Bootlegging: Often called “buttlegging,” bootlegging refers to the act of smuggling tobacco products from low-tax to high-tax jurisdictions for resale, generally by individuals or small groups.

Cigarette dumping: The practice of selling cigarettes below the price usually charged in a domestic market in order to establish brand dominance and gain competitive edge.

Contraband: Goods smuggled into or out of a country.

Counterfeit: A form of illegal manufacturing, in which products made bear a trademark used without the trademark owner’s consent.

Duty-free zone: Usually located next to an international airport or port. Goods can be sold, stored and reshipped in these zones without payment of custom duties or other direct taxes, provided they are not imported into the country where such sites are located.

Duty not paid: A company euphemism for goods that have been smuggled.

Excise tax: A tax levied on certain goods manufactured or sold within a country.

Free-trade zone: Typically sited in developing countries, free-trade zones are designed to attract business foreign investments by creating areas in which normal trade barriers and bureaucratic requirements are lowered or eliminated.

General Trade (GT): A euphemism used by tobacco companies to indicate smuggled goods.

Tax stamp: A stamp affixed to a cigarette pack to demonstrate payment of state or local excise taxes.

Trademark: An officially registered name, logo or symbol used to identify a product legally protected by its owner or manufacturer.

Transit trade: A company euphemism for moving goods between countries without payment of taxes, or smuggling.

Transshipment: the shipment of goods through one or multiple intermediate locations before reaching its final destination. Sometimes used by smugglers to obscure the origin of particular goods


Container: A standard shipping unit. One 40-foot container usually contains about 1,000 master cases, or 10 million cigarettes.

Master case: Contains 10,000-12,000 cigarettes

Carton: Contains 10 packs of cigarettes.

Pack: Generally contains 20 cigarettes.

The Framework Convention Alliance: Glossary of terms in the illicit trade.
Testimony by John W. Colledge III before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, May 1.