Timeline of events

related to plain packaging and other package reforms

August 15, 2012

Australia's High Court rejects the tobacco industry constitutional challenge to plain packaging. Court ruling.

July 23, 2012

The New Zealand Ministry of Health issued a "Proposal to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products in New Zealand", as well as a consultation document and regulatory impact statement. Cabinet background papers were also released. The closing date for submissions is Friday October 5, 2012.

July 18, 2012

Dominican Republic launches the third WTO challenge to plain packaging when it requests WTO consultations with Australia concerning plain packaging for tobacco products. (press release) The dispute number is DS441.  

May 24, 2012

Officials in Australia's Health Ministry report that during the WTO consultations on plain packaging, they observed that tobacco industry officials were providing legal assistance to Ukraine and Honduras, who had filed the WTO complaints.

April 17 to 19, 2012

Australia's High Court holds hearings into industry challenges to plain packaging.

April 16, 2012

U.K. consultation on plain packaging begins. (Closing date is 10 July 2012)

April 4, 2012

Honduras requests consultations with Australia, launching a second WTO dispute.  The dispute number is DS435.

March 15, 2012:

The Ukraine launched a dispute at the WTO by requesting consultations with Australia.  The dispute number is DS434.

February 7, 2012

In the High Court of Australia, the Australia's government files its defence to claims from tobacco companies.

 January 11 2012
Brunei's Ministry of Health hosts a WHO meeting on Plain Packaging. .

December 20 2011
Philip Morris Australia files a Writ of Summons against the Australian Government alleging that the plain packaging law infringes its trademark and property rights.

December 15, 2011
Japan Tobacco files a Writ of Summons against the Australian Government alleging that the plain packaging law infringes its trademark rights.

December 1, 2011
British American Tobacco initiates proceedings in Australia's High Court to test the validity of the law as it relates to property rights of two brands, Winfield and Dunhill.  Press release

Imperial Tobacco similarly initiates proceedings.

November 21, 2011
Philip Morris announces that in addition to a suit for arbitration under Australia's Investment Treaty treaty Hong Kong, it will pursue claims under Australian law. Press release

November 21, 2011
Australia's lower House of Representatives approves amended timeline to the Plain Packaging Bill. The law as passed.

November10, 2011
Australia's Senate passes the set of laws to implement plain packaging.  Because the implementation date was amended, the laws must also be re-approved by the lower House.

November 2, 2011
Australia's Health Minister, Nicolas Roxon, announces that the implementation of plain packaging will be delayed until December 1, 2012 as a result of delays in the Senate review of the bill.

October 14, 2011
BAT threatens to suspend supply of cigarettes if Australian implementation date not changed. Press release

August 24, 2011
Australia's lower house approves the two tobacco plain packaging bills.

August 22, 2011
Australia's House of Representatives' Health and Aging Committee tabled its advisory report into the legislation. 

July 6, 2011
the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill 2011 and Trade Marks Amendment (Tobacco Plain Packaging) 2011 are introduced in the Australian Parliament, in the House of Representatives. "This world first initiative sends a clear message that the glamour is gone from smoking,” Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said.

June 29, 2011
Philip Morris International threatens it will sue Australian government under a bilateral investment treaty with Hong Kong.

June 15-16, 2011
Australia's proposal for Plain Packaging is discussed at the June 15-16 meeting of WTO's Technical Barriers to Trade Committee.  Fourteen countries raise trade concerns, arguing "that such regulations could create an unnecessary barrier to trade" and that plain packaging is "more trade restrictive than necessary".

June 7, 2011
At the spring meeting of the the WTO TRIPS council, plain packaging is challenged as being a violation of trademark rights.

May 26, 2011
Australian Health Minister defends plain packaging on national news program. ABC Lateline

May 2, 2011
Belgium member of parliament, Dr. Catherine Fonck, tables a bill to require plain packaging. Proposed law

April 7, 2011
Australia notifies the World Trade Organization of its intention to implement plain packaging.

