1 Jul 2008

British American Tobacco Group urges PNG to toughen its counterfeit products

10:52 am on 1 July 2008

The British American Tobacco Group has urged the Papua New Guinea Government to toughen its penalties on the illegal importing n of counterfeit products, such as cigarettes.

They say perpetrators of such unlawful activities need to be severely penalised.

The Post Courier newspaper reports the global giant, who is the sole manufacturer of tobacco products in PNG, as saying that illegal activities had a major impact on local manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers who could not compete with non-duty paid tobacco.

In June customs and police confiscated 437 cartons of Pall Mall counterfeit products in Port Moresby's suburb of Gerehu, with an estimated value of 863,000 US dollars.

British American Tobacco says steps taken by the Internal Revenue Commission and the Police to address this issue are a positive move.

It says the Government also loses revenue when tax wasn't paid and consumers were being exposed to inferior products that did not necessarily comply with manufacturing standards.