Mexico's Habanos Distributor Creates Validation System

In a continued effort to combat counterfeiting, Mexico's distributor of Cuban cigars has established a certification system to validate tobacco shops, department stores and boutique restaurants, such as those in the Bodeguita del Medio chain, throughout the country.

Importadora y Exportadora de Puros y Tabacos (IEPT) is the regional broker for all of Mexico's Cuban cigars. The company, which is licensed by global Cuban cigar distributor Habanos S.A., has been fighting the counterfeit industry for years, as the problem is inordinately severe in Mexico, especially in the popular tourist areas.

"In Mexico, we have an important issue regarding fake and contraband Habanos all over the country," said Bernardo Andrés, commercial director for IEPT. "That's why we are implanting an aggressive campaign supporting our customers that only sell original Cuban cigars by giving them the recognition of being a certified dealer."

For more on this story, see the current issue of Cigar Insider.

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