April 7, 2011
New Zealand Associate Health Minister says "it is my expectation that New Zealand will inevitably follow their [Australia's] lead and look to introduce the plain packaging of tobacco products."
News report

April 7, 2011
Australian Government releases draft legislation for plain packaging
Consultation document
Draft bill

March 14, 2011
New Zealand government responds to Maori Affairs Committee say it may align its labelling with Australia.
Response to Committee

March 9, 2011
UK government releases a tobacco control plan which repeats its intention to consider plain packaging.
Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A Tobacco Control Plan for England

January 19, 2011
Belgium's Health Minister expresses support for plain packaging in response to a question in parliament.

(unofficial translation)
"With plain packaging, only the brand name is displayed in a standard format. The impact of such labelling to reduce the attractiveness [of products] and increase the imapcat of heatlh warning messages, espcially for young new smokers, has been shown in several studies. ...I continue to support such measures, including at the European level."
Transcript of remarks 

December 7, 2010
French parliamentarian, Yves Bur, introduces a bill to implement plain packaging
Bill 3005.  Proposition de loi visant à l’instauration d’un paquet de cigarettes neutre et standardisé

November 30, 2010
U.K. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley issued a policy document suggesting that "the government will look at whether the plain packaging of tobacco products could be an effective way to reduce the number of young people taking up smoking and to help those who are trying to quit smoking."
U.K. white Paper "Healthy Lives, Healthy People" can be found here

November 3, 2010
New Zealand Maori Affairs Committee recommends plain packaging in its report to government.
Inquiry into the tobacco industry in Aotearoa and the consequences of tobacco use for Māori: Report of the Māori Affairs Committee

September 24, 2010
European Union initiates public consultation on revision of its 2001 tobacco directive and offers plain packaging as an option.
Information on consultation can be found here.

April 29, 2010
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Announces that plain packaging will be required on packages sold in Australia after January 2012. Press release.

1 September 2009
Australian Health Minister releases the report of the National Preventative Health Taskforce which recommends plain packaging as part of a comprehensive package of measures to make Australia the healthiest country in the world by 2020.

August 20, 2009
Australian Senator Steve Fielding introduces a bill to require plain packaging of tobacco products. Plain Tobacco Packaging (Removing Branding from Cigarette Packs) Bill 2009 .

Submissions to legislative committee can be viewed here.

October, 2008
Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control adopt guidelines on advertising and package labelling that recommend the use of plain packaging.

September 8, 2008
European Communities Trade Mark Association responds to UK consultation and says that plain packaging “would involve various violations of treaty obligation... [and] is contrary to the harmonised EU and international systems of trade mark protection, including in particular Articles 15(4), 20 and 8(1) of the World Trade Organisation's agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Matters ('TRIPS') and Articles 6quinquies and 7 of the Paris Convention.  As noted above, this was a matter of some concern when the matter was considered in Canada.”

September 5, 2008
Japan Tobacco responds to the U.K. consultation paper saying that plain packaging would be “in breach” of TRIPS and the Paris Convention. aa297df9609d4625aefbd91777528d05&a1c1a 61a2b6b45c0be60540466664e9e

September 5, 2008
British American Tobacco responds to the U.K. consultation paper saying that “the government’s power to introduce plain packaging is constrained by law… also by international law, including the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). vwPagesWebLive/ DO7J7CSX/$FILE/medMD7J7CUJ.pdf?openelement

September 8, 2008
Philip Morris responds to the U.K. consultation paper saying that “plain packaging will squarely conflict with” TRIPS and the Paris Convention. OBE/PML_Submission_to_DH_consultation _on_future_of_tobacco_control.pdf

May 31, 2008
The U.K. government launches a consultation on “The Future of Tobacco Control” and “seeks views from stakeholders and members of the public on the potential for plain packaging of tobacco products.”

November 27, 2007
European Commission identifies plain packaging as a  measure to be explored:  “In order to decrease the smoking initiation and to protect EU consumers on equal basis in all Member States the introduction of generic (black & white) standardised packaging for all tobacco products could be explored as a possibility to reduce the attractiveness.”
European Commission, “Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee: Second Report on the Application of the Tobacco Products directive”. 

February 2002
Philip Morris submits comments on proposed ban on ‘light’ and ‘mild’ saying that “banning such terms on tobacco packaging would violate Canada’s obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (“TBT”) and the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (“TRIPS”).

