• May 19, 2024

Track-and-trace under fire

 Track-and-trace under fire

Cigarette smuggling in Poland has increased significantly as the country has raised tobacco taxes to comply with European Union membership requirements.

A UK member of the European Parliament has suggested that the European Commission’s plans for a tobacco-products track-and-trace system would disproportionally impact small and traditional tobacco manufacturers.

In a preamble to two questions put to the Commission, Bill Etheridge said that now that all of the UK’s large tobacco manufacturing plants had closed, leaving thousands of citizens jobless, the tobacco manufacturing sector was left with a handful of micro or small family-owned companies that were rooted in their original localities.

‘These companies rely on their ability to export the traditional tobacco products (e.g. pipe tobacco, nasal snuff, chewing tobacco) they produce and distribute,’ he wrote.

‘Is the Commission aware that its decision to extend the scope of “track and trace” to tobacco products destined for export:

  1. Potentially oversteps the mandate that the European Parliament has given to the Commission under the European Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU)?
  2. Establishes a self-imposed trade barrier which disproportionally impacts the smaller and traditional tobacco manufacturers, ultimately driving them out of business?’

The Commission is due to reply in writing.