DENTSU IN THE NEWS : New track-and-trace operator to head up ‘groundbreaking’ illicit tobacco tool

Apr 19, 2022

A “groundbreaking” tool in the latest fightback against illicit tobacco is to be spearheaded by new track-and-trace (T&T) operator Dentsu Tracking, betterRetailing can reveal.

The Swiss firm has been appointed by HMRC to replace De La Rue as the operator of the tobacco system from July on a five-year contract. The firm has previously operated similar T&T systems for other governments across Europe.

Launched in May 2019, T&T requires businesses involved in the supply of cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco to have an economic operator identifier code (EOID). Tobacco products transported and sold through the UK will have a barcode with the EOID. Any code that isn’t recognised by T&T will generate a warning that the product could be illegitimate.

As part of its appointment, Dentsu will operate a database of registered suppliers, with the aim of giving police forces and trading standards authorities more resources to detect and clamp down on dodgy tobacco sellers.

Jan Hoffmann, Director Government Business, says

“Dentsu Tracking brings a wealth of experience and expertise in supply chain control. We are thrilled to team up with HMRC in their fight against the illicit tobacco trade, delivering a Track & Trace system tailored to the specifics of the UK market. The system provides HMRC with a high level of government control over the tobacco supply chain, allowing enforcement bodies to detect the different forms of illicit trade and curb the circulation of non-compliant products.” 

The database will provide detailed information on the invoicing, ordering and payments of registered products. A “mobile inspection tool” will also be provided to authorities, allowing them to check the legitimacy of products while in their hands.

Combined, these methods will provide real-time alerts to the police if tobacco is potentially being sold by an illegal trader. The database will only include information about registered suppliers, but not those who are unregistered.

Read more / Full article here

Editor’s note: Re-post of an excerpt from an article published by Better Retailing April 19, 2022, Alex Yau. All copyright and permissions to Better Retailing as original source.


Dentsu Tracking is a global leader in digital supply chain control solutions, allowing governments to get maximum visibility and control over highly regulated product markets. The solutions implemented by Dentsu Tracking are a proven international reference in fighting illicit trade and optimising tax collection. Dentsu Tracking is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and a company of Dentsu International, which is a global leader in the digital economy with $9 billion turnover and registered on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

For further information please contact:

Media / Press Contact
Dentsu Tracking, Geneva.