February 1, 2002
On behalf of tobacco companies, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology writes the Canadian GATT Enquiry point to ask for a delay in the deadline for comments in the ban on light and mild.

December 1, 2001
Health Canada publishes a Notice of Intent in the Canada Gazette, proposing a ban on the terms “light” and “mild”, but not on synonyms, or the use of colours or numbers to suggest one product is less harmful than another.

September 2001
Japan Tobacco International filed a complaint in mid-September 2001 with the European Court of First instance claiming that the ban on ‘light’ and ‘mild’ was a violation of intellectual property laws. The law came into force, as predicted, on September 30, 2003.
Thompson, G Fighting health warnings: The use by the tobacco industry of international intellectual property law
 Directive 2001/37/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2001 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products - Commission statement

February 2, 2001
EC Director General M.P. Carl writes BAT to note “the very strong concerns” about the Canadian regulations and to inform them “that our conclusion is that there is little action that the commission feels able to undertake to address these problem directly. Our initial assessment is that the measures are probably compatible with WTO rules.”

October 13, 2000
BAT writes to the EC to complain about Canada’s new health warning messages  

August 2000
Japan Tobacco submits that the FCTC would violate IP laws if it banned descriptors.             

June 16, 2000
Hong Kong attorneys provide legal opinion that Private Member’s bill to amend Hong Kong’s smoking act is a violation of intellectual property agreements.

March 29, 2000
Confederation of European Community Cigarette Manufacturers Ltd .briefs the EU in response to the proposed ban on light and mild and claims it is a violation of TRIPS and Paris Convention in the case of names like “Mild Seven”.

January 22, 2000
Canada gazettes proposals to implement 50% graphic warning messages on cigarette packages.

British-American Tobacco's Submission to the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control warned that “ The WHO's proposals to ban tobacco advertising and descriptors such as 'Lights', could infringe commercial and intellectual property rights guaranteed in international law and could clash with provisions embodied in national constitutions protecting freedom of speech.

August 16, 1999
CTMC says that a new (50%) Canadian health warnings are a violation of international trade law. “They would thus violate several of Canada's treaty obligations undertaken under Chapter 3cl and XVII of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Such violations would expose Canada to legitimate and well-founded complaints under World Trade Organization agreements such as the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and under the NAFTA .They would also expose Canada to obligatory and binding arbitration under Chapter Xl of the NAFTA to set the compensation due to the owners of those trademarks.”

August 1999
Ceylon Tobacco Company informs its government that the proposed national authority on tobacco and alcohol act that require information “would raise serious issues under Article – of the Sri Lankan Constitution as well as under a number of international agreements to which Sri Lanka is a signatory, including the Paris Convention.”

Health Canada includes plain packaging as an option for restrictions on tobacco promotions, but regulations never developed further.

March, 1999
Philip Morris and BAT submit to the Australian consultation on a new national strategy for tobacco control, and warns that generic packaging would be a violation of IP rights (cites government response in 1997).

October 19, 1998
Germany’s federal health ministry lodged an appeal for the annulment of EU Directive 98/43 (advertising) as does Salamander GA.  Salamander argues that directive is non-compliant with TRIPS, WTO and Paris Convention.

April 1988
The journal ADDICTION publishes a paper by Becky Freeman, Simon Chapman and Mathew Rimmer reviewing the evidence supporting the implementation of Plain Packaging and the consistency of this measure with the FCTC

Book on plain packaging, edited by John Luik is published with funding from all of the major multinational tobacco companies. Six chapters are written or co-written by Canadians.

December 10, 1997
EC DG Beserer replies to BAT to suggest that while Thailand was being asked to provide notice of TBT, that they did not see a problem with compliance. “Article 39.2 of the TRIPS agreement only aims to prevent information from being disclosed to, acquired by, or used by others without consent of the lawful owner. Article 39.2 does not deal with the question whether or not a Government is allowed to ask for information, e.g. for the grant of marketing approval of certain products.”

