Australia wins plain packaging lawsuit against Philip Morris

17 December 2015 (Last Updated December 17th, 2015 18:30)

Australia has won a lawsuit against tobacco firm Philip Morris Asia, which strengthens the federal government’s plain packaging rules in the country.

Australia has won a lawsuit against tobacco firm Philip Morris Asia, which strengthens the federal government's plain packaging rules in the country.

Introduced in 2011, the legislation for plain-packaging was opposed by the tobacco giant citing reasons that it infringed foreign investment protections guaranteed by the country in its investment promotion and protection agreement (IPPA) with Hong Kong.

The tobacco giant is believed to be displeased with the new decision issued by arbitral tribunal.

"There is nothing in today's outcome that addresses, let alone validates, plain packaging in Australia or anywhere else."

Philip Morris International senior vice-president Marc Firestone said: "There is nothing in today's outcome that addresses, let alone validates, plain packaging in Australia or anywhere else.

"It is regrettable that the outcome hinged entirely on a procedural issue that Australia chose to advocate instead of confronting head on the merits of whether plain packaging is legal or even works."

The 2011 regulation has specified the use of standardised and unbranded packaging for cigarette sales.

Tobacco firms have been banned from using any forms of branding on their products, which even considers the use of logos and colours.

Uniform packaging rules introduced in the country require manufacturers to print health warnings on the cigarette packs.

Philip Morris has also filed a similar lawsuit protesting against uniform packaging laws in the UK. The firm has teamed up with other tobacco giants, including British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International, for the protests.