Cigarette makers are removing their brands from the Northern Ireland market due to the additional costs incurred from post-Brexit rules, reports Belfast Live.
The Northern Ireland Protocol requires tobacco products sold in the region to continue to bear EU pictorial health warnings, whereas the remainder of the U.K. is moving to Australia’s style of health warnings.
The protocol, which was agreed upon by the EU and U.K. to avoid a hard border on Ireland, keeps Northern Ireland in the EU single market for goods but includes extra checks and regulatory processes for products arriving in Northern Ireland from Great Britain.
Imperial Brands announced that it will withdraw some of its brands in Northern Ireland due to the cost of establishing separate production lines for the different packaging.
Japan Tobacco International (JTI) announced a similar type of move, saying, “the post-Brexit requirement to have different packaging in Northern Ireland (i.e., different health warnings) will mean a very small additional reduction in our NI product range. JTI’s product range in Northern Ireland remains extensive, and whenever we delist a product, we always take consumer needs into careful consideration to ensure we have a range of alternatives and pack formats/sizes available within our brand portfolio for adult consumers to choose from.”