EBA welcomes the start of a dialogue between the President of Ukraine and the biggest tobacco products manufacturers

07/ 11/ 2019

On November 7, 2019, the CEOs of the four largest tobacco companies, members of the European Business Association, who are among the largest taxpayers in the sphere, met with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi. The core issue of the meeting was the initiative to regulate the trade margin on cigarettes and the potential negative consequences in case of signing this Draft Law.

During the meeting, tobacco products taxation, coordination of the fight against illegal trade and recent regulatory initiatives were discussed. The key topic for discussion was the Draft Law №1049 and amendment №8 concerning the introduction of a fixed trade margin for cigarettes. The European Business Association has sent an open letter to the President of Ukraine asking not to sign this Draft Law since the provisions of the document are discriminatory and violate the principles of free trade.

It should be noted that the meeting marked the beginning of a new quality and constructive dialogue between business and state authorities in the tobacco industry. Such dialogue should result in more predictable rules of conduct for both businesses operating in Ukraine and potential investors, providing opportunities for tobacco manufacturing, job creation, and increasing exports of tobacco products. The participants of the meeting agreed to continue discussing specific issues in specially established working groups to be announced shortly.

The European Business Association extends its thanks to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi for his readiness for dialogue with business. We hope that the obligations made by all parties during this meeting will be fulfilled shortly.

Participants of the event:

1) Anna Derevyanko, Executive Director of the European Business Association

2) Michalis Alexandrakis, CEO Philip Morris Ukraine, Caucasus and Moldova

3) Simon Welford, CEO of British American Tobacco Ukraine

4) Paul Holloway, CEO of JTI Ukraine

5) Rastislav Chernak, CEO of Imperial Tobacco Ukraine.

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