For British American Tobacco South Africa, fighting the illicit tobacco trade addresses not only a threat to our business, but also a more serious national and social threat: that of organised crime
South Africa, and in many other countries around the world, the black market in tobacco involves criminal gangs producing counterfeit cigarettes, cross-border smuggling and large-scale tax evasion. The illicit trade also often leads to unsuspecting smokers gaining access to unregulated tobacco products.
British American Tobacco South Africa requires our companies and employees to support only legitimate trade in our products. Through our ‘Know Your Customer’ guidelines and procedures we try to ensure that the volume of tobacco products we supply is consistent with legitimate demand. It is our policy to stop doing business with customers or suppliers that we find to be complicit in illicit trade.
We fully support the actions of the South African Police Service, the South African Revenue Service, the Southern African Customs Union, and other national and international bodies in their fight against illegal tobacco products.
We see it as critically important that governments establish workable tax regimes and economic policies that do not create conditions that encourage illicit trade, together with strong border controls and effective law enforcement.