Turkey has approved the international Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products

Turkey has approved the international UN Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products “Protocol.”


The approval decision for the Protocol 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.


WHO FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) announced a Protocol that aims at eliminating all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products. The Protocol tools for preventing illicit trade by securing the supply chain, including by establishing an international tracking and tracing system, by countering illicit trade through dissuasive law enforcement measures and a suite of measures to enable international cooperation. 


The Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products is an international treaty with the objective of eliminating all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products through a package of measures to be taken by countries acting in cooperation with each other: it is a global solution to a global problem.


The Protocol was developed in response to the growing illicit trade in tobacco products, often across borders. Illicit trade poses a serious threat to public health because it increases access to – often cheaper – tobacco products, thus fueling the tobacco epidemic and undermining tobacco control policies. It also causes substantial losses in government revenues, and at the same time, contributes to the funding of international criminal activities.


The Protocol counts 57 Country Parties. The list of Parties can be found here.


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 Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products 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 the investigation of the illicit tobacco trade.
  • Cooperate 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 the investigation, prosecution, and all legal processes.


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


The Link for the full text of the Protocol and the Official Gazette approval (both in Turkish and in English).


Please visit our Anti-illicit Trade website to learn about our capabilities for the prevention of illicit tobacco products. 

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