Rules governing the EU’s proposed tobacco-products tracking-and-tracing system have been adopted.
A press note issued on Friday by DG Sante (the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety) said that the measures that needed to be enacted to put in place the EU-wide tracking-and-tracing system planned for under articles 15 and 16 of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive had been clarified in secondary legislation adopted by the Commission.
‘The implementing regulation on technical standards for the establishment and operation of a traceability system for tobacco products lays down rules that will ensure that all unit packets of tobacco products produced in, destined for or placed on the EU market will be marked with a unique identifier and their movements recorded throughout the supply chain (from the manufacturer to the last level before the retail outlet),’ the press note said.
‘It obliges each member state to appoint an entity (‘ID issuer’) responsible for generating and issuing the unique identifiers, and lays down clear rules to ensure that the traceability system remains fully independent, notably from the tobacco industry, and that functions are carried out impartially.
‘The implementing decision on technical standards for security features applied to tobacco products obliges EU countries to require security features, composed of at least five types of authentication elements (including overt, covert and semi-covert), to be applied to unit packets of tobacco products. One of these elements must be provided by an independent third-party provider.
‘Member States must ensure they have the necessary means to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the security features.’
The press note went on to say that EU countries and ‘economic operators’ could now start preparatory work for the two systems of traceability and security features.
‘These should be in place by 20 May 2019 for cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco and by 24 May 2024 for all other tobacco products (such as cigars, cigarillos and smokeless tobacco products).