October 30, 1997
BAT writes EC Commission DG Johannes Beseler to complain about Thailand’s Ingredient disclosure

September 1997
Australian government formally replies to Senate Committee Report: “In response to the mounting interest In generic packaging, the Commonwealth obtained advice from the Attorney General's Department on the legal and constitutional barriers to generic packaging. This advice Indicates that the Commonwealth does possess powers under the Constitution to introduce such packaging but that any attempt to use these powers to introduce further tobacco control legislation needs to be considered in the context of the increasingly critical attention being focussed on the necessity, appropriateness, justification and basis for regulation by such bodies as the Office of Regulatory Review, the High Court, and Senate Standing Committees. In addition, further regulation needs to be considered in the context of Australia's international obligations regarding free trade under the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT), and our obligations under International covenants such as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).”

February 13, 1997
Lithuania Constitutional Court notes that a ban on alcohol advertising does not violate Paris Convention. “The Constitutional Court notes that the disputed laws do not contain any norms which imposed direct prohibition to make use of trade marks …there are no legal grounds to assert that the right to a trade mark has priority over people’s health.”

December 6, 1996
David Dingwall tells parliamentary committee that companies must be allowed to display their trademark names in accordance with Canada’s constitution and international law. sant/evidence/25_96-12-06/sant25_blk101.html  

December 15, 1995
Australian Senate Community Affairs References Committee releases its (160 page) report. “The Committee considers that, on the basis of the evidence received, there is not sufficient evidence to recommend that tobacco products be sold in generic packaging.” 

December 11, 1995
Health Canada releases a “Blueprint to protect the health of Canadians,” a framework for renewed legislation that makes scant mention of plain packaging.  

September 21, 1995
Supreme Court of Canada strikes down Tobacco Products Control Act.

July 24, 1995
Australian health minister Carmen Lawrence rejects the idea of plain packaging on international trade and legal grounds. “A spokeswoman for the Minister of Health, Dr. Lawrence, said this would breach constitutional requirements for free trade. “Unfortunately, it is just not feasible,” the spokeswoman said “We would have to buy the tobacco companies’ trademarks and that would cost us hundreds of millions of dollars”.

July 17, 1995
Australian Medical Association says it will be pushing for Plain Packaging.

May 31, 1995
BAT writes Thai government to signal Ingredient disclosure regulation as a breach of intellectual property.

May 18, 1995
Health Canada releases its expert report “When packages can’t speak.”  Industry responds by repeating trade concerns.

March 14, 1995
Tobacco Institute of Hong Kong tells Hong Kong government that its proposed Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Bill 1996 would diminish commercial value of trademarks and may violate Paris Convention, GATT and TRIPS.

February 1995
BAT’s Australian subsidiary, WD & HO Wills tells the Australian Senate that generic packaging would violate international law and the Australian constitution.

January 18, 1995
Washington State Senator Mike Heavey proposes legislation to require plain packaging.(Senate Bill 5300). PM International provides materials used in Canada to combat “Seattle Plain Packaging Proposal”

January 12, 1995
The U.K. companies meet with the Department of Health to discuss forthcoming legislation on labelling and are pleased to hear the public servants and Minister are on their side and “keen to kill off the Lewis Bill at an early stage.” They also note that the UK is blocking the EU directive on advertising. BAT marshals IP arguments against Terry Lewis’ bill on tobacco labelling.

November 18, 1994
Health Canada tables response to Standing Committee report, deferring decision until “the findings of an Expert Panel on the role of genetic packaging in reducing the inducement to purchase and use tobacco products will be taken into account, as will the international trade, contraband and economic implications of generic packaging… The legal ramifications of generic packaging must also be considered.”

October 26, 1994
Plain Pack Working Group meets.

October 1994
9th World Conference on Tobacco or Health passes a resolution in favour of plain packaging of cigarettes.                 

September 21, 1994
International Chamber of Commerce, after a request from BAT, writes Canada’s trade minister, Roy Maclaren, to repeat the opinion that Canada’s obligations under the Paris Convention stood in the way of plain packaging.

August 31, 1994
WIPO tells Ralph Oman that Carla Hill’s opinion is wrong.  

Aug 5, 1994
Former U.S. Register of Copyrights, Ralph Oman, writes WIPO and sends May 3 opinion from Carla Hills.  

