British American Tobacco Panama v. Panama

Decree No. 611 establishes that Panama's ban on the advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products includes a ban on tobacco product display at the point of sale. BAT Panama SA and other tobacco companies filed suit requesting an order declaring Decree No. 611 illegal, arguing that it violated the right to property including intellectual property and consumers’ right to access information. The Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court of Panama upheld the decree finding that there was no violation of trademark rights as trademark registration and use still were allowed.  The court also found that consumers’ right to access information was assured through the use of the textual listing of products and their prices and through health warnings on packages. Notably, the court used the FCTC guidelines to interpret FCTC obligations with regard to tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship.


British American Tobacco Panama S.A. et al. s/ nulidad del Decreto Ejecutivo 611 de 2010, Corte Suprema de Justicia - Sala en lo Contencioso Administrativo [Supreme Court of Justice - Administrative Chamber] (2016).

  • Panama
  • Aug 3, 2016
  • Supreme Court of Justice of Panama - Administrative Chamber



  • British American Tobacco Panamá S.A.
  • G. & R. Internacional S.A.
  • Habanos Panama S. A.
  • Obrigada Panama S.A.
  • Philip Morris Panama Sociedad en Comandita por Acciones

Defendant Health Ministry

Legislation Cited

International/Regional Instruments Cited

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product