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Thailand May Appeal WTO Ruling over Cigarette Imports

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GENEVA – Thailand has failed to comply with a World Trade Organization ruling against its regulations on cigarette imports, a WTO dispute panel said on Monday, the first of two legal cases brought to the Geneva-based watchdog by the Philippines.

Either side can appeal the ruling, which concerned valuation of cigarettes imported by Philip Morris Thailand Limited from Philip Morris subsidiaries in the Philippines and Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the Ends Cigarette Smoke Thailand group, or ECST, has filed a request to the director of Law and Litigation Department in the Office of the Ombudsman Thailand, asking for the ban on e-cigarettes to be reconsidered.

Legalizing e-cigarettes would allow the tens of millions of people who smoke cigarettes to use something less harmful, according to research. A study said e-cigarettes would help reduce health risks and decrease the number of people smoking.

The request to reconsider the ban on e-cigarettes by the ESCT has been under consideration by the Ministry of Commerce since October 8, 2018.

By Tom Miles – Reuters