Tobacco: EU Action

Treasury written question – answered on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Martyn Day Martyn Day Scottish National Party, Linlithgow and East Falkirk

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans his Department has to review track-and-trace arrangements to ensure that they comply with the FCTC Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products; and what steps he is taking to ensure that key roles in that system are not delegated to the tobacco industry after the UK leaves the EU.

Photo of Simon Clarke Simon Clarke The Exchequer Secretary

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is responsible for implementing the track and trace system and ensuring compliance with the WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. Since the system came into force on 20 May 2019 and there is a 12 month sell through period for unmarked stock, HMRC’s approach has been to educate and support businesses as they familiarise themselves and adapt to the new requirements.

Strict criteria for determining independence from the tobacco industry is set out in Part 5 of the Tobacco Products (Traceability and Security Features) Regulations 2019.

If we leave the EU with a deal, the current arrangements will continue to apply for the duration of the implementation period. If we leave with no deal, we will suspend the current system while we develop a stand-alone system as quickly as possible and with the minimal changes necessary to the current system. This would include retaining the current independence criteria.

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