Tobacco Track and Trace in Africa: Separating the Wheat From the Chaff

9 Oct 2023 | Press Releases

In a world where tobacco and other excisable goods are exposed to high levels of illicit trade, the role of tax stamp programmes and other countermeasures naturally becomes the subject of debate and scrutiny by stakeholders. When done in a neutral and unbiased way, such debate contributes to enriching the dialogue.

That is unfortunately not the case of a report titled “Tobacco Track & Trace Systems Across Africa” published in September 2023 by Oxford Economics, an organisation which has been financed by the tobacco industry. The report suggests that no stamp-based track and trace system is compatible with the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Illicit Trade Protocol (ITP), while promoting “fully digital” solutions preferred by the tobacco industry. In the following lines, we highlight the limits and biases of the aforementioned report, and recommend that revenue authorities look for transparency, independence, and evidence to inform policymaking.

For the full response, please see the PDF file below.