CBRA has officially started the PRECISE project with a kick-off meeting in Spiez, Switzerland. The team members were gathered in Spiez during 11-12 of September to discuss the main steps and actions that need be taken to accomplish PRECISE´s objectives.
PRECISE stands for “Precursors of Illicit Cigarette Trade” and it is a project funded by PMI Impact program (http://www.pmi-impact.com). For the duration of 20 months, CBRA team will be studying alternative ways to disrupt illicit tobacco production by complicating sourcing of tobacco precursors. In other words, the project will design a new system for monitoring and controlling trade and logistics in tobacco precursors.
According to a recent KPMG study, Illicit tobacco trade account for up to 10.4% of the global cigarette market; and, more than 53 billion cigarettes in the EU alone. Many initiatives have been taken to tackle the contraband and counterfeit of cigarettes from the point of view of production, distribution and sales of cigarettes; while only little has been done to control and monitor the trade of cigarette precursors, i.e. all raw materials, machinery and competent work force needed in the process of manufacturing the cigarettes. Specific examples of precursors include: raw tobacco, acetate tow for filters, special rolling paper, and special machinery.
PRECISE aims to fill the “precursor gap” by designing a new system for monitoring and controlling trade in cigarette precursors and by producing a roadmap for implementing this system. By addressing (shady or illicit) sourcing of tobacco precursors, PRECISE opens a new battlefront in the combat against illicit whites, counterfeit cigarettes as well as under-reporting and under-declaration of genuine tobacco products. Field investigations will be carried out in select Asian and European countries that play a significant role in illicit tobacco production and / or tobacco precursor trade and transit. Field investigators may find evidence on additional illegal activities such as fraud, corruption, money laundering, terrorism financing, among other possible criminal activities, beyond the illicit tobacco trade.
If you have information that could be valuable for our research, please feel free to contact us (cbra at cross-border.org )!
CBRA Blog on 30.9.2017 by Ms. Susana Wong