Procedure : 2015/0100(NLE)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0198/2016

Texts tabled :

A8-0198/2016

Debates :

Votes :

PV 07/06/2016 - 5.5
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0242

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2.6.2016
PE 580.425v02-00 A8-0198/2016

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products to the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, as regards its provisions on obligations related to judicial cooperation in criminal matters and the definition of criminal offences

(14387/2015 – C8‑0119/2016 – 2015/0100(NLE))

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

Rapporteur: Martina Anderson

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 SHORT JUSTIFICATION
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products to the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, as regards its provisions on obligations related to judicial cooperation in criminal matters and the definition of criminal offences

(14387/2015 – C8‑0119/2016 – 2015/0100(NLE))

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (14387/2015),

–  having regard to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products to the World Health Organisation' s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, signed on 20 December 2013 (2013/0259(NLE) and 2013/0260(NLE)),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 82(1) and Article 83, and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0119/2016),

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 March 2016 on the tobacco agreement (PMI agreement)(1),

–  having regard to Rule 99(1), first and third subparagraphs, Rule 99(2), and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A8-0198/2016),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the Protocol;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States, Europol, Eurojust and OLAF.

(1)

Texts adopted, P8_TA (2016)0082


SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The World Heath’s Organisation protocol on the Illicit Trade in Tobacco should be immediately ratified by the European Union.

The stated objective of the Protocol is the elimination of all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products. Illicit trade in tobacco products is defined in the Protocol as any practice or conduct related to producing, shipping, receiving, being in possession of, distributing, selling or buying tobacco products and that is prohibited by law.

In order to address this, the Protocol targets the supply chain of tobacco products via a series of measures by governments. It requires the creation of a global tracking and tracing regime within five years of entry into force of the Protocol. This will see the establishment of a global information sharing point located in the Secretariat of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. This will direct the creation of national and regional tracking and tracing systems.

The Protocol will also insist upon additional provisions aimed at addressing the supply chain of illicit tobacco products. These include; licensing, record keeping requirements and regulation of internet-sales, duty-free sales and international transit.

Being conscious of the existing illicit trade in tobacco products, the Protocol seeks to address this also. The Protocol will establish offences, address liability and seizure payments as well and the disposal of confiscated products.

On top of this, the Protocol will aim to encourage and enhance international cooperation, valid information sharing, technical and law enforcement cooperation, mutual legal and administrative assistance.

The Protocol's obligations cover tobacco products, tobacco and equipment specific to the manufacturing of tobacco products.

The tobacco industry has a responsibility to act to effectively and unequivocally address the illicit trade in their products. The Protocol concedes the irreconcilable conflict between the tobacco's industry's interests and public health's interests. As such, the Protocol outlines particular obligations regarding the tobacco industry. Parties to the Protocol must make each and every interaction with the tobacco industry fully transparent. In relation to tracking and tracing, the Parties to the Protocol must not delegate any of their agreed obligations to the tobacco industry.

The Protocol will enter into force on the 90th day following the deposit of the 40th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, formal confirmation or accession with the Depositary.


OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control (25.5.2016)

for the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products to the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, as regards its provisions on obligations related to judicial cooperation in criminal matters and the definition of criminal offences

(14387/2015 – C8‑0119/2016 – 2015/0100(NLE))

Rapporteur: Ingeborg Gräßle

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The Committee on Budgetary Control calls on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, as the committee responsible, to recommend that Parliament give its consent to the proposal for a Council Decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products to the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, as regards its provisions on obligations related to judicial cooperation in criminal matters and the definition of criminal offences.

The Committee on Budgetary Control suggests to the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs that it should adopt an accompanying non-legislative resolution including the following:

A.  Whereas the Protocol to Eliminate Trade in Tobacco Products (the Protocol) to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is a crucial contribution to the international efforts to eliminate all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products and thereby fight the circumvention of tax and customs duties obligations;

B.  Whereas the Parliament and the Council adopted on 3 April 2014 Directive 2014/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council(1) (Tobacco Products Directive) because legislative action at Union level was necessary to implement the WHO FCTC;

C.  Whereas the Union and the Member States(2) have signed legally binding and enforceable agreements with the world's four largest tobacco manufacturers in order to address the problem of contraband and counterfeit cigarettes;

D.   Whereas, under the terms of these multiannual agreements, these manufacturers must pay a collective total of more than EUR 2 billion to the Union and to the Member States that are party to the agreements, in support of measures to combat smuggling and counterfeiting;

