Lebanese Republic responds to the trade in illicit tobacco with advanced digital authentication stamping and traceability programme from OpSec Security
London, GBR, Nov 22, 2021 – OpSec Security, the global leader in physical and digital anti-counterfeiting solutions, alongside technology partner Scopsis SAL, is delighted to announce the launch of a new partnership with Régie Libanaise des Tabacs et Tombacs (‘Régie Libanaise’) to combat the trade in illicit tobacco within the Lebanese Republic.
Régie Libanaise is the state-owned public organization controlled by the Lebanese Ministry of Finance and mandated to manage tobacco plantations, as well as the manufacturing and transport of all tobacco products sold within the country. The current level of illicit trade in cigarettes within Lebanon is estimated to be around 25% of the total market, costing the government between $200-$250 million in annual lost revenues.
To combat this illicit trade, OpSec will provide highly secure authentication stamps to Régie Libanaise, enabling the protection of their products, beginning with the market-leading Cedars brand of cigarettes. OpSec’s proprietary Insight® software platform will be utilised to provide the authentication and traceability of each licit stamped pack throughout the supply chain.
OpSec’s solution will provide advanced mobile authentication of stamp security features and product traceability for dedicated Régie Libanaise enforcement staff as well as Customs and Border Officials. Retailers and consumers within Lebanon will also be empowered to authenticate packs and gain visibility of product provenance using the Insight® customer engagement functionality, freely available on any mobile device.
OpSec will further utilise its advanced web monitoring technology to ensure any attempt by illicit traders to sell counterfeit stamps via online marketplaces, websites or social media will be captured, removed and reported to enforcement officials.
Steven Proudfoot, Product Director – Government Solutions at OpSec Security comments, “OpSec and our Lebanese partner Scopsis SAL are delighted to be selected by Régie Libanaise to work with them on this important project that utilises our proven optical and digital technologies to combat the trade in illicit tobacco within the region. The solution will enable the Lebanese Government to protect this key excisable product, whilst supporting Régie Libanaise in dramatically improving traceability of its products and protecting the interests of its consumers.”
Mohamad Ali Ahmad, Project Manager at Beirut based Scopsis added, “As well combatting illicit trade and protecting much-needed revenues for the Lebanese Republic, the first phase implementation is a proactive step towards adopting the provisions of the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC). The project will be amongst the first of its kind in the region and represents a beacon of hope for Lebanon and a demonstration of its commitment to its roadmap for reforms.”
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About Scopsis SAL
Headquartered in Beirut, Scopsis are dedicated to making the world of trade, government and brand protection a just, lucrative and safer place.
Through its wide network of experts and international partners, Scopsis continually innovates to exude trust by developing reliable, secure, technologically advanced solutions and services for global identification, traceability and authentication. Scopsis assists governments in drafting regulations and strategies to protect government assets and limit illicit trading.
About Regie Libanaise Des Tabacs ET Tombacs (RLTT)
The Lebanese Tobacco and Tobacco Reservation Department “RLTT” was established in 1935 and today operates as a public utility under the tutelage of the Ministry of Finance. The Chairman and General Manager of The RLTT is Eng. Nassif Saqlawi. The RLTT’s role is to manage the relationship between growers and manufacturers in the trade of tobacco across various Lebanese regions.
Today, The RLTT is the newest centre for the tobacco industry in the Middle East and North Africa, it has achieved the highest quality standards ISO9001. It is also the first public facility to develop a strategy for sustainable development for the next ten years. The RLTT plays an important role on the economic, social and developmental fronts, as it is considered the fifth source of support for the Lebanese treasury, and its revenues amounted to 550 Billion Lebanese pounds for the year 2019.