MSA Trade Programs Guide

Most tobacco manufacturers require distributors to contact their local manufacturer representative to enroll in the trading programs. Registering with trade program allows sales and inventory data to be forwarded to manufacturers on time. Manufacturers make use of the data for marketing and manufacturing forecasting. All distributors must report their data to manufacturers to be able to maintain direct purchasing status, receive rebates and other incentives.

Tobacco trade programs includes Altria, Commonwealth, RJR, Japan Tobacco, Altadis, Nat Sherman, Dosal, Liggett, Blu E-cig, Juul, and Swisher. Candy trade programs include Mars Snack Foods, Hershey and other candy manufacturers.

Enrollment Process

Most of the trade programs require distributors to enroll through their local manufacturers representatives. Other trade programs, like Altria and Commonwealth, require the distributor to only request their data to be released from the MSA to the manufacturers.

Reconciliation of Shipments Data

Each trade program tries to verify that distributors are reporting clean data. Each sale is matched against a purchase from other distributor or manufacturer. So, the shipment data for a brand can be tracked from the source (manufacturer) to the end seller (retailer) with location, allowing manufacturers to gain clarity on location vs quantity sold per time. To keep shipment data effective, Trade Programs tracks shipment data and issues penalties for not confirming to the Trade Program reporting rules by reporting accurate and complete shipment data. A quarterly reports sent to each distributor with data results matrices to show how discrepancies in the reported data and require resubmission of shipment data.