July 21, 1994
David Bacon presents an analysis of that there is “little joy” in trade agreements for tobacco companies to BAT’s General Managers.[

July 6, 1994
BAT circulates WIPO response to other companies, saying  “I anticipate that the reason he had not replied earlier was that he did not feel he had anything helpful to say. Certainly his letter does not take us further.”

July 5 1994
WIPO tells BAT that there is the Paris Convention does not contain any obligation to the effect that the use of a registered trademark must be permitted.

July 4, 1994
BAT Executive Directors and Heads of Department are briefed by Purdy Crawford on plain packaging developments in Canada.

June 21, 1994
Plain Pack Group meets.

June 21, 1994
Canadian Standing Committee on Health presents its report on plain packaging “Towards Zero Consumption.”

June 1, 1994
John Luik is engaged by PPWG as project manager on plain package book.

June 16, 1994[
Wills succeeds in getting Australian Office of Regulation Review to demand a review of the new Australian regulations on labelling.  

May 25, 1995
New Zealand Public Health Commission pre-releases a summary of responses to its discussion paper, noting that “Several submissions support all tobacco products being sold in plain packaging, white background with standardised black lettering,” but that opposition to improved warnings includes the view that “the amendments will be in breach of relevant trade-mark conventions.”

May 11, 1994
BAT’s high level tobacco strategy group is told that the Plain Pack Group has found “little joy” in trade agreements and that they “afford little protection” from plain package laws.

May 14, 1994
Canadian Standing Committee on Health ends public hearings on plain packaging. 

May 12, 1994
Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers Council appears before Standing Committee, and tables legal opinion by Ogilvy Renault
Minutes of Proceedings

May 10, 1994
Former U.S. deputy trade commissioners Julius Katz and former U.S. trade representative Carla Hills (on behalf of Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds) tells the Standing Committee that Plain Packaging would be an infringement of GATT, NAFTA and the Paris Convention.  

May 5, 1994
Philip Morris, which also owned Kraft Foods and other consumer good companies, threatens economic retaliation for plain packaging, telling Commons Committee that “If Canada adopts legislation in total disregard of internationally recognized trademark rights, this would be a significant consideration in any new investment decisions… [Philip Morris is] reluctant to allow its trademarks to be subject to a Government which would expropriate these valuable property rights in disregard of its international treaty obligations.”

May 5, 1994
EC rejects appeal from companies to file GATT complaint with respect to Australian warning labels.

May 3, 1994
US/CAN       Carla Hills, former U.S. Trade Representative, provides opinion that plain packaging contravenes NAFTA, and Paris Convention.

May 1994
National Intellectual Property Section of the Canadian Bar Association testifies that plain packaging violates international law.

April 29, 1994
BAT provides Standing Committee with opinions by Lovell White Durrant that plain packaging is an infringement of TRIPS.

April 27, 1994
International Trade Mark Association (Richard Berman, president) submits to Standing Committee its opinion that trademarks have value.  Notably, makes no reference to protection of trademarks under international law.

April 25, 1994
Simon Potter provides Imperial Tobacco Canada Ltd. with its opinion on "whether the North American Free Trade Agreement or the GATT Uruguay Round Agreements offer any recourse in the event of a Canadian measure imposing plain packaging for tobacco products."

April 19, 1994
Plain Pack Group has its 4th meeting.

April 16, 1994
Canada signs new WTO agreements.   

April 15, 1994
BAT writes again to WIPO to request reply.

April 12, 1994
Rothmans circulates to other companies a note on “International Trade Aspects of Labelling”, which concludes “The international trade argument by itself will not however be sufficient to ward off the threat of plain packs.”

April 12, 1994
Canadian Standing Committee on Health begins hearings on plain packaging.             

April 6, 1994
International Trade Mark Association is asked by Rothmans to participate in Canadian hearings on plain packaging.  

March 30, 1994
Wills issues press release that warning regulations “are a clear breach of the recently signed GATT agreement,” but internally admit that their claims are not defensible (“Regrettably, there would be legal difficulties if we were required to take the matter as far as the courts, however.”)   

March 29, 1994
Australia gazettes regulations for national-wide regulations on pack labelling.

March 24, 1994
Canadian House of Commons Health Committee opens up hearings on plain packaging and holds a press conference.

