Australia wins WTO tobacco plain packaging disputes
Friday, 29 June 2018
Australia has achieved a resounding victory in the World Trade Organization (WTO) tobacco plain packaging disputes.
In a report released last night, the WTO rejected all of the claims brought by Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia and Cuba that Australia's measure is inconsistent with WTO rules. The WTO confirmed Australia's tobacco plain packaging measure is making a meaningful contribution to improving public health.
Australia's comprehensive WTO victory builds on the earlier wins against claims brought by tobacco companies against Australia's tobacco plain packaging measure.
This is a significant win for the country as we continue to work hard towards reducing the damaging effects of smoking.
The Government has consistently maintained that tobacco plain packaging is a legitimate measure designed to achieve the protection of public health that fully respects Australia's international trade and investment obligations.
After years of robustly defending the tobacco plain packaging measure against multiple claims brought within multiple forums, the Government welcomes the WTO decision as the conclusion to these efforts to challenge Australia's right to introduce legitimate measures to protect human health.
The Turnbull Government is committed to defending any appeal proceedings we may face at the WTO regarding today's panel report. We will not shy away from fighting for the right to protect the health of Australians.
Australia was the first country to introduce plain packaging in 2011 so this decision further reinforces Australia’s position as a world leader in fighting the harmful effects of tobacco.