Breaking News

Eastern looks to build Malawi plant within 18 months

| June 8, 2015

A project under which Egypt’s Eastern Tobacco Company is partnering with Malawi’s Auction Holdings Limited (AHL) to set up in Malawi a $20 million cigarette manufacturing plant is due to be completed within 18 months, according to a StarAfrica story.

Late last month it was announced that the Malawi government and Eastern had signed a memorandum of understanding in respect of the cigarette manufacturing plant, which is to be located in Lilongwe.

Eastern’s chairperson, Nabil Abdelaziz, was quoted as saying that his company was impressed with Malawi’s Burley tobacco, which was mostly of good quality for making cigarettes.

He said that Egypt would provide a ready market for cigarettes from the new factory.

Meanwhile, AHL’s CEO, Evans Matabwa, said the development was an important milestone for both the local and global tobacco industries.

“The cigarette manufacturing plant will provide significant gains to Malawian farmers and the economy,” he said.

EU’s TPD implementation unaffected by court cases

| June 8, 2015

The EU Commission has said it does not believe that current court cases brought against the new Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) pose obstacles to the directive’s implementation.

The Commission was responding to a question by the Croatian MEP Dubravka Šuica.

In part of the preamble to her question, Šuica said that some tobacco companies had brought a lawsuit in connection with the tobacco directive, arguing that it violated provisions of European treaties, including the Treaty of Lisbon, such as those on restricting the flow of goods and services.

“Dоеs thе Commission consider these court proceedings to be an obstacle to the implementation of the tobacco directive, which should take effect in 2016?,” she asked. “Are there any other obstacles that could potentially endanger the implementation of the Tobacco Directive by the middle of 2016?”

In its reply, the Commission said that ongoing court proceedings brought against EU directives did not have a suspensive effect on implementation efforts. ‘As such, the Commission does not consider any court proceedings currently being brought against the new Tobacco Products Directive … to pose obstacles to its implementation, and member states are still bound by the transposition deadline of 20 May 2016, when the majority of its provisions will begin to be applied,’ it said.

‘The Commission does not consider that there are other obstacles that could potentially endanger the directive’s implementation. One of the central objectives of the Commission is to ensure a timely adoption of the implementing legislation necessary to make the provisions of the new TPD fully operational. To this end, it has published a detailed implementation plan which it updates regularly. It is also working in close collaboration with member states and relevant stakeholders and good progress is being made.’

Taxes on tobacco firms set to rise in Bangladesh

| June 8, 2015

Smoking looked set to become costlier in Bangladesh during the new financial year after Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith last week proposed imposing tax increases on tobacco products, acetate tow and tobacco-product paper, according to a story in The Financial Express.

The budget proposals include too plans to increase the corporation tax levied on publicly-traded tobacco companies.

While announcing his budget plans for the fiscal year 2015-16, which begins on July 1, he proposed increasing the excise levied on high-priced cigarettes from 61 percent to 63 percent. The excise on the lowest-priced cigarettes is 43 percent.

“Considering the interest of the local bidi industry workers, no notable reform or changes in tax structures of bidi sector has been brought about for the last couple of years,” said Muhith.

He said currently the prices of 25 non-filter and 20 filter bidis were Tk6.14 and Tk6.92 respectively, and, because of their low prices, most tobacco users smoked this product and became vulnerable to health risks.

“Taking all these factors into consideration, I propose to rationalise the existing tariff value of bidi by raising the price of 25 sticks of non-filter and 20 sticks of filter bidi to Tk7.06 and Tk7.98 respectively,” he said in his budget speech.

The minister proposed cracking down on the collection of an existing 20 percent supplementary duty on the domestic production of cigarette paper, while imposing a 20 percent supplementary duty on bidi paper and increasing the customs duty on acetate tow from 5.0 percent to 25 percent.

He proposed too increasing the corporation tax on publicly-traded tobacco companies from 40 percent to 45 percent.

Alliance to host results conference call

| June 8, 2015

Alliance One International is due to host from 08.00 Eastern Time on June 9 a conference call at to report its financial results for the fiscal year ended March 31.

A replay of the conference call will be made available from 11.00 on June 9 through 11.00 on June 14 by telephone at (888) 203-1112 from within the US or at (719) 457-0820 from outside the US. The enter access code is 8277671.

Japan Tobacco International introduces new Camel

| June 5, 2015

Japan Tobacco International (JTI) Korea has launched Camel Evolution Super Slims, the first low-tar super-slim brand within its Camel lineup.

Camel Evolution Super Slims—which became available for purchase June 4—are a locally customized blend for the Korean market. The product is packaged in a stylish urban design that targets smokers between the ages of 25 and 35, according to JTI Korea.

“Camel Evolution Super Slims provides smokers an opportunity to experience international quality super slims from a global brand at the attractive price of 4,000 won,” JTI Korea said in a press release.

Camel Evolution Super Slims are available in two types: Camel Evolution Super Slims 3 mg, which contains 3 mg of tar and 0.30 mg of nicotine, and Camel Evolution Super Slims 1 mg, which contain 1 mg of tar and 0.10 mg of nicotine.

April sales of the Camel brand increased dramatically, quintupling from the prior year, according to data from market researcher Nielsen.

Czech Republic approves ban on smoking in restaurants, bars

| June 5, 2015

The Czech government has approved a draft bill that will ban smoking in bars and restaurants. Previous governments have attempted to enact the same restrictions but ran into opposition, leaving the Czech Republic as the last EU member to allow unrestricted smoking in restaurants. One quarter of Czechs smoke, according to Eurobarometer.

“With this law, the Czech Republic will embark on a path where the majority of advanced western European countries have gone a long time ago,” said health minister Svatopluk Nemecek, after the center-left cabinet approved the measure. The draft bill must still pass parliament before it can be signed into law by President Milos Zeman.

Seventeen of the 28 EU states have a total ban on smoking in indoor public places, public transport and workplaces, and many other member states have restrictions on smoking in various places.

In addition to bars and restaurants, the proposed legislation would also ban smoking—including the use of e-cigarettes—at concerts and indoor entertainment and sports facilities.

The bill also includes a provision that requires bars and restaurants to offer at least one non-alcoholic drink on their menu at a price that is cheaper than the cheapest alcoholic drink.

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