We have always been clear that we support regulation that is based on robust evidence and thorough research, respects legal rights and livelihoods and delivers on the intended policy aims, while recognising unintended consequences.
We want to be part of the debate: Our experience and expertise means that we have much to offer governments and regulators when it comes to helping develop policies around tobacco.
Some regulations can have unwelcome and unexpected consequences. For example, sudden and significant hikes in excise rates can result in price disparities between neighbouring countries, spurring illicit trade in tobacco products and loss of government revenue.
Furthermore, we advocate for free trade across trading blocs as discriminatory trade practices applied locally by member states are detrimental to business and economic growth. To ensure the success of these trade blocs, such as the East African Community (EAC) Customs Union and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), we advocate for members to abide by the terms of these agreements. This will reduce the cost of doing business, support industrial expansion and enhance regional integration.
We are transparent about what we think and our Principles for Engagement provide clear guidance for our external engagement with regulators, government agencies and other third parties. We support some new proposals but disagree with others. When we do not agree with proposed regulations, we try to be constructive and put forward alternatives that can still achieve intended aims. By contributing to the debate, we offer information, ideas and practical steps to help regulators address the key issues facing our industry.
We are working to transform our business, which includes reinforcing our position at the forefront of manufacturing and continuing to adapt to consumer and market changes with innovative tobacco and nicotine products. It is therefore important that a balanced, stable and predictable regulatory environment is in place.