Jordanian Authorities, BAT fight smuggling
The Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) in Jordan and British American Tobacco (BAT) recently signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at protecting the trademarks of the company’s products, and preventing the entry and distribution of counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes.
As part of a shared desire to crack down on illicit cigarette trade throughout the region, the multi-national and ASEZA started discussions last year focusing on how to prevent counterfeit trade passing through the port of Aqaba, resulting in the issuing of this MOU.
The MOU calls for information sharing and joint cooperation between ASEZA and BAT surrounding the inspection of suspected containers, with the BAT Research and Development Department providing analysis for suspected products.
“This MOU achievement is an excellent example of the Jordanian authorities’ commitment to promote sound trade and to protect trademark rights,” said Tarek Najjar, BAT Country Manager, Jordan.
ASEZA Chief Commissioner Eng. Nader Dahabi commented that the authority has been concerned about counterfeit entry, and wants to encourage the application of trademark protective legislation that will ensure Aqaba port as a quality driven entry point. He pointed out that the control of authenticity of imports is necessary to achieve both fair competition and to help ensure that consumers are protected from counterfeit products which are not regulated in terms of their ingredients.
During the previous two months, BAT has conducted training programmes and anti-counterfeit workshops with ASEZA enforcement officials, and set about the establishment of a dedicated task force.
“I am proud of this cooperation with ASEZA, and I am sure that by working together we will be able to significantly reduce the incidence of illicit trade in Jordan. This is yet another first by the Jordan team for BAT in the Middle East, and a clear example of the application of one of our
Business Principles - Mutual Benefit,” said Walid Rashwan, General Manager for BAT in Levant & Yemen.
BAT aims to achieve similar programmes in conjunction with local authorities throughout the Middle East and North Africa to help combat the problem of illicit tobacco
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)