Radio Frequency Identification under fire in Russia

| January 22, 2016

In a letter sent to the Russian deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, the tobacco industry lobbying group Tabakprom and the Council for the Development of the Tobacco Industry have come out against the tobacco product tracking system due to take effect on January 1, 2017, according to a RosBusinessConsulting report relayed by the TMA.

The system would require the attachment of Radio Frequency Identification tags to each cigarette pack.

The lobbyists said that the system had the ‘potential to disrupt the entire market’, given that each tag costs five rubles (US$0.06) and could require additional annual spending of an estimated seven billion rubles (US$82.3 million).

The letter suggested that the system could cause ‘tobacco product delivery interruptions, excise revenue suppression, and additional unreasonable burden on business’.

Tabakprom and the council compared the system with the Unified Automated Information System (UAIS) used in the alcohol market since 2006 and claimed that the implementation of UAIS had been the main reason behind liquor plant closures and the reported scarcity of alcoholic products throughout the country.

Imperial Tobacco said the tobacco tracking system would be ‘unreasonably expensive’ and was intended to solve a ‘non-existent problem’.

But Philip Morris International reportedly said the system was necessary to curb the illegal tobacco trade in the country.

Cigarette companies have proposed developing their own technology to send information about the movement of their cigarette packs to regulatory authorities, but the Communications Ministry is reportedly reluctant to use the industry’s technology for information security reasons.

Category: Breaking News

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