JT's Position on Illicit Trade of Tobacco Products

JT's policy

Tobacco contraband and counterfeiting are illegal activities and JT continuously fights against entities involved in illicit trade of tobacco products.  JT is not, and will not be involved in the illegal sale of its products.

JT's Efforts

  • JT sells its products in accordance with the following strict trade principles:
    1) Establishing the legitimacy of each of our business partners.
    2) Monitoring the product volumes supplied to individual markets to ensure they are commensurate with our understanding of the legitimate demand.
    3) Requiring that our business partners only sell our products in the intended market.
  • All JT's business partners must abide by these principles.  If we suspect a breach of any of these principles, we take measures which may include requests for correction, suspension of sales and the reporting of the violation to the relevant authorities.
  • JT collaborates on anti-illicit trade issues with governments and other industries.
    • JT will continue to fight against illicit trade in collaboration with governments, including the Japanese government.
    • JT is involved in various international and/or cross-industry organizations aimed at protecting trademark rights from infringement.  One example is BASCAP, (Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy: A cross-border, multi-industry project aimed at addressing the issue of counterfeiting and piracy) an arm of the International Chamber of Commerce.
  • Outside Japan, JT International S.A. (JTI) is diligently tackling illicit trade in alignment with JT's policy.
    For further details, please visit the JTI web site.

Global scale of tobacco illicit trade (from public sources)

  • In July 2012, the World Customs Organization (WCO) reported that ''Illicit trade of tobacco continues to be a world-wide problem.  (Customs and Tobacco Report 2011)
  • In July 2012, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) reported that ''Although accurate statistics are difficult to obtain, the direct loss in customs revenue as a result of cigarette smuggling in the EU is estimated to amount to more than EUR 10 billion a year.  (The OLAF report 2011)
  • In October 2012, HM Revenue and Customs in Britain published that the illicit cigarette market is estimated to account for between 2 and 16 percent of the total British cigarette market for the period of 2010-2011.  (Measuring tax gaps 2012)
  • In January 2012, the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration of China stated that ''in 2011, 4,714 cases of counterfeit production/sales which was worth more than 50,000 RMB were uncovered, 8,801 persons were detained; 3.82 billion units of counterfeit cigarettes and 806 units of cigarette machinery were seized.''
  • In the Japanese domestic market, the illicit trade in tobacco products is not an issue.  In recent years only one incident has been reported.  It involved an attempt to smuggle a substantial quantity of counterfeit cigarettes into Japan.  However, collaboration between JT, our business partners and the authorities led to the prompt arrest of the perpetrators.

Personal Import of Tobacco Products

  • If you attempt to import tobacco products from overseas via the Internet or other routes, we cannot deny the risk that the products you receive will be counterfeit, which may harm your health, since we cannot confirm that such products have been brought through our legitimate distribution route.
  • Tobacco products imported via international mail or equivalent shall be subject to national tobacco excise tax, national tobacco special excise tax and local tobacco excise tax without exception.  Importing tobacco without paying these taxes violates the law.
  • Some tobacco import websites mention that they are willing to evade tobacco-related taxes, and others deceive consumers by receiving payment but not delivering the goods.  When we detect such cases, we notify the administrative authorities accordingly.