Association launched to fight illicit trade in excisable goods

MONTREAL, May 22, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The world's four largest international tobacco companies have forged a joint venture to fight the illegal trafficking of excisable consumer goods.

British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco Group, Japan Tobacco International and Philip Morris International today launch the Digital Coding & Tracking Association (DCTA), set up to promote international standards and digital technologies to help governments fight smuggling, counterfeiting and tax evasion.

The DCTA draws upon the industry's collective expertise in securing international supply chains and developing sophisticated technologies to help distinguish genuine product from counterfeit.

Eliminating the illicit trade in cigarettes and alcohol requires international cooperation and smarter tools to help customs, border and tax officials tackle the criminals who carry it out. The DCTA offers a proven, secure and cost-effective solution, based on Codentify® technology, for this purpose.

Codentify® makes the leap into the digital age, offering quick and easy access through a mobile phone to all the information governments need to protect tax revenues, verify the legitimacy of shipments and meet international regulatory requirements, including the World Health Organisation's protocol to eliminate the illicit trade in tobacco.

Pat Heneghan, spokesperson for the DCTA, said, "Today's legal supply chains are global, complex and involve many parties. When combined with the sophistication of the criminals and terrorists who traffic illicit goods, it means national governments must use the latest advances in technology to secure supply chains if they are to make any real progress in addressing this dangerous and growing problem.

"The world's four largest international tobacco manufacturers have come together to launch the Digital Coding & Tracking Association in order to offer governments a twenty first century solution to the international problem of illicit trade.

Heneghan concluded: "With governments looking at ways to secure tax revenues in these austere times and crack-down on the criminals that prosper from the black market, we are certain that the DCTA can provide the technologies and expertise needed to make a real impact."


The Digital Coding & Tracking Association (DCTA) promotes technical standards and digital solutions designed to secure supply chains for excisable fast moving consumer goods, such as tobacco and alcohol. We aim to provide all stakeholders - from finance ministries and customs to the trade and consumers - with the tools, information and capacity needed to really tackle illicit trade.

According to independent research, it is estimated that around 12% of the global cigarette market is illicit, equivalent to some 660 billion cigarettes each year1, costing national governments more than US$40 billion a year in lost tax revenues2. The illicit alcohol trade is also substantial, with the World Health Organisation estimating that around 30% of all alcohol consumed globally is illegally produced, or 'unrecorded'3.


1 Framework Convention Alliance (2008) and International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (2009).
2 Framework Convention Alliance How eliminating the illicit cigarette trade would increase tax revenue and save lives, INB3 Fact Sheet
3 World Health Organisation,

SOURCE: Digital Coding & Tracking Association (DCTA)

For further information:

DCTA Representative: Mark Hill
Tel: +44 7967 467030

DCTA Representative: Nathan Jones
Tel: +44 7720 940824

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Digital Coding & Tracking Association (DCTA)

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