Australia: World Trade Organization says restrictive packaging law is a legitimate public health measure in dispute related to trade & tobacco companies

Author: Tom Miles, Martinne Geller & John Stonestreet, Reuters, Published on: 11 May 2017

"Australia wins landmark WTO tobacco packaging case, reports", 5 May 2017

A landmark Australian law on restrictive tobacco packaging has [reportedly] been upheld at the World Trade Organisation [WTO]...

The news is a blow to the tobacco industry as such a ruling from the WTO has been widely anticipated as giving a green light for other countries to roll out similar laws...

The Australian law...[bans] flashy logos and distinctive-coloured cigarette packaging...with brand names printed in small standardised fonts.

Tobacco firms said their trademarks were being infringed, and Cuba, Honduras, Dominican Republic and Indonesia complained...that the rules constituted an illegal barrier to trade...

Although the WTO's final ruling is not expected until July, a confidential draft [interim report] said Australia's laws were a legitimate public health measure...

British American Tobacco...suggested..."As there is a high likelihood of an appeal by some or all of the parties, it's important to note that this panel report is not the final word on whether plain packaging is consistent with international law,"...

[Also refers to Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International, Philip Morris International]

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Related companies: British American Tobacco Imperial Tobacco Japan Tobacco International Philip Morris International