March 25, 1994
Ed Lang, chair of RJR-Macdonald writes Prime Minister Chretien to warn againt plain packaging. Raises several concerns, including GATT/NAFTA.

March  25, 1994
On behalf of the Plain Pack Group, BAT solicitor writes to ask WIPO whether plain packaging is an infringement of trade mark rights.

March 14, 1994
The Plain Pack Group has its third meeting.         

March 4, 1994
Supreme Court of Canada denies the industries request for a stay on health warnings during the time that the challenge to the Tobacco Products Control Act was heard.

February 8, 1994
Canadian Prime Minister Chrétien announces a reduction in federal tobacco taxes (and encourages provinces to follow suit). A review of plain packaging is promised as a way of compensating for the impact of tax reductions.

January 1994
BAT’s Australian subsidiary tells a government inquiry that generic packaging is contrary to “intellectual properties and rights advocated by GATT.”

January 6, 1994
British MP, Ian Mills advises Rothmans on how to influence parliamentarians against packaging reform (Terry Lewis, MP was poised to introduce bill to improve labelling).

January 1, 1994
North American Free Trade Agreement goes into effect.

US Institute of Medicine report “Growing Up Tobacco Free” recommends plain packaging be considered.                  

November 30, 1993
The Centre for Health Promotion, University of Toronto, publishes a report “Effects of Plain Packaging on the image of tobacco products among youth.”

November 1993
Australia establishes an Industry Commission to inquire about “The Tobacco Growing and Manufacturing Industries.”          

November 29, 1993
Industry “Plain Pack Group” holds its second meeting.

September 30, 1993
Australian state of Victoria gazettes packaging regulations in line with EU, as the tobacco companies had encouraged its premier, Jeff Kennett, to do. Subsequently, the Australian federal Health Minister says that Special Commonwealth legislation will be used to establish July 1993 proposed labelling.

September 1993
Tobacco Institute circulates its preliminary submission to the Public Health Commission report, saying: “The PHC is wrong to propose the appropriation by Government of intellectual property as such an appropriation would be contrary to international trade conventions to which New Zealand is a signatory.”

September 22, 1993
First meeting of the inter-company Plain Pack Working Group, also known as the Plain Pack Group (PPWG/PPG).

July 26, 1993
British Consulate (Vice Consul, Commercial – Hughes) sends Australian companies the response he has received from this government that the Pendleton view of their labelling rights would require “several very large imaginative leaps.”

July 15, 1993
Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett (who is being courted to support smaller EU size warnings) meets with BAT officials in London.

July 14, 1993
New Zealand Public Health Commission provides the New Zealand Tobacco Institute with a draft of a proposed tobacco policy paper “Smoke-Free New Zealand 2000” which proposes “varied warnings, packet redesign and plain packaging.”[32]

July 14, 1993
Australian companies strategize to persuade one Australian state to adopt the smaller EU standard, and then shift manufacturing to that state.  If this fails they see “using GATT procedures and technicalities it is possible to delay the implementation of the MCDS proposal. “            

July 8, 1993
Australian Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy backs down on labelling proposal of April 1992 and now proposes 25% of the front, 33% of the back and a side panel.

June 4, 1993
Tony Wood of Australia’s Rothmans branch reports that Canada has used the “GATT weapon” to “slow down their Phase II Regulations by as much as 75 days.”               

June 2 1993
Rothmans writes UK Department of Trade and EC Commission to encourage them to ask for Australia’s TBT notification on package warnings “null and void”  

May 13, 1993
UK Consul General in Australia writes DTI to enquire about “claims by Wills and Rothmans that Australian proposals to alter the requirements for cigarette package labelling may be in contravention of Australia’s GATT obligations.”

May 11, 1993
Tobacco Institute of Australia outlines its “Taurus Strategy” to fight warnings and notes “The industry in Australia must, therefore, focus its attention increasingly on international developments in the area of GATT/TRIPS.”

May 1993 
Rothmans international proposes that the multinational companies form a global industry committee to address packaging and labelling issues.

May 5, 1993
EU GATT liaison informs Canada that proposed September 1 implementation date for new warning labels is too short and that it will be “virtually impossible” for European manufacturers to meet the deadline.