E.  Whereas the tracking & tracing system provided for in the Tobacco Products Directive should take effect in May 2019;

F.   Whereas the Protocol will enter into force on the 90th day following the date of the deposit of the 40th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, formal confirmation or accession with the Depositary;

G.   Notes that 16 countries have ratified the WHO FCTC Protocol so far, including 5 Member States;

1.   Welcomes the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Protocol and is of the opinion that the Parliament should give its consent;

2.   Welcomes, in particular, the fact that the Protocol's main objective is to eliminate all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products and that the Protocol introduces the principle of due diligence as set out in Article 7, sets up an effective licensing system with a view to controlling the supply chain and includes provisions on a tracking and tracing regime and on the prevention of money laundering;

3.   Recalls that in conformity with Article 8 of the Protocol, which concerns tracking and tracing, Article 15 of the Tobacco Products Directive requires "that all unit packets of tobacco products are marked with a unique identifier" and sets out the information that forms part of the unique identifier;

4.   Stresses that, in accordance with points 12 and 13 of Article 8 of the Protocol, the obligations assigned by the Protocol to a party shall not be performed or delegated to the tobacco industry and that each party shall ensure that its competent authorities, in participating in the tracking and tracing regime, interact with the tobacco industry and those representing the interests of the tobacco industry only to the extent strictly necessary in the implementation of the provision concerning tracking and tracing;

5.  Considers that, in accordance with the Protocol, the provisions of the Tobacco Products Directive on traceability will apply to all tobacco companies in the 28 Member States of the Union from manufacturing to the first retail outlet and that a legislative and regulatory system for all manufacturers is better than a company controlled traceability system;

6.  Recalls that the tracking and tracing obligations in the Tobacco Products Directive will create a world standard on tracking and tracing; urges the Commission, therefore, to ensure that an open standard, rather than a monopoly, is created in which all tailor-made systems could be integrated, provided that they comply with the obligations set out in the Tobacco Products Directive and the WHO FCTC Protocol; attaches great importance to this point for the future success of the mandatory track and trace standard and the fight against illicit trade;

7.  Recalls that the Parliament expressed the view on 9 March 2016(3) that "all the elements covered in the agreement with PMI will be covered by the new legal framework made up of the Tobacco Products Directive and the WHO FCTC Protocol" and concluded "that the agreement with PMI should not be renewed, extended or renegotiated";

8.   Calls on the Commission to consider bringing to an end the other three agreements with tobacco manufacturers upon the entry into force of the Protocol;

9.   Notes that since the tobacco agreements have been in place the companies have improved controls on their production, their customers and contractors, their storage and movement of cigarettes and the types of acceptable payment for cigarettes;

10.   Points out that since the conclusion of the tobacco agreements the seizure of genuine products of the four manufactures has fallen; notes that this reduction did not lead to an overall reduction of illicit products on the Union market as the share of the Member States' markets taken by illegal cheap white cigarettes predominantly from non-Union countries increased and these countries may not have ratified the Protocol; calls, therefore, on the Commission to come forward with an Action Plan before the end of 2016 of new measures to tackle this problem as a matter of urgency; stresses the need to take into account lessons learned from the EU Strategy of June 2013 in the fight against illicit tobacco trade, which, as seen the impact assessment of 24 February 2016(4), did not fully achieve its objectives;

11.   Urges the Commission to focus its efforts on convincing eastern European countries to sign and ratify the Protocol;

12.   Considers it vital to increase cooperation among Member States through an automatic data exchange system; calls on the Commission to include, in its annual report on the protection of the Union’s financial interests, data concerning any seizures carried out, and to propose a comprehensive policy to combat criminal organisations operating in the sector of the illicit trade in tobacco products;

13.   Calls on the Commission to consider introducing sanctions providing for the withdrawal of banking licences for banks that play an active role in the laundering of money from the illicit trade in tobacco products or from tax avoidance in this sector;

14.   Regrets that the management of the tobacco agreements by the Commission is not transparent, may create situations of conflict of interest and is not subject to proper democratic control; calls on the Commission to take further proactive measures to extend its transparency policies in this respect in order to avoid endangering its credibility and integrity;

15.   Regrets that the Member States have not been required to state how they have assigned revenue from the tobacco agreements; is disappointed that all the data relating to seizures of counterfeit and/or illegal material have been made confidential and are not accessible to the public;

