Ukraine held a round-table on the ratification of the Protocol
A round-table on the ratification of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, as a strategic step for Ukraine to combat this problem, was held on 22 January in Kiev, Ukraine.
Ukraine has already made its first step towards ratification. The Cabinet of Ministers approved a bill on ratification of the Protocol on March 1, 2017.
It is in this context that the Convention Secretariat was invited to participate to the round-table organized by Ukranian NGO life. Participants, including government officials and representatives of the Parliament of Ukraine, discussed the problems of tobacco smuggling in Ukraine and Europe. They also discussed the relevance of Ukraine becoming Party to the Protocol to strengthen international coordination to combat this phenomenon.
The Protocol is an international instrument to combat the smuggling of tobacco products. It is the first protocol of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control ratified by Ukraine in 2006.
Before the round table, a press conference was held to raise awareness about the key provisions and benefits of the Protocol. Experts stressed the need to ratify the Protocol as soon as possible.
To tackle illicit trade, Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) adopted, on 12 November 2012, the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. The Protocol builds upon the provisions of Article 15 of the WHO FCTC. It provides tools for preventing and controlling illicit trade by securing the supply chain, including by establishing an international tracking and tracing system, through dissuasive law enforcement measures and a suite of measures to enable international cooperation.
The Protocol currently has 34 Parties, including the European Union and nine of its Member States. Seven more Parties are required to ratify by 2 July 2018 for its entry into force by 30 September 2018. Upon its entering into force, the first session of the meeting of Parties (MOP1) will be held in October 2018.
While the entry into force of the Protocol is pending, the Secretariat is actively promoting its ratification and preparing the MoP 1. The Secretariat also provides technical and other assistance to WHO FCTC Parties that are in the process of ratifying the Protocol, like Ukraine.
An entry into force of the Protocol represents an important step forward for the international community’s efforts to fight illicit trade on tobacco products. Accession to the Protocol before 2nd July2018, will enable Ukraine to participate in the first Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol and to fully participate in the decission making that will take place.