May 1, 1993.
The Tobacco institute of New Zealand outlines its strategy for “protection of intellectual property” by treating it as “expropriation of Intellectual Property and contested politically on that basis.”

29 April 1993
Canada agrees to longer comment period for warnings gazetted in March.

April 21, 1993
Australian tobacco companies solicit opinion from law professor Michael Pendleton to override their own solicitors’ advice that plain packaging is not an infringement of intellectual property laws.

April 19, 1993
EU GATT liaison requests Canada provide more time to comment on warning labels.

April 8, 1993
Canada files a notice at TBT of its intention to change warning labels.

April 8, 1993
Rothmans UK describes a “slim chance of using the GATT mechanism for consultation in order to delay proceedings” on Canadian health warning messages.

April 2, 1993
Philip Morris US head office recommends to Australian companies a GATT challenge to labelling from countries which export tobacco to Australia to challenge at GATT the labelling process.

March 19, 1993
Canada gazettes proposals to increase size of health warnings (from about 20% to 25% and including a border which increases the total area to about 33%) and move them to the top of the pack.

January 22, 1993
Wills New Zealand writes BAT UK to outline its approach to plain packaging.

January 6, 1993
Canadian Cancer Society releases report on Plain packaging showing that it would break, or substantially weaken, the link between the package and other promotions.  

December 1992
Western Australia gazettes proposed regulations based on April announcement for warnings that cover 100% of the rear panel. Proposed implementation date is 1 July 1993.

October 1992
The European Smoking agency, BASP, puts out a call for plain packaging.

EU Labelling Standard comes into force.  Warnings must cover 4% of the package surface.

October 23, 1992
Australia files a notice with GATT of intention to change regulations on the labelling of tobacco products.  

July 22, 1992
Wills Australia writes Peter Hughes, Vice Consul (Commercial) at the British Consulate General to protest the MCDS labelling proposals this “represent a major interference with the proprietors’ rights to use these marks and is a radical departure from international practice. “

August 6, 1992
ills Australia writes BAT to ask for help in blocking new health warnings and informs that they have received advice that the proposals are not in breach of the Paris Convention on Industrial policy.

April 1992
The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer (CBRC) publishes a report “Health Warnings and Contents Labelling on Tobacco Products” including a recommendation for standard/plain packaging.

April 15, 1992
The Australian Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy (composed of health ministers) proposes large new warnings and asks for a report on plain packaging.

October 1991
In response to the government green paper, “The Health of the Nation:A consultative document for Health in England", U.K. ASH issues a manifesto for tobacco control that includes plain packaging as a recommendation.

October 27, 1990
New Zealand General Election. Labour defeated. National Party (leader Jim Bolger) elected.

August 28, 1990
New Zealand's Smokefree Environments Act receives Royal Assent.  Plain packaging was referred to during committee review, but not included in law.

April 1990
Swedish lawyer professor, Ulf Bernitz has an article published in the European Intellectual Property Review.  “Logo licensing of tobacco products – Can it be Prohibited” concluding “such bans incompatible with long established principles of international trade mark law.”

September 1989
In response to a request from New Zealand’s Toxic Substances Board, its principal Medical Officer, Dr. Murray Laugesen, prepares a policy paper “Tobacco promotion through product packaging.”

May 1989
On the eve of the release of the New Zealand Toxic Substances Board Report "Health or Tobacco An End to Tobacco Advertising and Promotion," a newly formed New Zealand Coalition Against Tobacco Advertising and Promotion announces it will press for ‘generic’ packaging of cigarettes.

University of Otago (NZ) researchers Park Beede, Rob Lawson and Mike Shepherd produce a study on “the promotional impact of cigarette packaging”  

January 1988
National Council on Tobacco or Health and the Non Smoker’s Rights Association recommend to the committee reviewing Canada’s first tobacco control law, the Tobacco Products Control Act, that they include in the law measures that will allow for plain or generic packaging.

June 1987
Canadian Medical Association President, Jake Dyck, calls on federal government to require “tobacco products be sold in plain, standard-size packages that state: ‘This product is injurious to your health’.”

June 1986
Canadian Medical Association annual general meeting supports motion of Dr. Gerry Karr in favour of plain packaging.