16.  Calls on Philip Morris International (PMI) to honour its public undertaking to continue to apply the provisions concerning tracking and tracing and due diligence ("know your customer") contained in the current agreement, regardless of whether it is renewed or not;

17.   Urges the Commission and the Member States to put in place at European level, at the earliest possibility following the expiry of the PMI agreement, all the necessary measures to track and trace PMI tobacco products and to ensure effective investigation and enforcement, including fines and other appropriate civil and criminal penalties, for any seizures of this manufacturer's products in illicit channels, until all provisions of the Tobacco Products Directive are fully enforceable, so that there is no regulatory gap between the expiry of the PMI agreement and the entry into force of the Tobacco Products Directive and the WHO FCTC;

18.  Believes that there is a need for a track and trace system, due diligence (‘know your customer’) and other efficient measures to be applied to raw cut tobacco, filters and papers used by the tobacco industry, as an additional tool to combat contraband and counterfeit products.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

24.5.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

24

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Inés Ayala Sender, Zigmantas Balčytis, Ryszard Czarnecki, Martina Dlabajová, Luke Ming Flanagan, Ingeborg Gräßle, Bogusław Liberadzki, Monica Macovei, Gilles Pargneaux, Georgi Pirinski, Claudia Schmidt, Bart Staes, Derek Vaughan, Tomáš Zdechovský, Joachim Zeller

Substitutes present for the final vote

Brian Hayes, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Benedek Jávor, Andrey Novakov, Julia Pitera, Miroslav Poche

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Laura Agea, Carlos Iturgaiz, Liadh Ní Riada

(1)

  Directive 2014/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products and repealing Directive 2001/37/EC (OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, p. 1).

(2)

  With the exception of Sweden for the British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco Limited agreements.

(3)

  European Parliament resolution of 9 March 2016 on the tobacco agreement (PMI agreement) (2016/2555 RSP).

(4)

  Commission staff working document, Technical assessment of the experience made with the Anti-Contraband and Anti-Counterfeit Agreement and General Release of 9 July 2004 among Philip Morris International and affiliates, the Union and its Member States, SWD(2016) 44 final.


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

30.5.2016

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

47

1

2

Members present for the final vote

Jan Philipp Albrecht, Martina Anderson, Malin Björk, Michał Boni, Caterina Chinnici, Rachida Dati, Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Frank Engel, Tanja Fajon, Laura Ferrara, Monika Flašíková Beňová, Ana Gomes, Nathalie Griesbeck, Jussi Halla-aho, Monika Hohlmeier, Sophia in ‘t Veld, Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann, Timothy Kirkhope, Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Marju Lauristin, Claude Moraes, Péter Niedermüller, Soraya Post, Birgit Sippel, Branislav Škripek, Csaba Sógor, Bodil Valero, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Beatrix von Storch, Josef Weidenholzer, Kristina Winberg

Substitutes present for the final vote

Marina Albiol Guzmán, Hugues Bayet, Carlos Coelho, Pál Csáky, Ska Keller, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Artis Pabriks, Salvatore Domenico Pogliese, Jaromír Štětina, Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, Axel Voss

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Reimer Böge, Edouard Ferrand, Peter Jahr, Othmar Karas, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Keith Taylor, Lieve Wierinck


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

47

+

ALDE

Sophia in 't Veld, Nathalie Griesbeck, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Lieve Wierinck

ECR

Jussi Halla-aho, Timothy Kirkhope, Branislav Škripek

EFDD

Laura Ferrarra

GUE/NGL

Marina Albiol Guzmán, Martina Anderson, Malin Björk, Marie-Christine Vergiat

PPE

Michał Boni, Reimer Böge, Carlos Coelho, Pál Csáky, Rachida Dati, Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Frank Engel, Monika Hohlmeier, Peter Jahr, Othmar Karas, Artis Pabriks, Salvatore Domenico Pogliese, Jaromír Štětina, Csaba Sógor, Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, Axel Voss

S&D

Hugues Bayet, Caterina Chinnici, Tanja Fajon, Monika Flašíková Beňová, Ana Gomes, Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann, Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Marju Lauristin, Claude Moraes, Péter Niedermüller, Soraya Post, Birgit Sippel, Josef Weidenholzer

Verts/ALE

Jan Philipp Albrecht, Ska Keller, Keith Taylor, Bodil Valero

1

-

EFDD

Kristina Winberg

2

0

EFDD

Beatrix von Storch

ENF

Edouard Ferrand

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

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