Seven More Parties Needed for Illicit Trade Protocol Ratification

Geneva, Switzerland
2 October 2017

The Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, a critically important new tool to confront the illicit trade, requires 40 Parties to take effect. It currently has 33, plus the European Union.

The Convention Secretariat invites all Parties to ratify the Protocol, by 2 July 2018, and notes that only another nine are required to reach the target of 40. Once that happens, the Secretariat will complete arrangements for the Protocol’s first Meeting of the Parties (MOP1). The website now contains a “how-to” guide for Parties seeking to ratify or adopt the Protocol.

If the Protocol is ratified by 40 Parties before or on 2 July 2018, there will still be a chance for other WHO FCTC Parties to ratify until 10 July 2018 and therefore be entitled to participate in MOP1 with full rights (see Timeline below).

Non-Parties to the Protocol may attend as observers although observer status carries fewer rights where decisions will be made to shape Protocol implementation.


MOP1 is scheduled to be held immediately following the Eighth Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, in Geneva, Switzerland from 8 to 10 October 2018.

The Convention Secretariat is fully engaged in activities to encourage Parties to ratify or accede to the Protocol through regional and national workshops, as well as advocacy visits to regional economic organizations and national authorities.

The Convention Secretariat is also actively working with IGOs and NGOs such as Smoke Free Partnership , United Nations Development Programme, WHO , and more, to disseminate evidence-based information about the Protocol and tobacco products. The Protocol being an important tool to eliminate illicit trade, the Convention Secretariat is calling upon organizations to promote its ratification.

To facilitate the ratification process and access to information, the Protocol page of the WHO FCTC website, accessible on the top menu, has been updated. Users will find infographics and timelines explaining the different processes for ratification, a description of all national and regional activities, as well as material on the panel of experts and their research. All useful documents have been uploaded in the six official United Nations languages under each corresponding section.