Philip Morris International says that proposed revisions to the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) will be a gift to black market criminals but a blow to government revenues and to people working in the licit tobacco industry.
“The EU has ignored its own standards for proportionate, evidenced-based policymaking during the five years that the Tobacco Products Directive has been under consideration,” said PMI’s EU region president, Drago Azinovic.
He was commenting on an agreement reached between the European Commission, Parliament and Council on the proposed TPD revisions.
“Discussions in Council and the European Parliament might have marginally amended the original text, but the EU’s failure to do its homework will be a gift for the criminals profiting from the black market in tobacco, and a blow to the hundreds of thousands of people working in the legal industry and member state governments now faced with filling budget gaps,” said Azinovic.
“Instead of further harmonizing the internal market, a stated objective of the directive, measures in the TPD will further erode property rights that the EU Charter protects. This sends a worrying signal to other sectors of the economy that depend on legal certainty and a rigorous defense of intellectual property rights.”
The new directive has still to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, which will vote on it only after the legal-linguistic revision of the text has been finalised. And once the directive is adopted member states will have two years to transpose the new rules into national law.
Some of the key proposals for revision of the TPD were published here yesterday under the heading: EU to back ‘tobacco products that taste and smell like tobacco products’.