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SICPA congratulates Parties to the WHO FCTC Protocol on the conclusion of their first Meeting in Geneva which took place from 8 to 10 October. A major issue discussed at the meeting was how to proceed to implement the provisions of Article 8 of the Protocol which requires track and trace systems to be put in place under the full control of the Parties independently from the tobacco industry, providing a global network comprising national and regional systems and a mechanism for sharing. A decision was taken to create a working group that will draft guidelines for the implementation of the track & trace system, for adoption at MOP2 in 2020.
For nearly 15 years, SICPA has been supplying technology to governments implementing national systems for tracking and tracing of tobacco products and other sensitive goods. Systems powered by SICPA technology are in place in a broad range of countries on the 5 continents. We have developed considerable on-the-ground experience which ensures that as well as strong technological insights we have a good understanding of the often very practical problems to be overcome. We have followed the evolution of the Protocol and have built-in the ability for national systems to be adapted or upgraded as necessary to meet the Protocol requirements. Our portfolio includes secure marking of products with unique identifiers via both affixed tax stamps and direct marking. Our offering continues to grow as new technologies become available and practicable.
We were delighted, on a strictly no commitment basis, to have had the opportunity over recent days to share our insights and lessons-learned with national delegations and NGOs. Implementing nation-wide Track and Trace which can also operate across borders is a complex endeavour and we stand ready to exchange openly with all concerned national parties and the FCTC secretariat as they embark on this important task.