PMI Solicits Ideas to Tackle Illegal Trade

Photo: Vitezslav Vylici

Philip Morris International (PMI) is calling for applications for the third funding round of PMI IMPACT, the global initiative supporting projects that aim to reduce or prevent illegal trade and counter its negative consequences for individuals, their families and communities. The third funding round will support a broad range of projects designed to tackle the multifaceted and multinational illicit trade—ranging from illicit tobacco products and other consumer goods to counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals and electronics—across different geographies. Now open for submissions, applicants from public, private or nonprofit organizations, including governmental organizations, international organizations, associations, academic institutions and private companies, are encouraged to submit their project proposals.

“Illicit trade knows no borders, and effective measures are needed to fight this international threat, which is a top priority for PMI as it undermines all our efforts toward delivering a smoke-free future—a future that can one day be without cigarettes,” said Alvise Giustiniani, vice president of illicit trade prevention, in a statement. “The pandemic has also impacted supply chains, border controls and cross-border interactions, and now, more than ever, we need programs like PMI IMPACT that exchange expertise and bring together organizations, ideas and solutions to eradicate illegal trade.”

The pandemic has impacted supply chains, border controls and cross-border interactions, and now, more than ever, we need programs like PMI IMPACT that exchange expertise and bring together organizations, ideas and solutions to eradicate illegal trade.

Alvise Giustiniani, vice president of illicit trade prevention, PMI

Applicants can be based anywhere; however, all proposals must address the funding round theme and focus on one of the following topics: border control; capacity building; restorative justice and victims’ protection; network engagements, awareness building and international cooperation; Covid-19 and the threat of illicit trade.

Bringing innovation and technological advancement in the fight against contraband and counterfeited goods is essential, especially in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to PMI. This is why PMI IMPACT will be open to projects aimed at limiting the threats of counterfeited and substandard vaccines, medicines, medical supplies and personal protective equipment.

Interested third parties can apply for the third funding round before one of the three deadlines for submission of applications: Sept. 15, 2021; Feb. 15, 2022; and Aug. 15, 2022.

“PMI IMPACT offers a platform for organizations to bring resolutions to tackle the problematic reality of illegal trade,” said Navi Pillay, human rights advocate and member of the PMI IMPACT expert council. “We are looking forward to evaluating the applications in the third funding round—the level of interest the initiative receives is truly remarkable. It is promising to see so many fantastic organizations working resolutely to fight illicit trade.”