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Ireland restricts duty-free allowances

| December 27, 2013

New rules that will come into force on January 1 will restrict the number of cigarettes that may be brought into Ireland for personal use by people traveling from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania, according to a story in the Irish Independent.

From that date, travelers from those countries will be allowed to bring only 300 cigarettes into Ireland without the payment of further excise duty.

The changes do not apply to other tobacco products brought in from these EU member states, as long as those products are for personal use and not for commercial purposes.

Currently, people traveling to Ireland from other EU countries can bring in 800 cigarettes without paying any additional excise duties.

Israel signs anti-illegal trade protocol

| December 27, 2013

Israel has joined an international protocol aimed at preventing the illegal trade in tobacco products, according to a story by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich for the Jerusalem Post, quoting the Health Ministry.

The country’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, signed the protocol, which is an adjunct to the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Israel is the 42nd country to have signed the anti-illegal trade protocol.

JTI set to match worldwide employee donations to Philippines relief effort

| December 27, 2013

Japan Tobacco International employees worldwide have been asked to make donations to a fund set up to help the victims of typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines early in November.

JTI has agreed to match any donations made by its employees.

Typhoon Haiyan, or Yolanda as it is known in the Philippines, made landfall there on November 8, bringing record winds and causing huge sea surges.

The typhoon caused massive damage and casualties in nine regions of the Philippines. It affected almost 15 million people and displaced about four million.

In an announcement posted on the Japan Tobacco Inc. website yesterday, JTI Philippines was said to have organised volunteers from among its employees to work in the affected areas.

In addition, the employees had donated P1 million in aid and P1 million in relief goods.

The JTI Foundation, an independent charitable organization registered under Swiss law and financially endowed by JT International SA, which specializes in providing aid to victims of disasters, is partnering with Habitat for Humanity International to support a recovery project worth about US$224,000.

Meanwhile, the foundation will continue to support two ongoing disaster preparedness programs in the Philippines: a family saving initiative for the poor and a project to prevent post-disaster human trafficking.

There is more information at: www.jtifoundation.org.

De Labouchere’s JTI departure unsung

| December 24, 2013

Pierre de Labouchere last week resigned with immediate effect as president and CEO of Japan Tobacco International, according to a story by Mark Kleinman for Sky News.

Kleinman quoted a statement issued on Friday by a JTI spokesman as saying that de Labouchere had decided to resign as of December 18.

The statement said that de Labouchere had been replaced by Thomas A. McCoy.

‘JTI declined to comment on the reasons behind Mr de Labouchere’s sudden departure but insiders said that another senior executive responsible for the company’s mergers and acquisitions activity had also quit in recent days, suggesting some kind of strategic disagreement,’ said Kleinman.

Ploom sales kick off on Japanese website

| December 24, 2013

Japan Tobacco Inc. has announced that on-line sales of Ploom vaporizers started today through the Ploom Online Shop operated by JT Creative Service.

Originally, the start date for on-line sales had been set as December 12, but it was delayed at the last minute because of technical difficulties.

The Ploom vaporizer is a pocket-sized smoking alternative device that heats tobacco contained in pods to a constant temperature, vaporizing nicotine and flavors without burning the materials or producing smoke.

In December 2011, Japan Tobacco International and the San Francisco-based Ploom announced that they had entered into an exclusive, long-term co-operation agreement under which JTI would commercialize Ploom’s new generation of ‘smoking alternative products’ outside the US.

Ploom was launched – outside the US – in Austria in May, since when JTI has introduced it also in Korea and Italy.

Start date set for Andhra leaf auctions

| December 24, 2013

Flue-cured tobacco auctions in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh are expected to start on February 15, according to a story in the latest edition of the BBM Bommidala Group newsletter.

The chairman of the Tobacco Board, Koothati Gopal, was quoted as saying that the sales were due to start simultaneously on all auction floors.

Andhra growers are thought to have produced a little over 170 million kg this season, all of which will be sold under the recently-introduced e-auction system.

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