In late 2011 the Australian parliament adopted the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act. To reduce the advertising effects of cigarette packages, the law prohibits the manufacturers’ logos. Since December 2012, tobacco products have to be sold in gray-brown packages with graphic health warnings and uniform caption.[1] The very day of the voting in parliament, Philip Morris announced to sue Australia for the violation of a bilateral investment treaty with Hongkong.[2] In March 2012, the Ukraine filed a complaint at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) arguing, Australia violated the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS) as well as the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (TBT). Some other countries have followed in its footsteps and are legally advised and financially supported by BAT and Philip Morris, just as is the Ukraine.[3] The WTO is expected to decide on the case in 2016.[4]

Further information:

International trade law, plain packaging and tobacco industry political activity: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (2013)

The Tobacco Industry, Bilateral Investment Treaties, and Health Policy (2014)