Tobacco makers slam small packs ban
NEW EU regulations on tobacco have been branded “illogical, counter-productive and poorly implemented” by the Tobacco Manufacturers Association.
The Tobacco Products Directive (also known as EUTPD2) was introduced on 20 May. It rules that manufacturers can only produce tobacco in specified types of pack and in a minimum pack size of 20 sticks. And 30g minimum pack sizes apply to RYO tobacco. Retailers have a sell-through period of one year in which to ensure that all of their stock is compliant with the new regulations.
Legal objections were raised by Poland and Romania, Philip Morris and Pillbox38, but the European Court of Justice ruled last month that the legislation could proceed.
Giles Roca, director general of the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association said: “Independent analysis has shown that this policy will offer further incentive for smokers to buy their tobacco from the black market rather than from legitimate high-street retailers. As a consequence, local retailers will lose sales revenue and HMRC will lose essential tax revenue. This single policy is predicted to double the existing £2bn tobacco tax gap to £4bn, creating a substantial hole in Government finances. The regulation could also lead to the loss of over 10,000 jobs in retail as local shops close due to lost revenue.”
• The ACS has produced new guidance for retailers on the upcoming changes to tobacco retailing, which is available to download on its website.