• May 23, 2024

Pakistan Unlikely to Meet Tracing Deadline

 Pakistan Unlikely to Meet Tracing Deadline

Image courtesy of Syed Rashid Ali

Image courtesy of Syed Rashid Ali

Pakistan is unlikely to meet the December deadline for full implementation of a new track-and-trace system for tobacco products, reports The News International.  

While leading manufacturers, such as Pakistan Tobacco Co. (PTC), Philip Morris International and Khyber Tobacco Co. have incorporated the system into their production facilities, other manufacturers, including Civil Tobacco, Frontier Leaf Tobacco, Falcon Cigarettes Industry, Indus Tobacco Co. and Maneri Tobacco International, have done so only partially. Yet other companies have either refused to comply or dragged their feet, citing technical and financial difficulties.

 The partial implementation raises concerns about the effectiveness of the track-and-trace system, which relies on barcodes, unique identification numbers and a central monitoring system to track the movement of tobacco products from production to sale.

 “The track and trace system must be implemented across the industry for it to be successful and yield the desired results,” an industry official was quoted as saying. “Secondly, comprehensive and effective enforcement needs to be carried out to ensure that no pack of cigarettes is sold without a stamp.”

 The system has been successful in other countries, such as Turkey, Brazil and Kenya, where it has helped reduce tax evasion and illicit trade in the tobacco industry. Industry officials urged Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue to take strict action against the non-compliant manufacturers and enforce the system across the industry.