The government of the principality of Andorra announced on Wednesday July 11th their adoption of the WHO (World Health Organisation) Tobacco Free Initiative. They have committed to ceasing all publicity and promotional actions for cigarettes and tobacco products generally. During a recent press conference, Jordi Cinca, an Andorran government spokesperson, specified that the programme had a double-objective: protecting public health, but also curbing the flood of black market goods transiting through Andorra.
Andorra is a popular tourist destination, and it is common knowledge that it is the perfect place to hit the beach and stock up on cigarettes and alcohol. It seems the government is determined to rid the streets of tobacco-related advertisements and to no longer encourage the consumption of tobacco products.
Andorra implements an effective traceability programme
The WHO programme involves a range of measures to help fight the illegal commerce of tobacco products effectively. This includes traceability initiatives to establish which products were produced locally. Half of local producers already apply these measures, according to the AFP.
The legal text will have no effect on tax rates and cigarette prices. As it stands, Andorra already has a taxation programme for tobacco products, which was required for any state to adopt the WHO policy. The agreement will be enforced in fill three months after its ratification by parliament. No official calendar has yet been established, however.
In addition, a recent free trade agreement was concluded this June between the European Union and the principality. According to this text, there exists a 30-year transition period, and during this time, tobacco products will not be covered by the Customs Union.