trade in tobacco.

Under the agreement Imperial Tobacco will work together with the European Commission, European Commission Office on Fighting Financial Fraud (OLAF) and the law enforcement authorities of the Member States to tackle the smuggling and counterfeiting of tobacco products. The agreement will strengthen cooperation in a number of areas and includes payments by Imperial Tobacco of US $300 million. This will be significant support in the organization of the fight against illicit sales that annually deprive the budgets of the European Commission member-states of billions of US dollars.

Imperial Tobacco Group Chief Executive, Alison Cooper, said: "Imperial Tobacco initiated this agreement to strengthen joint initiatives to combat the illicit trade in tobacco. Illicit trade benefits no one but the criminals involved, adversely affecting governments, consumers, retailers and the legitimate tobacco industry. The agreement will enhance anti-illicit trade initiatives across the European Union and underlines our commitment to partner with authorities worldwide in the fight against tobacco smuggling and counterfeiting."

Imperial Tobacco applies stringent controls to its global network of distributors and has a dedicated team of specialists in Bristol office who operate internationally in conjunction with governments and customs and excise authorities on a global scale to disrupt the manufacture and supply of illicit tobacco products.